Frederick Tang Architecture realizes a colorful interior design for the restaurant

On a cool summer evening, accordion doors open from the front at Nabila Restaurant, a new Lebanese restaurant on Court Street in Brooklyn. Diners, tempted by prepared foods and a vibrant interior, line up in a queue when ordering, then move to a table awaiting their selections. As planned, the venue, which remodeled the ground floor of a Queen Anne-style building built in 1886, soon became a Cobble Hill rest area populated by nearby residents, children, and dogs.

Nabila is co-owner Mike Farah’s first restaurant project. his mother bears the same name; Raised in Lebanon and currently running a catering company in Washington, D.C. (Farah previously worked in finance before pursuing this project.) To achieve an inviting space, Farah turned to Frederick Tang Architecture (FTA), a ten-person architecture and design studio in nearby Gowanos. .

(Jeves Anderson)
Inside a cozy restaurant with a chandelier and a table
(Jeves Anderson)

FTA’s design is inspired by the colors of Lebanese cuisine and the official precedents of Middle Eastern architecture. Deep hues—purple, dark green, and brown—saturate the space, a movement balanced by brass fixtures, whitewashed ceilings, light Hay chairs, and white oak millwork. Wooden thorns and arches carve the floor plan into zones and niches, respectively, while a glass wall obscures the setting area. Off the main front room, an elegant back dining room has been imagined as an event space, with an original chandelier restored by FTA. (Bathrooms and additional kitchen space are in the basement.) Curves abound in varying scales, from the display rack to the Caesarstone counter, cut corners, fish scales, backsplash tiles, cracked headboards, and fluted glassware. The maternal mission of the restaurant is supported by finishes designed by women. Kelly Wearstler designed the volcanic glass pendants, the floor tiles are by French-Iranian architect India Mahdavi, and the stalls are upholstered in a fabric designed by Hila Jongerius for Mahram with the apt name: Aden.

On the outside, the FTA painted the exterior black and added two awnings green. These fabric shades bear the restaurant’s name, handwritten. The FTA also handled Nabila’s branding efforts, including this logo and food packaging.

Interior of a restaurant filled with natural light with blond floors
(Jeves Anderson)
Inside a cozy restaurant with green and white tiled floors
(Jeves Anderson)

Farah wanted the restaurant to be in his neighborhood, so the team toured more than 20 locations before finding the right one. Frederic Tang noted that the FTA “was thrilled when Mike chose this space, as it was an exciting opportunity to design in an iconic corner building with beautiful lighting and great bones.”

The space and culinary effort feel united and welcoming. As soon as one sits down, delicious dishes emerge: smoked baba ghanoush, tender eggplant with pomegranate seeds, crunchy but moist fattoush, and delicious Sunni kibbeh. With this list going up through meticulous FTA design work, Nabila is poised for success.

Middle Eastern food counter under a tray
(Jeves Anderson)

248 Court Street Brooklyn, NY 347-689-9504

designBy: Frederic Tang Architects

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