Barcelona Inspired Design Shines at Raval

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raval jersey city
If you’ve walked on Newark Avenue over the past few months, you most likely have noticed Raval, a new restaurant serving Spanish tapas and cocktails. The tiled benches seen through the window, reminiscent of Gaudi, caught our eye – so we decided to get the story behind the intricate build out.


Raval is owned by RDG, the same group behind Lucky 7 and Satis. Co-owner Geza Gulas was kind enough to give us a tour of the space and provide some interesting tidbits about the two floor build out. For starters, they designed the space themselves with the help of an architect, and it took them about a year to get from the beginning of the renovation to opening the restaurant.

The restaurant is inspired by the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona, which was once known for it’s grittiness, but is now more gentrified – similar to Jersey City. The restaurant’s design incorporates street art, tile, and a dark red/black color scheme, all of which pay homage to Barcelona.

At Raval it’s not just the food that’s high quality – it’s apparent that blood, sweat and tears went into the renovation, and the end product design and decor are both well thought out and constructed. We’ve included some of our favorite elements, as well as the story behind them. Check them out below, and next time you’re at Raval, spend a few minutes taking in the details of the renovation.

These tile benches are the first thing seen when walking into Raval. They are Gaudi inspired, specifically from Park Guell. The base is made from a concrete type material which was moulded to form booths. The mosaic tiles were then each individually cut to create the patterns - they tried breaking them but the edges were too sharp. It was a very labor intensive process!
These tile benches are the first thing seen when walking into Raval. They are Gaudi inspired, specifically from Park Guell. The base is made from a concrete type material which was moulded to form booths. The mosaic tiles were then each individually cut to create the patterns – they tried breaking them but the edges were too sharp. It was a very labor intensive process!
The red and black color scheme was decided on because they are the colors of the Barcelona soccer team.
The red and black color scheme was decided on because they are the colors of the Barcelona soccer team.
jersey city raval lights tile painting
Shou Sugi Ban is an ancient Japanese exterior siding technique that preserves wood by charring it, Raval used this technique in the dark wood seen here.
jersey city raval stairs
Geza enlisted the help of one of his bartenders from Lucky 7 who is also an artist to create Spanish inspired murals down the stairs and on the lower floor of the restaurant.
jersey city raval mirrors and tables
They worked with a lighting designer to decide on light fixtures, and eventually decided on sputnik style hanging lights because they disperse the light well – we agree!
jersey city raval bar with tile
The tile flooring on the bar area is actually 1” thick concrete, and the color goes all the way through. Impressive.
jersey city raval table top upstairs
Burnt wood techniques were used on the table tops to burn in different Spanish emblems and motifs.

Visit Raval today:
136 Newark Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07302
201-209-1099

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