Austin’s Bacalar Restaurant Tells a Mayan Story

References to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula are woven throughout the new space

Situated on the edge of Austin, Texas’ Lady Bird Lake, Bacalar emerges as a vibrant neighborhood restaurant from chef Gabe Erales in the historic Rainey Street district.

Designed by Merrill Alley, principal of development and interiors at Urbanspace, in partnership with Urbanspace Design Studio, Bacalar pays homage to the culture of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, paying particular attention to its natural beauty and the rich history of the Maya people.

The two-story, 3,210-square-foot indoor space offers approximately 215 seats and is complemented by two patios that span an additional 2,274 square feet. Despite its size, Alley says the team endeavored for “guests to feel like they are dining at someone’s home. We accomplished this through the use of tactile materials in the furnishings like leather, wood, and slubby woven fabrics, then layered in plants and candlelight and a selection of found objects that make the space feel personal.”

Ancient Maya stone carvings and symbolic imagery serve as the backbone of Bacalar’s branding, and the graphic style is incorporated into the space through various pieces of artwork.

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