Zany & Industrial Bar: The Depo

Depo © Florian_Groehn_via_DesignLoversBlog

Depo in the West End, Brisbane, is a restaurant, bar, cafe, gallery and popup store in one with a distinctly hip, raw and zany vibe.  A taxidermy sable antelope stands at the entry, oversized gold sequin discs cover an entire wall, there is a vintage leather chesterfield sofa with camouflage print cushions and unusual curiosities lining the walls. Did we mention the pommel horse in the dining area? Whether this is simply a decorative object or something to work off those extra calories with – we are not entirely sure!

The design is the work of Mastermind/Designer Alexander Lotersztain of design firm Derlot, also Designer and Art Director of the iconic Limes ‘Design Hotel’ and the new Alfred and Constance gastro pub. He said  “We want to show people that a venue can be more than just a café or a restaurant. We want it to be somewhere people can come together and experience a sense of possibility”.  True to Depo’s collaborative approach, the space plays host to events, functions and art shows and collaborations with local, interstate and international creatives.

The venue reflects Lotersztain’s signature style of eclectic and raw interiors with a strong use of recycled and repurposed furniture. Ever so conveniently located above Depo is Lotersztain’s design studio Derlot, which in addition to rolling out clever interior design projects, also designs a range of furniture ‘Derlot Editions’ (much of which gets tested out in their interior design projects).

Derlot have been designing some noteworthy commercial interiors (mostly bars & restaurants) throughout Brisbane and several of them (including Depo) were recently nominated for the 2014 Eat, Drink, Design Awards in Australia.


The shiny black subway tiled exterior reveals a concrete interior with a mix of quirky vintage and new furniture oozing with character.


The interior is a blend of grungy, hip and relaxed. If the hit TV show ‘Friends’ was reinvented today and about a group of upcoming musicians or artists, I have no doubt Depo would be the perfect set.


Lotersztain has a knack of making his interiors look effortless, although his attention of detail is not lost on us. This carefully curated interior takes you on a visual journey. Like opening up a page of an old book, it is filled with interesting and unique pieces that he has sourced from around the globe and each accessory or piece of furniture has a story to tell.


Natural materials like steel, cane, leather, denim, and raw hides dominate the space. Traditional artwork is replaced with bicycles, clogs and water buffalo heads.  Photo credit: Jill Brandenburg – Design Lovers Blog


Vintage curiosities line up every shelf.

DEPO (c) FLORIAN GROEHN-016_via_DesignLoversBlog


Large gold circular sequins cover the wall behind the bar offering movement, texture and a touch of disco to this space, whilst the large water buffalo head takes stage in the dining area. Photo credit: Jill Brandenburg – Design Lovers Blog

DEPO (c) FLORIAN GROEHN-58-via_DesignLoversBlog

This venue draws in the community who meet for coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner (to enjoy the seasonal daily European inspired menu created by Chef and project partner Erik Van Genderen) and others who simply like to relax with a cocktail or glass of wine and listen to the DJ’s that play every Friday night. It is easy to lose track of time here!


For more information visit The Depo or design firm Derlot

Photo credit: Florian Groehn (unless otherwise noted)


Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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