Design Focus: Enzo, Edinburgh

September 10th, 2014 | Posted in: Features,Restaurant News

Located in the burgeoning Quartermile area of Edinburgh, which lies south of The Royal Mile, Enzo is a multi-faceted venue that aims to bring a touch of Italian style to the hospitality, retail and residential development. The new bar and restaurant is owned by Michele Civiera, Barrie Brown and Robert Reid, who are keen to stress the venue’s versatility, and have positioned Enzo as offering something different for the locality’s diverse population of office workers, students and tourists.
Although Enzo only opened at the beginning of August, chances are that you may have heard of it already. Four months ago the style bar and Italian restaurant began a social media campaign that featured people from all over the world posing with the Enzo monograph in front of famous landmarks and destinations. Michele told me, “Our agenda was that by the time we opened everyone in Edinburgh would know what the Quartermile was, who we were and what we did.”
The three men each live in the Quartermile area, and used to pass the vacant site that would become Enzo every day. Eventually they made their move. Says Michele, “The project took 18 months from the lease being secured to opening day. We were looking to recreate the spirit of a 90s style bar but with an Italian flavour and sense of purpose.”
The bar’s main entrance is on Lister Square, overlooked by the surrounding residential and commercial properties that comprise the Quartermile. The building is essentially a glass cube, and the symmetry of the exterior is maintained throughout Enzo’s design. Speaking of the challenges that his company faced when conceiving of Enzo’s interior design, Roddy McLean of Form Design says, “The original brief was to create a high-end, quality restaurant that provides something that hadn’t been done before. It was just a space, a large, double-sided cube, and the challenge was trying to fit a bar and restaurant into it while maximising the volume of the room.” The main contractor for the property conversion was Craig Murie’s SJS Property Services.
The signage above the front door is minimalist, a feint print of the Enzo name and logo. Michele told me that they had sought to feature the Enzo monogram as much as possible in the venue’s layout, as a means of solidifying the brand. There are two outdoor seating areas for al fresco dining. The first, by the entrance way, features a series of black, square tables with black and white seats alongside some raised round tables and red and black bar stools. The second sits a few feet away in the middle of the square, and is a real sun-trap. The same square tables and black and white chairs sit upon a stretch of artificial grass, The area is surrounded by large plant features, matching the small plant pots that adorn each table.
The entrance leads you straight into the bar area, a stylish, comfortable environment. The space is divided into two halves by the staircase to the restaurant, and in keeping with the theme of symmetry and angles, both halves of the bar replicate each other. Each has an identical cocktail lounge, featuring aqua-blue banquettes and walnut wood panelling. LED cube lights hang above the tables, which also double as foot stools, and grey, acoustic foam panels have been arranged in a rectangular fashion above the seating.
Two thin, black raised tables sit directly opposite the bar, lined by hand-made, monarch orange, leather bar stools, which like all of the seating in Enzo were imported directly from Italy. The walnut bar top stretches the length of the room, with eight of the aforementioned bar stools arranged in mirrored, angled rows of four at either end. An LED wine rack imported from Canada is the focal point of the back bar, and the numerous spirits are housed in a walnut, cubed gantry.
The staircase that leads up to the restaurant dominates the ground floor. The adjacent pillar has the Enzo monogram patterned throughout, with fitted reflective lights adding character and illumination to the monolithic structure.
The 60 cover restaurant greats you at the top of the stairs, a modern, minimalist space that overlooks the Lister Square courtyard. Each of the walnut tables are north-facing towards the sunset, maximising one of the advantages of being housed in a glass building. The row of tables that line the windowed wall are faced by yellow, leather banquette seating encased in a walnut, wooden border. The table settings continue the angular structure of the room. Says Michele, “Everything from the cutlery to the wine glasses were chosen to replicate the straight angles. We wanted the restaurant to be quite stylised and contemporary, which is juxtaposed with the authentic Italian food offering.”
A row of three, black, spherical lampshades hang above the banquette; the rest of the room is lit by spot-lighting, and another LED wine rack adds its own particular form of illumination. Behind the banquette is the open kitchen; when I visited the strains of Italian chefs working away were clearly audible, lending further authenticity to the Enzo experience. Michele had made a point of telling me that everything in Enzo felt quality to touch, and the walls at the far end of the restaurant are no exception, being as they are papered in suede.
Enzo is a very sharp, modern and stylised venue that’s accentuated by the site’s unique, glass cube space. Although it had only been open for a week when I visited Michele was extremely pleased with how trade was going, and he told me that going forward the plan was to emphasise Enzo’s flexibility. He said, “Our main focus is to turn it into a London city bar midweek for the surrounding residents and businessmen, then a destination venue at the weekend. We’re open from 8am to 1am seven days a week, we’re ticking as many boxes as possible and stressing the venue’s versatility.” Given Enzo’s locality and stylishness, they won’t have many problems attracting people to the site.


Design feature: La Vita Spuntini

Thu 15th November 2018

Walk into the La Vita Group's new £800k Glasgow restaurant, La Vita Spuntini Gordon Street, and what looks like a cherry blossom tree recre... Read more.

Swede Talking: Interview with Janne Johansson

Thu 15th November 2018

Janne Johansson has been a Gulf war hostage, slept out under the stars in Glasgow’s George Square and worked in more countries than I’ve... Read more.

Islay’s Caol Ila Distillery submits plans to upgrade visit centre

Thu 15th November 2018

Plans to transform the visitor experience at Caol Ila Distillery on Islay have been submitted to Argyll & Bute Council.... Read more.

Michelin star chef Felice Sgarra to cook at Glasgow restaurant for ‘World Week of Italian Cuisine’

Wed 14th November 2018

Michelin star chef, Felice Sgarra, will be resident at Eusebi Deli on Glasgow's Park Road on Wednesday 21st November as part of ‘World W... Read more.

Scots distillery is first UK company to bag gold at Absinthe Festival in France

Wed 14th November 2018

Loch Ness Spirits came home with the gold medal at the Absinthiades Festival in Pontarlier for its Absinthe Blanche. The Absinthe is distill... Read more.

PRIZE HAUL FOR ORKNEY BREWERY AT SIBA INDEPENDENT BEER AWARDS

Thu 8th November 2018

The Orkney Brewery has taken home no less than six prizes, including three golds, from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Scotland In... Read more.

Greene King’s Rooney Anand to step down as chief executive

Wed 7th November 2018

Rooney Anand has advised the Greene King Board - parent company of Belhaven - that he'll step down from the role of chief executive at the e... Read more.

DIAGEO ANNOUNCES SENIOR LEADERSHIP CHANGES IN GB AND GLOBAL TRAVEL BUSINESSES

Mon 5th November 2018

Diageo Plc has announced changes to its senior leadership in its GB and Global Travel businesses.... Read more.

Edinburgh city council’s A board ban comes into force

Mon 5th November 2018

A citywide ban of on-street a boards has come into force in Edinburgh. It means that no A boards or other advertising structures including u... Read more.

Design Focus: Cul Cuil

Thu 1st November 2018

Cuil, meaning ‘back court’ in Gaelic’, is the name of a new bar from owners Church Yard Glasgow Ltd, and it’s like it’s been exorc... Read more.

DIAGEO GLASGOW STUDENTS GRADUATE FROM LEARNING FOR LIFE TRAINING PROGRAMME

Thu 1st November 2018

A group of unemployed people from Glasgow have graduated from Diageo’s award-winning ‘Learning for Life’ training programme, with more... Read more.

DRAM Halloween Cocktail Special – The Gorilla s’mores with Jack Daniel’s Fire made at Treacle

Wed 31st October 2018

Happy Halloween! For our final Halloween Cocktail special, Emma ventured out to Treacle Bar & Kitchen in Edinburgh where the charming Andy... Read more.

New Speyside distillery named ‘building of the year’

Wed 31st October 2018

The £140million Macallan distillery on Speyside has been commended as the 'building of the year' at the Institute of Civil Engineers’ S... Read more.

Wetherspoon to add 200 capacity to Galashiels pub

Wed 31st October 2018

JD Wetherspoon is to invest £750,000 in The Hunters Hall, in High Street,  Galashiels  to increase capacity by 50%.... Read more.

DRAM Halloween Cocktail Special – The Bloody Maria with Mezcal Union Tequila made at Topolabamba

Tue 30th October 2018

Trick or treat? Emma headed out to Topolabamba and found herself a wee treat with The Bloody Maria. You may know her sister, The Bloody Mary... Read more.

DRAM Halloween Cocktail Special – The Rebel Hell with Rebel Yell Bourbon made at Van Winkle

Tue 30th October 2018

Trick or treat? Our girl Emma headed out to Van Winkle in Glasgow and found herself another wee treat of a cocktail. The Rebel Hell. thanks ... Read more.

Not a ‘good news’ budget for hospitality industry

Tue 30th October 2018

The Scottish hospitality industry should be feeling put out by this year's inhospitable budget.... Read more.

DRAM Halloween Cocktail Special – The Candy Skull with Bacardi Blanca made at Metropolitan

Tue 30th October 2018

Trick or treat? Our girl Emma headed out to the Metropolitan Cocktail Bar & Restaurant in Glasgow and found herself a wee treat of a cockt... Read more.

Fire & Cane – Glenfiddich’s latest single malt – captures the spirit of experimentation

Fri 26th October 2018

Glenfiddich introduced its fourth concept in its Experimental series: Fire & Cane,  to the Scottish bar industry on Wednesday (24th Oct... Read more.

UK RESTAURANT INDUSTRY TO CALL ON GOVERNMENT TO REVIEW BUSINESS RATES

Thu 25th October 2018

David Moore,  who has owned Michelin-star restaurant Pied à Terre for 27 years, is spearheading a campaign for the Chancellor of the Exche... Read more.