Miyagawa Angel Parlor / ROOVICE
エンゼル (Angel) was a popular tuna restaurant in Misaki, south end of the Kanagawa Prefecture. It was known and appreciated by the whole community, thanks to its location next to the harbour which provided a daily supply of fresh quality fish and seafood products. It wasn’t a mere spot where to eat it was the gathering place around which the locals of every generation spent their time and created the foundations for the village to build its identity. Unfortunately, though, the restaurant closed several years ago, leaving a void in the town that was seeking a replacement.
The resulting context was very similar to another renovation project completed by Roovice in the nearby town of Miura; in that case, a bagel shop was refurbished to become the social space from where the rural community could start its development. That project is called Miyagawa Bagel and was taken as the main reference for Angel’s rebirth. Hence, the new Miyagawa Angel Parlor was established in 2020, with a slightly modified name and a new program: from a tuna restaurant, it turned into a coffee shop, wanting to bring attention to the collectivity aspect.
While inheriting the name, the location and the history of the former restaurant, the new Angel also shared part of the interiors: the disposition remained pretty much the same, since the design team wanted to keep the ambiance of the predecessor. A toilet has been added in the corner behind the kitchen, while a storage room on the south side replaced the access to the back alley. The dividers once used to separate each table have been removed, in favor of an open continuous space. Right past the entrance door, two benches are placed symmetrically, respectively inside and outside of the window, with the former one acting more as a shelf than a seat. The pavement surface is covered with a red moquette meant to highlight the wooden textures of the interiors.
The kitchen counter and the serving tables are still the original ones in their core and dimensions, but their top is now covered with a white 10cm tile: the same one used for the countertop of the Miyagawa Bagel shop. This choice, besides providing an affordable and neat looking, wanted to recall the “sister project” located a few miles away that shares the same history and social aim.
A significant role in the relationship between the two works is played by the wide opening on the street facade. This allows the inside view from the public passage and, as the bagel shop in Miura does, at night it glows like a lantern that emerges from the neighborhood. This wants to attract the attention of the people as well as enlighten the surrounding.