Listed as one of the hottest new restaurants all over India by NDTV Food, Mineority is all that Pune can talk about lately. What has caught the entire city’s attention is their unique mining theme and their interiors. While one would have expected dark or dingy interiors, given the theme, they are instead greeted with beautiful bright colours. Though a pleasant surprise, this made us as curious as you, and we wanted to know why. We shamelessly tracked down the interior designer of Mineority, Risha D’souza, and proceeded to bombard her with questions.
First things first, why a mining theme?
Saby is from Asansol, a coal miner’s town on the west Bengal-Bihar border. The mining culture is a very integral part of his childhood, so he wanted to pay tribute to the miners. That is the entire inspiration behind the theme. If you notice the façade; it depicts the entire story of the small town.
We asked the question we had been itching to; why the colourful interiors for a mining theme?
It was never meant to look like a mine, Risha explains. The inspiration is an entire town and mining is a part of that. The idea was to create a space for the miners, where they could take their wives after a hard day of work. It was definitely challenging, creating a colourful space for a mining theme. They’re not just any colours though; everything on the site has a meaning, including the colours. Nothing is done without a vision.
When she mentioned that, we obviously had to know the story behind everything
The prominent yellow is for the canary bird. Back in the day the miners used to blast mines with methane. They would carry a canary bird ahead of them, so that it would catch the effects of the methane blast first. I wanted to give this bird the utmost respect. Another important colour is red, for the Hibiscus Flower, which is Saby’s favourite.
How have you incorporated the mining elements in the theme?
The downstairs lighting is a little darker as compared to the upstairs, connected by a tunnel-like staircase. This is to give people a feel of coming up and out of a mine. Besides this, mining elements are subtle, keeping in mind that this is a place for the miner’s wife.
The following piece of artwork is a favourite by many. The girl made of charcoal holding a hibiscus depicts that this is a story about the miner’s wife.
All of the artwork made on the site is done by a charcoal artist. We’ve used noticeable mining elements like helmets for lights at the bar, one of the walls behind the bar made of mining tools, and the train carrying charcoal on the bar counter.
There are a lot of subtle ones too. For example, for the partition of the stage we’ve used framed fences. The boxes hanging in the lower section by pulleys depict the lifts in the mine. We’ve used a lot of pulleys in general, for the lights and the flower pots.
How did you do all of this?
I’ve spent days raiding the markets and city for things we could use, like spare wheels and cages. The furniture was ordered especially from Rajasthan but the décor is all custom-made, including all of the lights. My main focus was on the lighting since it’s my niche! In fact, a lot of the lighting was changed after the soft launch, because you can’t tell how the place really looks until there’s people in it.
The main challenge was before the interiors though. The entire site was flooded when I had taken on the project, and took around 40 days just for waterproofing. Then came the electrical work, the plumbing and painting before the décor. This left me with a very tight schedule since we started mid-July and finished the entire project by the end of September. I remember, the flooring was done in one day and all of it was redone the next day because it was the wrong colour! It wasn’t an easy project, but Saby trusted me, which was my motivating factor, and people have loved the place.
You can get in touch with Risha Dsouza on firstname.lastname@example.org