Buffo Restaurant

Edible Authenticity

Hospitality

Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality wanted its new Chinook Centre restaurant to bring something entirely different to the Calgary fine dining scene – a fun, yet upscale, venue that would offer a variety of private dining experiences. This Italian restaurant’s nostalgic palette bridges cozy with a down-to-earth decadence at the Saks Fifth Avenue within Calgary’s Chinook Centre. Here, lively blues wrap the 158-seat space, where eyes catch brass highlights that are filled with rustic Italian fair. The rich and varied material palette, coupled with a flexible floor plan, sets the stage for a mixture of private dining exclusivity and a fun speakeasy vibe for all guests. As you walk through the front door, patrons are immediately welcomed by the hostess at the bar.

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Location
Calgary, AB
Client
Oliver & Bonacini
Completion
2018
DIALOG Services

Architecture
Interior Design

An inviting entry welcomes guests in from the mall.

A seat at the table

Patrons dine in a modern interpretation of an Italian speakeasy. Timeless checkered floors mimic authentic Italian eateries and play off a 20th century aesthetic.

Further contributing to the vibe are rich velvets, soft mohair, textural leather, patterned floors, and bright brass to complement moulding, brick, and fluted glass.

Under a coffered ceiling, a prominent bar made of bright blue tile, classic grey marble, and brass-and-glass shelving command the centre of the space. 

Counter seating next to the bar offers direct views into the active kitchen, while large built-ins around the restaurant’s perimeter display meats, cheese, and wines sure to entice patrons.

Chandeliers light the dining space. Blue velvet drapes hang to separate the space when needed. 

Two large, private dining areas can be further divided into additional secluded spaces. 

The open dining areas and private dining rooms allow for long, family-style dinners or intimate get-togethers.

A custom-made, wood-fired pizza oven adds further Italian authenticity to the menu.

The Team

Early design concepts showcased a prominent central bar to invite patrons in.

Rich, warm blue tones were imagined throughout the space, invoking the nostalgia of a speakeasy.

Soft lighting, generous textured leather seating, and velvet drapes lend a cozy and comforting vibe.