Design Focus: Hyde, Partick Bridge Street, Glasgow

The Hyde Interior Images15

The latest addition to Glasgow’s west end, Hyde has finally opened. Tucked away at the bottom of Byres Road on Partick Bridge Street, the new venture from Ian Donaldson and Edward Fox adds a cool, laid back but edgy dimension to the west end bar scene. Robert McCracken reports.

The glass fronted Hyde nestles behind the vibrant Dumbarton Road and across from The Butterfly and the Pig. A couple of external lanterns highlight, the double height glass facade which is reasonably discreet. Stepping off the street and into Hyde, the reclaimed Californian oak floor immediately makes an impression, while in front of you there is a copper fronted bar. The bar area is punctuated with bespoke bar furniture and mismatched leather chairs, to the left various booths and to the right a few round tables.
Hyde is light and airy due to its massive, south facing, glass front. General Manager, Stephen Heggie explained the feel Hyde is trying to capture, “We have a lofty, airy New York warehouse style feel going on with the high ceilings and exposed lighting tracks so even when the bar is busy it doesn’t feel enclosed. The New York inspiration continues with some of our soft furnishings which are based on a speakeasy style.”
The  bar is flanked by a row of cosy, cream coloured leather booths to the left. This row of booths is backed by a mural, split over various panels depicting the eclectic goings on in the west end of Glasgow. Colin Curruthers, the artist who created the work, captures life in this buzzing area of Glasgow in this one-off production for Hyde.
Step behind the bar, another row of booths, this time upholstered in darker leather. These booths sit against a wall adorned with more reclaimed material, this time 120 year old red brickwork. Bar manager Kevin Jamieson explains, “Ian [Donaldson] is inspired by the Californian concept of making the most of natural light, encouraging a laid-back atmosphere and he felt that reclaimed materials suited this better than brand new materials. All the reclaimed materials were directly sourced.”
The single most impressive feature of Hyde, however, actually sits behind the bar. A twisted, metal tree positioned against the back bar extends its winding ‘branches’ across the wall behind it. These branches clutch onto bottles of premium spirits, providing a truly unique and imposing feature climbing above the bar. This was designed by artist Angus Scott. It is particularly impressive at night when the bottles are backlit.
Hyde does not lack any intimacy. The aforementioned booths provide customers with privacy, over and above this though the layout of the bar creates various nooks and crannies.
Overhanging the main bar area is a mezzanine housing another handful of booths as well as a DJ pod, perched at the corner of the upper area. The small DJ pod has the same copper plated frontage as the main bar below, the eye catching design consists of various copper panels overlapping each other. Each of these panels is different from the next, some are gleaming, others less so but this only adds to its intriguing appearance. With access also available via a lift, this upper level holds 60 people and also has its own bar making the mezzanine perfect for functions. Separated from this upper bar by a folding glass door is Hyde’s outdoor terrace. The terrace, complete with that Scottish essential; outdoor heaters, offers an outdoor haven for around 20 customers. The terrace faces south so should make the most of any sunshine, should we be so lucky.
Just when you think you’ve seen all this chic new retreat has to offer, Hyde lives up to its name as hiding away, accessed from the bar by a wood panelled corridor, is a 45 cover restaurant. With its own entrance further down from the main entry, this restaurant with it’s custom made, dark wooden furniture, marble tabletops, mismatched leather chairs and bespoke mural adorning the main wall, continues the theme from the bar but is decidedly more intimate. With a lower ceiling and no double height windows, the restaurant at Hyde feels more cosy and compact. It too has its own bar, the restaurant adds another dimension to Hyde and draws a clear line between bar and restaurant, rather than leaving one space to be ‘all things to all men’.