Hello Sunshine, Banff, AB

Frank Architecture + Design, and Little Giant Studio, Calgary

Photography by Chris Amat 

Located in Banff National Park, Hello Sunshine is a retro-inspired Japanese BBQ, sushi joint and karaoke bar. Described by the design team as “Japanese psychedelia meets Spaghetti Western, meets mountain cabin,” its bold, playful aesthetic derives from Tadanori Yokoo, a Japanese graphic designer, illustrator, printmaker and painter whose style of psychedelia and pastiche is influential enough to have won his work a berth in that design pantheon, New York’s Museum of Modern Art. In the designer’s scenario, Yokoo ventured out to the Canadian Rockies, sequestered in a cabin and devised Hello Sunshine. In its sit-down restaurant, cedar shakes adorn the knotty-grained wall panelling (for that rustic, outdoorsy mountain look). The open concept kitchen and bar at the back yield attention to two focal points: the indoor fire pits. Above them hover oversize tubular smoke hoods, their chunkiness emphasized by the cladding of burgundy ceramic tiles (for that early-Eighties look). The space planning intentionally feels meandering. Upon entering, the floor plan slowly reveals itself as one moves past the main seating area to explore the two private karaoke rooms ornamented with vintage hi-fi equipment and Lava lamps and, further along in the eatery, a cozy six-seat bar serving Japanese whisky and cocktails.