After 50+ years in the business, Mister Steer — Montreal’s oldest and perhaps best-loved burger joint — was in need of an update (the last having taken place in 1988). The challenge was to add modernity to the mix, while retaining the iconic burger joint’s familiar and nostalgic appeal. We kept the layout traditional and crisply-organized, and focused in adding new interest to the space by using a range of high-impact materials to layer pattern and texture throughout the space. These are unexpectedly ornate: there are beautiful Bardelli tiles designed by Marcel Wanders, resembling a patchwork quilt, plus Paul Smith’s detailed textiles for Maharam, and elegant Artek lighting fixtures. These combine to add a surprising richness to the space. Materials like these are combined with more typical diner-style combination of timber panels, monochrome floor tiles and red leatherette banquettes. It all adds up to a formula guaranteed not to alienate Mister Steer’s loyal customers — many of whom have been coming here since childhood — while capable of attracting a new generation of design-savvy clients. Attention to detail creates a seamless effect — We also updated the eatery’s entire brand, including the website, packaging and signage, right down to the condiment trays and uniforms. The result is retro yet fresh — just right for a city institution dating back to 1958, but still very much alive and kicking.