Design Focus: Smokin’ Fox

April 13th, 2017 | Posted in: Editors' Picks,Features

The location of the Smokin’ Fox near Glasgow’s Central Station – now seemingly known as Glasgow’s financial district – is Signature Pubs’ latest opening in the city. It has the benefit of floor-to-ceiling windows at its front which makes the entry to the pub that was The Hope very pleasant on a dreary wet Glasgow day.

Signature bought the pub last year, from The Thistle Pub Co.

The pub group ran it for a few months before closing for a refurbishment and rebrand. Now re-christened as the Smokin’ Fox, it has the ambience of a ‘gentleman’s club’, with leather Chesterfield-inspired furniture mixed with burnished copper and steel wrapped mirrors, a nice distraction from the contradicting spring weather.

The bar dominates three-quarters of the venue, but is placed centrally, and is encased in copper with brass sash decoration. A cuff of black, studded leather rims the dark wood bar top, which is also edged with an ornate carved panel.

To the front of the pub, there are three windows that bathe the front part in light – two on the left of the door and one on the left. They are partnered with ornate, crocheted white lampshades. The use of two huge shades and a smaller one – as well as the colour – ensures that they don’t overpower the room. The lighting appears to be very important to the design of the Smokin’ Fox. Aside from the crochet work, there are two chandeliers that appear to be made from copper piping, three strips of wired ship lamps also hang over the bar – a touch that is replicated throughout the bar and dining room.

Signature Pubs has used the existing layout of The Hope to make, what was an industrial, anonymous space, into a comfortable bar cum ‘scullery’. Scullery obviously refers to the open kitchen located at the back of the pub, but the use of sand-worn wood for the tables mixed with an array of eclectic dining chairs, makes it feel like someone’s kitchen.

However, where The Hope had tried to conjoin the three supporting pillars with a table top, Signature has embraced the pillars and created three individual booth-style tables for customers. This area is marked out – a pleasant overhang from The Hope days – with colourful floor tiles. Butterscotch coloured, studded leather Chesterfield-inspired bucket bar stools are huddled around each table – a stark contrast to The Hope’s original steel barstools.

Opposite the pillars – where there were three stand-alone tables – two comfortable, leather covered booths have been created. Areas of the window to the right of these booths have been reworked with two Chesterfield-inspired sofas backing onto the windows. The sofas are covered predominantly in the same butterscotch leather, but the seating area is covered in tweed, making a nice contrast. Two wing-tipped Chesterfield chairs and moss-green pouffes circle two small, circular, silver topped tables. Both windows on this side and the other are flanked with floor-length silver-grey drapes.

At the side of the bar, there is a posing table which seat six, matched with six butterscotch backed stools. Meanwhile, a panel of 15 burnished steel-rimmed mirror tiles bounces the light into the centre of the room. Another use of mirrors has been adopted behind the gantry. Brickwork mirror tiles line the wall behind the stainless steel shelving that houses the glasses and bottles.

There are no optics in The Smokin’ Fox, so the sparkling bottles bounce off the mirrors. The juxtaposition of the clean, sleek lines of the steel works with the muted blue of the supporting pillars that make up the back wall of the gantry. All six supporting pillars in the main bar are crowned with gold cornicing.

A mini-sweeping staircase takes you to what is obviously their much-publicised ‘The Den’. Matched with a curtain in the same fabric as the windows, it’s obvious that this is intended to be a private function room.

A posing picnic style table is placed at the top of the stair, which leads into the biggest space in the Smokin’ Fox. Signature’s use of booths is apparent here too. What were originally stand-alone tables at the top of the stair have been transformed into a cosy booth that would sit around 8/10 people. Another copper-framed mirror is used to bounce the light which comes from an unlikely source of a skylight and also a strip of the ship lighting that is used above the bar. The ceiling in The Smokin’ Fox is something to behold. A huge skylight bathes the raised dining area in light during the day, while at night, lighting bouncing off angled mirrors highlights the Botticelli-esque frescos that frame the skylight. The walls around the tables that were bare before, now hang with pop-art inspired by Lichtenstein and Warhol but showing images such as a pig, a fox and a stag beetle.

This area has a scattering of small square silver covered tables, with a mixture of metal framed dining chairs and leather-clad dining chairs in beige and the ubiquitous butterscotch leather. Two four-seater wooden tables flank the division between this and a raised section that comprises of an L-shaped banquette. Covered in toffee coloured leather – but this time paired with the dark leather bar back dining chairs – this area is matched with two-seater tables covered in matte silver covering.

The Smokin’ Fox has a unique quirk about it. Oddities such as knick-knacks on the top shelf of the gantry such as a (fake) bonsai, a dancing bear model and a plaster fox model mean that every time you go you’ll notice something different. The ubiquitous pineapple – the symbol of hospitality – also makes an appearance. However, the stand-alone quirky touch has to be the mirrors in the ladies toilets. In keeping with the self-styled, bon vivant character of the Smokin’ Fox, they are styled on a pocket-watch. The Smokin’ Fox certainly knows how to burrow into the detail and hope doesn’t need to come into its success. The Smokin’ Fox is at 6-8 Waterloo St, Glasgow G2 6DA. http://www.smokinfox.co.uk

The following two tabs change content below.
Mairi Clark

Mairi Clark

Mairi Clark

Latest posts by Mairi Clark (see all)


BUZZWORKS LAUNCH BONUS BONANZA FOR CHARITIES

Fri 14th April 2017

Buzzworks Holdings, one of Scotland’s leading hospitality groups, has launched a pioneering new initiative to provide a boost to local cha... Read more.

New App brings history of Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery to life

Fri 14th April 2017

Visitors to Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery in Perthshire can now utilise a specially created app to bring the historic archives of the dist... Read more.

Scottish Bar and Pub Awards 2017 – RENOVATION OF THE YEAR

Fri 14th April 2017

RENOVATION OF THE YEAR There has been a host of excellent refurbishments over the past few years and this year for the first time the Scotti... Read more.

Design Focus: Smokin’ Fox

Thu 13th April 2017

The location of the Smokin' Fox near Glasgow’s Central Station – now seemingly known as Glasgow’s financial district - is Signature Pu... Read more.

Scottish Bar and Pub Awards 2017 – THE PUB SPY AWARD

Thu 13th April 2017

THE PUB  SPY AWARD Pub Spy returned to the Sunday Mail in November last year after a hiatus of some 40 years and now, for the first time, a... Read more.

Scottish Bar and Pub Awards – WEE DRAM WHISKY BAR OF THE YEAR

Thu 13th April 2017

WEE DRAM WHISKY BAR OF THE YEAR Whisky is Scotland’s national drink and we know that there are some great whisky bars out there. The Wee D... Read more.

Design Focus: MacSorley’s

Thu 13th April 2017

A £250K makeover has given Glasgow pub MacSorley’s a new, modern look but the original layout, bar and many original features remain.... Read more.

Scottish Bar and Pub Awards 2017 – MOLSON COORS CRAFT BEER OF THE YEAR

Wed 12th April 2017

MOLSON COORS CRAFT BEER OF THE YEAR. The judges of this category will be looking for a bar that has an excellent range of quality beer and C... Read more.

Scottish Bar and Pub Awards – COUNTRY PUB OF THE YEAR

Wed 12th April 2017

COUNTRY PUB OF THE YEAR It’s never been more difficult to attract people to your pubs and it is even more difficult when customers have to... Read more.

Scottish Bar and Pub Awards – DRAM DOG FRIENDLY PUB OF THE YEAR

Tue 11th April 2017

DRAM DOG-FRIENDLY PUB OF THE YEAR The Scottish Bar & Pub Awards are hunting for a pub that provides a welcome for pet dogs. Do you know ... Read more.

Boost for Loch Lomond Distillery

Tue 11th April 2017

Loch Lomond distillery is raising awareness of its brands following the appointment of a public relations consultancy the Big Partnership. T... Read more.

Glenmorangie Pride 1974 Revealed

Mon 10th April 2017

The most prestigious Highland single malt ever created by Glenmorangie has been revealed. Glenmorangie Pride 1974 is the Distillery’s olde... Read more.

SCOTTISH BAR AND PUB AWARDS – GORDON AND MACPHAIL AWARD FOR SUCCESS

Mon 10th April 2017

GORDON AND MACPHAIL AWARD FOR SUCCESS Success stories deserve to be recognised and celebrated. Do you know a licensee/proprietor that has gr... Read more.

SCOTTISH BAR AND PUB AWARDS – NEW BAR OF THE YEAR

Mon 10th April 2017

NEW BAR OF THE YEAR New bars, restaurants, and hotels have been opening at a great rate of knots over the last 12 months and this Year there... Read more.

Scottish bar and Pub Awards – KOPPARBERG INDEPENDENT BAR OF THE YEAR

Mon 10th April 2017

Kopparberg is on the lookout for Scotland’s top independent bar. The Kopparberg team is looking for a bar that has proved to be a success ... Read more.

Distill Partners Stock Spirits

Mon 10th April 2017

Distell has announced a new distribution partnership in the UK with Stock Spirits, which will take effect from 1 June 2017. Distell already ... Read more.

Design Focus: The Swan Inn

Mon 10th April 2017

The Swan Inn Inn which has graced the village of Eaglesham since 1832, is now being run by Lauren Mooney and helping her on a consultancy ba... Read more.

Scottish Bar and Pub Awards 2017 – INVERARITY MORTON WINE BY THE GLASS AWARD

Sun 9th April 2017

Do you have a great range of wine by the glass or do you know a bar, pub or restaurant that does? If so it could be eligible for this Award.... Read more.

Hot Stuff from Hop Stuff Brewery

Sun 9th April 2017

London Brewery Hop Stuff has launched a new line of canned craft beers. Inspired by the view from the Royal Arsenal, the home of Hop Stuff, ... Read more.

Sue Says: April 2017

Sun 9th April 2017

It seems like I am now famous for championing dogs – in pubs, hotels – you name it – if you could just see the volume of press... Read more.