Design Focus: Wild Cabaret and Wicked Lounge, Candleriggs, Glasgow

March 4th, 2014 | Posted in: Features

Glasgow has a new entertainment venue which walks on the wildside. Susan Young reports.

The opening of Wild Cabaret and Wicked Lounge in Glasgow’s Merchant City must have been one of the most anticipated events for years. The new venue, at 18 Candleriggs, is in a new building, and covers an extensive area.
It’s not often you get to start from scratch but the people behind Wild Cabaret certainly did. This brand new venue, which houses a large restaurant and cabaret area, a foyer-style bar and the Wicked Lounge bar has a capacity of around 400 which includes 120 covers for dining.
It’s glass-fronted facade stretches the length of the venue – and there are two doors which lead in.
The first door leads you into a reception area with a small bar and black leather cubes and black leather chairs. They surround strategically placed round black and gold tables, which feature the Wild Cabaret logo, which features throughout the venue on glass, menus and on the bar.
As you come in, to the left there is the entrance to the restaurant and cabaret club which rather spectacularly has a mosaic mirrored entrance. Inside …as the name suggests, think South Africa game park meets Art Deco… and you only have to take one look at the massive mural on the wall of the restaurant and cabaret club to see what I mean. This hand-painted mural depicts leopards intertwined with the art deco logo. It just about fills the whole wall. And along this back wall there is a gold banquette, which allows the restaurant to fit a table seating around 16 along the length of it. All the banquettes, seating, furniture and soft furnishings have been supplied by Suite Illusions.
Along the left wall there are large booths which again feature gold upholstery with antique studs. The gold of the upholstery is picked out by the inside of the lights above which are quirky bowler hats with a gold interior. The tables are all dark rosewood accompanied by opulent crushed velvet seating. The tables also feature gold painted rhinoceros’ – hand-painted by Managing Director Kimberley Scott.
Of course – the focal point of the room, if you haven’t been captured by the mural, is the stage which, although not large, has a fair presence due to the lightbulbs that surround it.  The effect is similar to that of a make-up mirror in a stage dressing room.
Says Kimberley, “The venue has been designed specifically for the purpose of bringing together a five-star fine dining experience and a world-class cabaret experience.” She explains, “I like to travel and I’ve been influenced by what I’ve seen. It’s not just deco, and its not just cabaret. I think it’s a modern take on art deco.”
The roof is interspersed with gold curtains which hang about a metre down presumably this is to help with the sound, which obviously in a venue of this size and with cabaret on offer, is important. But the fabric also matches the gold leather-like upholstery.
The Wicked Lounge is situated on the right hand side of the venue, and has its own entrance. It is a huge open space, with a full length bar running the width of the room the top of which is suspended from a plinth. Your attention here is perhaps not the bar but the huge signage above it which leaves you in no doubt that you are in the Wicked Lounge.
Round the walls are large pewter booths, with D-shaped fluted backs and there is a large area with modular seating which consists of some 13 units pieced together, curved around a pillar. The main feature here is a huge semi-circular booth which is made slightly more private by the sheer gold voiles that surround it. This is an area obviously built for large groups of people and there is also plenty of space to be entertainment by musicians, which is the plan. The décor is opulent, but quite minimalist too. It’s certainly not fussy. The seating in the Wicked Lounge is predominantly pewter while in the cabaret area the predominant colour is gold and black, all the colours of the art deco era with the warmth of wild.

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