La Botella Verde, “The Green Bottle”, is a new and casual bistro/store located in one of the hottest spots in Mérida, Saint Lucia’s Park. A relaxed atmosphere can be found within the revitalized space where you can enjoy a glass of wine with their appetizers.
Over the past year, Mérida’s historic downtown in Southeastern Mexico has enjoyed a comeback. Former colonial homes and XIX and XX century mansions are being restored to their former glory and Saint Lucia’s Park is part of that. With its historical features such as towering arches, the building was erected in the XIX century as a place to gather and enjoy what the city had to offer. With the passing of time, the building was abandoned and closed until a couple of years ago when its new owners restored it and offered spaces up for rent; most spaces were filled by restaurants, hearkening back to the building’s origins.
La Botella Verde is divided into two sections: the public access at the front, and the back is the service area. The front of house has a bar with a counter to sit at, or customers can choose to sit at one of the tables. The service area is where the restrooms and kitchen are located. The two spaces are divided not only by function, but by design as well. The front area is where most of the building’s history is present. This greatly influenced the design of the space, making the goal to preserve the original architecture and historical character. This was accomplished through restoration and primarily using furniture to enrich the space.
Within the front space is the bar, which serves the dual function of being the focal point of the bistro and the division between the public and service areas. The concept of this last structure was derived from the name of the restaurant where several wine bottles of different shades and sizes are presented in different ways. A LED strip projects light and creates a colorful experience at the bar.
Just because it’s in the back doesn’t mean the service area was left out from the bold design choices! The restroom walls are cloaked in a cork texture and divide the room from the kitchen. Unlike the public space in front, this area does not have the antique, exposed wooden beams on the ceiling. Instead, a metallic mesh barrier that is loaded with empty wine bottles has artificially lowered the ceiling. It also functions as a lamp, because the glass of the bottles produces a beautiful texture of lighting and shadows.
The main goal of the design was to create a casual yet fun place, which was accomplished by taking wine bottles out of their usual context and using them as ornamental objects.