Design Focus: Chelsea Market

January 5th, 2017 | Posted in: Editors' Picks,Features

By Laura Smith

Chelsea Market has brought a distinctive touch of elegance and warmth to the bustling Finnieston strip on Argyle Street in Glasgow.

The new bar and restaurant from Glasgow entrepreneurs Lawrence McManus and Simon Green, the duo behind Epicures, Nick’s in the West End and Old Salty’s, opened last month in the former Boardwise sports gear shop.

Mark Brunjes of CM Design, who previously worked with Lawrence and Simon on Epicures, led the project as the main designer and collaborated with Ranald MacColl. The resulting three-month refurbishment has created a stylish, open space that exudes warmth, comfort and class.

Chelsea Market takes its name from the iconic New York city tourist attraction of the same name; an enclosed urban food court/office space located in a former biscuit factory in the Chelsea area of Manhattan.

For Lawrence and Simon, it was important to bring something a little bit different to Finnieston. Mark Brunjes said the larger size of the building, compared to many other premises nearby, greatly influenced the design.

Mark said, “We wanted to do something completely different from other places in Finnieston, as premises here are all starting to look the same. We have a big, square space, very open plan with a high ceiling which perfectly suited the style of a traditional salon. In the 17th century, a salon was a large room used for gatherings and parties, and we used that as a starting point. We could have put in a mezzanine but keeping that sense of space was important.”

The high ceiling meant CM Design could introduce plenty of high windows. Combined with Chelsea Market’s corner location, these offer a magnificent view of the Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church opposite and also bring in plenty of light, which bounces off white walls and a multitude of glass antique mirrored panels used within.

Stepping inside the open-plan venue, the first noticeable feature is a large oak-topped bar that takes pride of place, back and centre. It boasts a magnificent, stand alone gantry made of wood and glass, with all the specialist hardwood and mouldings used for the bar and gantry supplied by Prestige Timber.

Mark said, “We wanted the bar and gantry to have a real wow factor so there’s a lot of detail on the bar front. We had glazed black and yellow bricks handmade and have them curved at the corners which is quite a feature, as are the bricks encased in timber panelling at the front.”

In the middle of the room there’s a row of four oak-topped tables with slatted bench seating and a dividing wood partition on the side closest to the bar. The reclaimed benches have their original cast iron feet and were sourced from another refit Mark was working on at the time. They are topped with quilted red leather wraps for added comfort. The floor section of this dining area is made of 1,200 black, white and grey square tiles displayed in a grid pattern.

Along the left-hand wall runs four comfortable, slightly raised booths encased in aged crackled white wood. Four more tables, with banquette seating on one side and chunky wooden chairs on the other, line the street-facing wall. The right-hand wall is home to seven tables of two that can be pushed together to accommodate large parties.

Chelsea Market’s decorative ceiling is also a magnificent design feature. It is created entirely from reclaimed pitched pine split into five different sections, each with its own design. The pine has been painstakingly treated with a combination of stains and beeswax in varying tones for an antique feel. For the floors, engineered wood flooring in real wood timber veneer on plywood has been stained in a grey tone and is supplied by Murray Timber Products.

Faded grandeur

Mark added, “We wanted to create a sort of faded grandeur. We weren’t trying to make it too elegant or opulent, rather comfortable and lived in. We invited Ranald MacColl to collaborate because his attention to detail is very good. We used his artistic skills for the finishes and distressing the mirrors and materials to create that idea of faded grandeur.”

This ‘faded grandeur’ is reflected in different design elements, from the custom-made, opaque old school, pendant style hanging lights to bronze columns along the bar that are topped with a rust paint effect, and the distressed effect used on some furniture.

Ranald MacColl added, “At one point Lawrence and Simon said we were getting a bit too smart and elegant for the area so we had to pare it back with certain elements. That’s why we opted to go for the old school shade style over chandeliers because it’s a bit more down to earth and still gives that nice ambient lighting.”

The banquette sections also have a hint of Art Nouveau, seen in the upholstery by Lecs Upholstery that features intricate floral William Morris prints. On several comfortable booths, the designers used white and black crackle glaze paint for a vintage feel. This is paired with crackling black leather upholstery, again by Lecs Upholstery, which becomes more cracked and ‘aged’ as they are sat in, resulting in a lived-in look.

Dotted around the walls are a number of framed black and white photos by surrealist artist Man Ray, whose work was popular in the 1930s. On the left-hand wall, original Victorian brickwork is showcased behind four 8ft tall glass panels, with the bricks back-lit within dark wooden frames and hidden by squares of antique mirror at the bottom. These flank a huge mirror feature made of more antique mirror sections and glazed glass panels in bronze and gold, set in steel framework with the same brickwork visible here and there.

Mark added, “The style of the interior is pretty traditional but we time travelled through a lot of different centuries and styles. It’s quite eclectic and I think that gives it a freshness and uniqueness. Hopefully that will make it stand out.”

The following two tabs change content below.
Laura Smith

Laura Smith

Journalist at DRAM Magazine
Laura Smith writes across our flagship publications, including DRAM and The Wee Dram. Dedicated to her craft, Laura took part in the world's first whisky diploma crash course as research for The Wee Dram – and the whisky novice very nearly passed too! Laura has previously worked as an online journalist for STV and Glasgow-based charity INSP.


Applebank Inn appoints Gavin as GM

Fri 24th March 2017

Roslyn Gavin has been appointed General Manager of The Applebank Inn, following its move under the Manorview Group’s ownership. Havin... Read more.

Diageo launches DRINKiQ to inform consumers

Fri 24th March 2017

Diageo has launched a new online tool aimed at both consumers and the industry to provide consumers with information about the alcohol they ... Read more.

Moderate drinking has ‘benefits’, new study finds

Fri 24th March 2017

A new study has shown that drinking within the 14 units of alcohol a week can actually cut the risk of suffering a heart attack, angina or h... Read more.

Jack Back Beer wins Gold for Stewart Brewing

Tue 21st March 2017

Scottish craft brewer, Stewart Brewing, is celebrating the after its Jack Back beer earned a Gold Award at the Society of Independent Brewer... Read more.

Buzzworks present staff with £10K worth of gift cards

Tue 21st March 2017

Buzzworks Holdings lived up to its reputation as one of the best companies in the country to work for when it presented £10,000 worth of gi... Read more.

Labour MSP Neil Bibby lodges draft proposal for tied pub tenants

Tue 14th March 2017

Labour MSP Neil Bibby has lodged a draft proposal  in Holyrood backed by the  Scottish Licensed Trade Association, the Campaign for Real A... Read more.

Whyte & Mackay partner with The British & Irish Lions

Tue 14th March 2017

  Whyte & Mackay has announced it is partnering with The British & Irish Lions rugby team. It is the brands biggest ever intern... Read more.

Scottish craft brewery to open doors for beer festival

Mon 13th March 2017

Scottish craft brewer, Stewart Brewing, has announced the return of its annual Edinburgh Beer Festival at its Loanhead brewery on Saturday 1... Read more.

Third of Brits admit to cutting down on alcohol

Mon 13th March 2017

Stocking a wider range of low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks could be a smart move for licensees as new research finds as many as a third o... Read more.

Glen Scotia offers dinner and dram with Charles MacLean

Fri 10th March 2017

Glen Scotia distillery is offering Scotch enthusiasts the chance to enjoy dinner and a dram with world famous whisky writer Charles MacLean ... Read more.

Greene King builds web support for pubs

Fri 10th March 2017

Greene King is helping tenanted and leased pubs build and maintain their own websites to drive sales.... Read more.

The Smokin’ Fox makes its den in Glasgow

Thu 9th March 2017

Signature Pubs is transforming The Hope on Waterloo Street in Glasgow into new “Pub and Scullery” The Smokin' Fox, due to open mid-March... Read more.

Industry offers strong response to Budget

Wed 8th March 2017

Drinks firms have hit back at the UK Government after the chancellor Phillip Hammond revealed an increased duty on beer, cider, wine and spi... Read more.

GMs making their mark: Lynda McGaw, The Parkville Hotel, Blantyre

Tue 7th March 2017

Ahead of International Women’s Day, we celebrate some of Scotland’s inspirational female GMs including Lynda McGaw of The Parkville Hote... Read more.

GMs making their mark: Beth Harding, Montpeliers, Edinburgh

Mon 6th March 2017

Ahead of International Women’s Day, we celebrate some of Scotland’s inspirational female GMs including Beth Harding of Montpeliers in Ed... Read more.

Heineken launches new artisanal ciders

Mon 6th March 2017

Heineken is moving into the emerging craft cider market with the launch of two new artisanal apple ciders under the Bulmers brand.... Read more.

JD Wetherspoon pubs to display calorie content of drinks

Mon 6th March 2017

JD Wetherspoon is to display the calorie count for all drinks served in its pubs across Scotland and the rest of the UK from Wednesday, 8 Ma... Read more.

GMs making their mark: Therese Grethe, Waxy O’Connor’s, Glasgow

Sun 5th March 2017

Ahead of International Women’s Day, we celebrate some of Scotland’s inspirational female GMs including Therese Grethe of Waxy O’Connor... Read more.

GMs making their mark: Jade Cunningham, O’Shannons, Kilmarnock

Sun 5th March 2017

Ahead of International Women’s Day, we celebrate some of Scotland’s inspirational female GMs including Jade Cunningham of O’Shannons i... Read more.

GMs making their mark: Helen Taylor, The Anchor, Broughty Ferry

Sun 5th March 2017

Ahead of International Women’s Day, we celebrate some of Scotland’s inspirational female GMs including Helen Taylor of The Anchor in Bro... Read more.