Design Elements: The Lost Caravan, Bengaluru

A Journey Back In Time

It is a restopub with a travel theme that takes a wanderer back in time, bringing back nostalgic memories of journeys and expeditions. The Lost Caravan or TLC as it is popularly referred to on Bengaluru’s pub scene, is the city’s newest hotspot that is being talked about more for its décor than the food and beverages on offer. Simply because it tells the story of a traveller through different perspectives.

Text: Archana Shenoy

It is a space that grabs you by the eyeballs as you walk in through swishing glass doors. The attention to detail extends everywhere. AC ducts are covered with maps of all kinds, from all over the globe. The spaces above the bar counters are
adorned with black and white pictures and postcards, every single one of which is unique. The furniture is an unusual mix of dinner sofas, recliners and retro lounge chairs. Even the bar counter has a story, being environment-friendly and made from recycled doors.

The contrasts of colours, textures and décor is stunning. Designer Nagesh Maney of OpusCDM had a vision in mind when owner of TLC Avinash Byanna approached him with the design contract. He wanted the design to be structured around people’s intuitive needs and therefore be usable and pleasing – both in experience and aesthetics. Hence the theme for a restopub that was uncommon yet relatable, and with-the-trend, yet timeless. The concept of travel and journeys came about after much thought, and it fit the bill very well, explains owner Avinash Byanna. “Each of us has taken our own personal journeys of exploration and discovery at one point or another, so it’s something we identify with. At the same time, it’s a great way to keep the place unique, with décor that doesn’t just fade into the background but engages people’s interest and curiosity – like the suitcases with memoirs,
travelogues and actual souvenirs from around the world! The retro aesthetics blended with pop-art elements ensures the ambience is simultaneously cool and timeless. After all of this evolved, “The Lost Caravan” as a name seemed a natural fit and a good metaphor for what the place represents,” he tells.

The entry wall is lined with antique clocks, most of them seem to have stopped at some point of time, adding to the timeless feel and décor of the space. Other walls have suitcases mounted on them – each carrying a little note taped inside it charting the journeys of Charlie, John, Veronica and the like – filled with articles, knick-knacks, football shoes, stockings, even rope and old pots of cosmetics among other things that one would throw into their suitcase before undertaking a journey. It’s left to the imagination of the observer to decide the course of the journey of each suitcase owner and recreate his or her trip in the mind. All the clocks and the curios in suitcases are actual possessions that have seen their own long journeys – not just props that  have been made to look the part. Bright pops of Andy Warhol-esque art adorn the main walls of the pub giving you a tasteful experience of having travelled back to the ‘50s. The design of the stunning triangular bar at the heart of TLC gives the restaurant space a community feel. The intended fluid connections between each section lets people at the bar interact effortlessly with those sitting at tables, making the journey all the more memorable. The bar is also environment friendly as it is entirely made of recycled doors.

The clocks, the antique props in elegantly crafted frames, the wall of gilded mirrors, all speak of the amount of thought and attention to detail that the design team have provided. “Unique was the USP. The only way to achieve this was through a lot of attention to detail. The art on the walls, the suitcases, the clocks, the restroom doors, even the menu – every element was an opportunity to express a little more of TLC’s personality. In fact, there are even little Easter Eggs hidden in the details for
the truly inquisitive eye to find”, explains Byanna as he walks us through the restobar for a final look around.