Today I am invoking Rule 32, Section C, Paragraph 7 of the Brand New Selection Criteria Guidelines whereby it sort of states that if a project is small or “not mainstream at all” it must have “a very compelling design story.” Located in Lima, Peru, and launched this year, Don Belisario is a restaurant devoted to rotisserie chicken, a popular familial meal in Peru. (And other parts of the world as well; perhaps a lonely meal for a really hungry human being). Designed by local firm and 2011 Brand New Conference fan-favorite, Infinito, the identity for Don Belisario revolves around the eponymous, yet clearly fictitious, hacendado — the Spanish word for the boss, el jefe, of an hacienda, itself the Spanish word for plantation — and patriarch, paying homage to this wonderful food group and its source.
As you can see there isn’t much to say. The identity cock-a-doodle-doos for itself. The main reason it does is the strong, clever idea behind it and the story it’s telling by juxtaposing the image of the trailblazing, stoic, financially successful hacendados, with their thick mustaches, furrowed eyebrows, and pocket watches with a very serious rooster. Rendered in the style of vintage woodcuts, Don Belisario and his numerous family preside over all the meals at the restaurant, with a large genealogy tree and family portraits on the wall that are both humorous and graphically hellraising. The typography is a contemporary interpretation of what we think of today as colonial-era lettering and looks as if it will peel off the wall at any second. Overall, the restaurant feels fun, welcoming, and like a place where you don’t mind eating the great great great great grandchildren of the Belisario family.