Blackjack BBQ was looking to expand beyond its original Leslieville location, but to translate the rugged, rock and roll, bar-BQ flavour of the original Blackjack to a more shopified Square One Food District location would require some finesse. Enter Jump.
The folks at Blackjack like to keep things simple…so we obliged. They believe in getting out what you put in, and so we invested in defining the Blackjack brand so that we could clearly articulate what was important. Old records, vintage décor and eye-popping modern graphical representations of old-fashioned artifacts bring an energy representative of a bygone era.
Merging moonshine, rock ‘n roll, and southern BBQ, Blackjack is dark, gritty, and totally unfiltered. Materials are rustic and salvaged locally – neon signage, old picture tube televisions, and classic speakers and amplifiers cranking out vintage Angus, Mick, and the King provide the perfect backdrop for saucy, shredded, and fall-off-the-bone meats.
Natural rough-hewn woods and aged corrugated panels mesh with painted black brick and metal diner-style seating to create a rugged, rustic feel in the interior. Other industrial features like the riveted metal trim work and weathered wood facing on the bar – as well as the rough concrete column – add voice to the brand. On the functional side, the hostess stand is on wheels, allowing it to roll back into the space after close, while a portable wood and steel reinforcing rod divider defines the dining area and separates it from the busy hallway outside.
A source of pride for our design team, the finished restaurant bears such close resemblance to the design that even we have a hard time telling the photos from the renderings.
A combination of Edison string lighting and neon bar lights illuminate the seating area, while drop lighting hangs over the finished wood bar top. Glazed windows separate the dining area from the busy kitchen, where bright back lighting throws lively shadows that offer diners an indication of the activity in behind.
Directional lighting brings both the painted brick mural on the back wall as well as the crate and black industrial pipe shelving into focus behind the bar. Pallets affixed to the ceiling contribute to the industrial feel, and offer some delineation of the high table seating in the rear of the space.
Blackjack opened in Square One in April 2019, and almost immediately was a success. The rustic “bar” feeling of the space had customers asking for it to remain open long beyond traditional shopping mall restaurant hours – a compliment to the authenticity and adherence to the original brand in this suburban execution. So kick back, roll up your sleeves, put an old record on, and leave the cutlery in the pantry…cuz that’s exactly how they do things at Blackjack BBQ.