Garage Italia Custom isn’t just a bar, neither a restaurant headed by a Michelin starred Chef, but it’s a creative and cultural hub of 1700 square meters, full with new and emerging projects. An experiential place to live, enjoy and admire the great Italian excellences: engines, design and food.
It is located in piazzale Accursio, in a symbolic place of the city’s post-war renaissance: the Agip service station wanted by Enrico Mattei, founder of the IEN and among the fathers of the Italian economic miracle, conceived by the great architect Mario Bacciocchi in 1952 . The building, realized according to the American streamline style, is characterized by an aerodynamic shape emphasized by the large two-level shelter, placed at the confluence between two roads that lead to the Highway of the Lakes, the first highway in the world.
In the restoration project, the building, which has been left in a state of abandonment for more than twenty years, the prestigious Italian designer and architect Michele De Lucchi has been involved (among other things, Compasso d’Oro as the “dad” of the Tolomeo lamp Artemide) along with star-chef Carlo Cracco, who penned the menu. Lapo Elkann has interpreted in his own, contemporary way the concept coined by his great-grandfather, Gianni Agnelli, founder of the well known Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino: Fiat Terra Mare Cielo. In here the excellence of movement in all the three elements is shown.
Opened in November 2017, the entrance is just under the tip of the shelter: your nose will go immediately up and you’ll admire something that children and adults alike will love. The ceiling was baptized the “car cloud”, an exhibition of more than 1,000 models of all the cars that can be found in the car industry.
On the ground floor there’s the bar, with a “red Garage Italia” (a specially patented and registered shade of color) lacquered counter. The staff wears Sparco racing suits, divided into a blue team for the room, and a red one for the bar. Always on the ground floor there is the corner of the merchandise where you can admire memorabilia signed by great characters of the racing world. The center from which the whole creative process is born is, instead, the “materioteca”: a kind of archive where infinite color palettes are presented for car body paintings, interior designs, car models, but also for other means of transport such as private aircrafts.
Through these details and color shades, the entire history of the car is traced through decades and brands, recreating a unique historical and cultural anthology. The ambitious goal is to revive and recover a tradition of the 1950s with the mechanic that becomes like a tailor’s consultant with unique and customized results. Carlo Borromeo is the creative director of the company and the mind behind this tailor made service.
Garage Italia Custom is first and foremost an experiential place: here you can also try a state-of-the-art Ferrari driver simulator used for real riders. Nothing is left to chance, even inside the elevator where we find a leather seat, like in the old cabins, and the walls are covered with green and blue velvet, the colors of the first Ferrari of the Attorney, a 166 MM model. Further to this, when the doors open you can hear a twelve-cylinder engine’s noise.
Downstairs there are toilets. Yes, we’re also telling you about them because they’re a dream. Here the theme is water and all the toilets are made with details of Riva motorboats, vintage models for ladies, contemporary models for gentlemen, both with the iconic details of mythical and stylish Aquarama.
The restaurant is on the first floor, on the tip of the shelter, surrounded by large windows. The ceiling is a Formula 1 circuit, yes, you have read it well, a track with one-way model cars. In the center a Ferrari 250 GTO surrounded by a counter where you can seat. The seats are made specifically by Cassina with the colors and symbols of the racing world, each equipped with smartphone and PC charger plugs. The lamps that descend from the ceiling have been made with mufflers. On the outside there is a balcony that recalls the bow of a ship: the Riva Privè. The restaurant is headed by Carlo Cracco and is run by the young, thirty-year-old chef, Gabriele Faggionato.
The tachometer-shaped menu is divided into three sections: water, air and earth. The dish were named after the mythical characters of the world of motors, races or engine elements. Paris-Dakar, Millemiglia, Maranello, Cric, Turbine, Ayrton Senna, while special guests are the favorite dishes of some of the Italian icons: the Enzo (Ferrari) tortellini or the Attorney’s risotto.
Finally we come to the Sky: the terrace. A tropical garden with unique furniture created by Unopiù, where to remain hypnotized by a real, customized plane, which overlooks the whole roof. The surprises are not stopping: if you associate the engines with the pollution, here too, we will overwhelm you by revealing that this building is reborn through the rigorous eco-sustainability standards. All paints are Airlite (pollution eaters, that is), for heating geothermal energy and photovoltaic electricity are used.
Garage Italia is a place where you can admire the true toys for boys while enjoying the excellence of Italian cuisine. Go visit Garage Italia Customs for a drink: of course it’s going to be a Milan-Turin.