Design Focus: Angels
Angels owners the Lisini Pub Company, founded by father Harry Hood, and now run by daughters Lisa and Siobhan and nephew Grant, have transformed their Uddingston business. Having spent in the region of £750K upgrading their existing building and adding a new single-storey glazed restaurant extension at the front of their building, as well as a two-storey side extension. This includes two bedrooms and an office space on the second floor and the creation of a larger bar-restaurant complete with a new cellar on the ground floor. The contractors were Hugh Stirling.
On the day I visited the new bar and restaurant which now also has a substantial conservatory, it was absolutely buzzing. On the grapevine, I’d also heard how much people love the new look. Marketing Director Siobhan Edwards, told me, “We have been absolutely rammed since we re-opened. It’s only been a week, but it has been full-on, and our takings are considerably up.”
This is good news for the family who took the decision to close the venue in January for the refurbishment. In the interim Lisini invested in extensive training, 70 hours for every member of staff, to ensure that when the new Angels opened the service reflected its transformation.
Says Siobhan, “We have brought the whole operation slightly more upmarket. The brief to designer Dominic Paul was to do two things. Firstly we wanted to retain our existing clientele and secondly,
we wanted to encourage the clientele we were definitely missing out on.”
She explains, “We were missing out on the the 30\40-year-old plus market or the couples market, that didn’t want to get rushed out of their dining experience when they came to Angels. We didn’t have bar space in the old dining room so once they ate there was nowhere they could move to. Our newly refurbished bar and restaurant now caters to this clientele, and since we re-opened I have seen customers here who we haven’t seen for years.”
Mind you they probably didn’t recognise the restaurant because the only thing remaining is the bar itself.The original dining area is now unrecognisable. In fact, it has been taken right back to the bare bones, and even the doors have been replaced.
Now when you turn into the bar and restaurant the room design runs left to right. A new bar area has been created on the left, and on the right, there is a completely new
In the middle of the room, there is a central seating area which runs from the bar area to nearly the conservatory and this layout is mirrored on the other side. The bench seating here has houndstooth backs and toning leather-like seating in shades of cream and brown/grey. Mustard yellow seats complete the look. Along the wall, furthest from the door the mustard yellow upholstery has been used for the fixed seating which runs the length of the wall. This too has been almost mirrored on the other side, although the wall space is narrower.
Above the new wood tables are brass open-wired pendant lights with the ever so fashionable filament bulbs in place. The brass on the lights is also used on the tables in the shape of brass and glass condiments.
The entrance to the conservatory area features brass spokes with almost transparent gold curtains – there is also a large maitre d’ station – this no doubt allows the conservatory diners, should there be part a private party, some privacy, but when in operation as an extension to the restaurant it merely provides a point of difference. This conservatory has two fixed booths – perfect for parties – which are caged with the brass spokes too. This large airy space room has been beautifully designed.
The new design is subtle and classy – the colours used mustard, grey, cream and recessed lighting with blue LED’s, really add character during the day, and ambience at night.
The sound system too has been replaced. Siobhan comments, “This is my area. In the old Angels we had about six massive speakers, for the weekend crowd, but if you were sitting under one, it was daunting. Now we have four different zones – the bar area, the middle section, the conservatory and beer garden – which we control. The sound can be adjusted according to the clientele.”
The bar has been transformed and although it is the same size, length-wise, it now is open at each end. The back bar has been totally modernised and Lisini has moved from using optics to free-pour. They have also extended their drinks range and beside the bar, there are two large fitted wine fridges.
Says Siobhan, “We wanted to ramp everything up a bit. For instance, for the first time, we now have a drinks list – before we had a cocktail list and a wine list but now we have a full list and we have gone for lots of new products too from Scottish gins and vodka’s to craft beers. When the adjacent bar opens on 10th May we will also be offering our own lager, supplied by Belhaven. However, for the first time we have put in a Heineken Smart Dispense System. Our cellar is very small on this side of the building. My dad likes big cellars, but we don’t serve enough draft beer in this area to warrant it. But the new bar, on the other side of the building, also has a new cellar, which is much bigger.”
The name of the new bar has been a well kept secret, that was up until the restaurant opened, which coincided with the arrival of the new drinks menu. Says Siobhan, “We decided to name the bar Harrys Bar, after my dad, and we managed to keep it a secret right up until the drinks menu arrived. But he then spotted the name of the new bar on it.”
More on Harry’s Bar next month. But needless to say, it has been given a complete revamp and of course Harry we think is as pleased as punch.
Images are Copyright © of Dominic Paul of IBDP