Finalist Lilian restaurant on Richmond Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Three Auckland venues have made the shortlist to Australia’s 2020 Eat Drink Design Awards, in two categories.

Newly opened Lilian restaurant and New York Grill, both designed by CTRL Space have made it to the Best Restaurant Design category shortlist, while Commercial Bay’s Harbour Eats, designed by Izzard Design, square up for the Best Retail Design award.

The Eat Drink Design Awards are chosen by a jury of industry leaders from the hospitality and design sectors. This year’s members are Frank Camorra (restaurateur, Movida); Gemima Cody, (restaurant critic and food writer, Good Food ), Iva Foschia ( founder IF Architecture ), Jonathan Richards (co-founder, Richards Stanisch ) and Cassie Hansen, (editor, Artichoke) .

Jury chair Cassie Hansen explained one of the notable design stories that prevailed in this year’s shortlist was the sense of comfort and nostalgia permeating venue design.

“Perhaps it is no coincidence that in a time of such upheaval we have seen designers create spaces that provide familiarity in their appearance and comfort in their feel.

“Many designers appeared to be in search of an air of nostalgia for the interiors they create, with numerous venues showcasing a modern take on traditional spaces. This year’s designers have one foot in the past whilst firmly looking towards the future.

“This year’s awards come at a critical time for the hospitality industry. Like many sectors suffering under lockdown and economic downturn our beloved restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and hotels are under extreme duress.

“It has never been more important to recognise spaces that bring value and joy to everyday life.”

The annual awards recognise excellence and innovation in the design of restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, nightclubs, temporary venues and retail spaces across Australia and New Zealand. The overall winners will be announced on Wednesday November 18. For more information and category finalists, visit

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