FABIANE'S | Restaurant + Bakery

FABIANE'S Restaurant + Bakery
Scope: Interior design/ architecture, rebranding & placemaking
Agency: dustin malstrom
Client: Fabiane's
Location: 142 North 5th Street (corner of Bedford) Brooklyn, NY
Year: 2019

Press release: 

Williamsburg, Brooklyn—On July 20, Fabiane’s will reopen its doors following a three-month-long renovation with an expanded and enhanced full-service dining experience. Founded in 2001 by Fabiane Lima, the revamped space includes a newly commissioned mural by internationally celebrated artist Cris Dam and an inventive menu by critically acclaimed Chef Zod Arifai

Fabiane’s opened on the lively streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 2001, long before the neighborhood became an example of one of the most rapidly gentrifying areas of New York City. Despite initial protests from local inhabitants, Fabiane’s won the hearts of the people in the neighborhood and beyond with its open-minded concept of a laid back café that fuses French cuisine with American classics, pastries, and delicious desserts. It has since become a staple of the burgeoning art and food scene in Williamsburg and one of the few spots to endure the area’s transformation over the past two decades. In keeping with the cultural energy of the Bedford strip, and with her ever-innovative spirit, Lima partnered with entrepreneur Manny Lopez in 2019 to bring a revitalized experience to new and old customers alike with a fine dining menu of new American delights and a fully stocked bar, in tune with the festive spirit of Williamsburg.

For the new Fabiane’s, artist Cris Dam has been commissioned to create an innovative “light” mural, transmuting the space into an environment-as-installation. Dam’s light series are among his most radical new works that incorporate incandescent light bulbs into oil paintings, elevating the bulb from its historical place as a subject matter into a medium and integrating light in ways that have yet to be explored by compositional painters. By painting with both oil and light, he juxtaposes the tangible with the intangible—and in the space of Fabiane’s, creates a transformative experience for customers. The commission of Dam’s light piece symbolically bridges the gap between old Williamsburg and new: Dam was a founding partner of Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery, one of Williamsburg’s earliest art spaces that propelled the neighborhood into an international art mecca. 

The interior and overall experience of Fabiane’s has been envisioned anew under the auspices of Dustin Malstrom. Every detail, from the lighting down to the menu, has been designed in a thoughtful and holistic manner. Inspired by Dam’s mural, Malstrom incorporated details from the artwork into the overall branding package, creating a cohesive vision that can be found in every piece of printed and digital collateral. 


Before realizing her passion as a hands-on creative chef, Brazilian native Fabiane (pronounced Fa-bee-anee) Lima came to the US as a journalist for Brazilian Television. Her lifelong affinity for French culture and cuisine inspired her to attend the French Culinary Institute in New York City, from which she successfully graduated in 1995. After this formative experience becoming a culinary chef, she worked at numerous French restaurants in the city for several years. Among them was the famous Le Cirque, known for its exquisite menu and atmosphere, which attracted celebrity guests from all over the world. Around the same time, Fabiane started catering for private and corporate clients and became a chocolate maker with her own production facilities in Brooklyn, and in 2001, she founded Fabiane’s. More information can be found here: www.fabianes.com

In 1998, artist Cris Dam cofounded Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery and became an original member of WGA (Williamsburg Gallery Association) and a founder of WAC (Williamsburg Art Central), which organized the first neighborhood Open Studio event. Dam also spearheaded contemporary Williamsburg’s earliest international city exchange with Madrid. In 2009, Dam, Stuhltrager expanded to Berlin, opening a gallery and six-month project space that transformed into The WYE. Dam has since traveled internationally for commissions and shows in Germany, Istanbul, and Russia. After relocating his studio to Bridgeport’s Arcade Mall in 2017, he has been quick to become an esteemed figure in the Fairfield County art community. Commissioned murals can be found in Brooklyn, NY (Fabiane’s); Stamford, CT (Lorca Coffee Shop); Jacksonville, FL (Florida Life Building); and Berlin, Germany (Kunsthalle Bethanian/Ökozentrum, and Lagari). More information can be found here: www.crisdam.com

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Manny Lopez founded MADD Coffee in 2017. For the past two years, he has been on the search to open a coffee shop that would serve as the hub for MADD’s packaging and shipping as well as to build customer confidence and branding. In a twist of fate, he learned of Fabiane Lima’s desire for a partner to run the financial aspect of her business. With his entrepreneurial spirit, Lopez has brought a renewed vision to Fabiane’s as a full-service restaurant geared toward casual fine dining, inviting Zod Arifai to his team to consult on the menu. What started as desire to open a coffee shop developed into something bigger than he could ever have been imagined, and he remains very excited for what the future holds for Fabiane’s. 

In 2007, Dustin Malstrom founded reMADE, a Brooklyn based multidisciplinary design and production studio with a focus on art, architecture, and experiential design. This unique offering of services came about after Malstrom completed his first restaurant project, essentially working as a storyteller to create a holistic and cohesive experience. Over the last twelve years, Malstrom has developed a wide range of global projects for amazing clients, including artists James Turrell and Julian Schnabel, brands such as Netflix, S&P Global, Audi, Skype, Bacardi, and Food Network, along with a number of hospitality and residential architecture projects. As of 2013, the studio operates under dustin malstrom. More information can be found here: http://dustinmalstrom.com