When Raymond Codona decided to turn his Madness theme bar on Glasgow’s Bothwell Street into a Bavarian beer hall, he took his whole contracting and design team to Munich to get a feel of what he wanted. Certainly it seems to have done the trick, because if you can imagine a genuine Bavarian/German beer hall, you can imagine what the Bavaria Brauhaus is like. The striking B-listed building is now open and has undergone a £1m renovation and redesign
Marc Hardy of Space id, the Interior Designers on the project explains, “We wanted to create an authentic beer Keller, and I think this is what we have done. We took the language of how the beer halls were formed, from the family history to the brewing methods, and incorporated these into the design. It’s certainly a more sincere replication of a beer hall rather than a dramatised or trendy one.”
In fact, the original building lent itself well to the design. Says Mark, “It is quite a Germanic building with its bronze finished door, and its ceiling height.”
When you come into the Bavaria Brauhaus the first thing that strikes you, once you have managed to push open the heavy bronze door… is the scale of the room. The ceiling height is some 7.6m high, and the windows on two sides of the building are just about as big! Two very large circular light fittings are certainly talking points. Each boasts a circular steel plate with around 24 opaque glass balls, from which a large lantern-like light hangs. These quirky chandeliers (for want of better word) draw attention to the painting on the ceiling which was painted by Nichol Wheatley and which show coats or arms, the harvest of hops, and various other depictions from the original beer kellers. Andrew Duncan of Concept Metals Ltd, comments, “Concept Metals Ltd was heavily involved in every aspect of the design and construction of the venue. I think Raymond was visiting us every single day! It was a great job for us because we took on a lot of tasks for the first time, such as we’d never made chandeliers before.”
Frank Adams of Adams Contracts was the principle contractor on the job, and through his other company Adams Furniture supplied the furniture too. Says Frank, “It was a great project to be involved with. We co-ordinated the job and liaised between the client and the designers, and I think we all really enjoyed it.”
He continues, “It was complete rip-out down, right to the original travertine. Everything in the Bavaria Brauhaus has been purpose-made, from the wood panelling to the balustrade’s, to the tables and wine rack. There is nothing off the shelf, even the Gretel chairs, which came from Germany, were stripped and varnished here.”
To the right-hand side as you come in there is a stair that takes you to the next mezzanine, and to the left of the stair there is the bar, which extends almost the full length of the room. It boasts a copper top and two amazing brushed steel founts, which are the focal point of the bar. The back bar is quite plain, explains Marc Hardy, “It is a traditional striped back timber bar. We replicated what we saw in Germany and made the area the steins are stored in the authentic way.”
The beer offering includes wide range of premium German/Bavarian beers as well as a hand-pickedselection of renowned, award winning beers from around the world. The venue’s selection of German Beers is extensive and will revolve around the classic ‘Big 6’ that dominate the Munich brewing scene – Spaten, Hofbrau, Hacken-Pschorr,
Augestiner Brau, Paulaner, and Lowenbrau. There are an additional 50-bottled beers on offer.
This area is split from the main drinking area by a room divider with a small shelf, and engraved glass, which allows drinkers who prefer not to be out in the body of the kirk, a space to drink.
To the left as you enter the hall there is an enclave which is encased in steel – it’s almost like a private dining area, which is in full view of the main hall. The fixed seating here has a chanel-style quilted appearance.
The hall itself boasts plain oak-topped tables, gretel chairs, and some fixed seating around the wood panelled walls. Around the whole hall, there is what looks like original wood panelling. But says Frank Adams, “It’s all new, and freshly stained. It wasn’t easy getting it all stained the same colour! Even the wood around the pillars is new.” The tables, were also made for the venue, and can be arranged together or split to seat four. The entire floor downstairs is wooden.
The mezzanine area is on three sides – above the door, above the bar area and at the rear. The black iron balustrade’s which run round the mezzanine are both graceful and functional. Upstairs is carpeted and will be used for those that want to dine rather than drink. Although there is a bar area here too. You also have the added bonus of getting a great view over the main beer hall from upstairs.
The back of the hall leads you down to the bathrooms. The original travertine lines the walls here, but the bathrooms themselves are just lovely. Featuring tiled floors and state of the art taps, which wash and dry! Try doing that after a few beers!
Marc, Frank and Andrew all enjoyed working on the job. Says Andrew, “Designers always have a lot of great ideas and sometimes it can be challenging to make their view come to life but we succeeded and helped make the designers and Raymond’s vision come to life!”
While Raymond Codona concludes, “ “The Bavarian culture is such a vibrant and atmospheric one, that the opportunity to replicate it in Scotland, especially in Glasgow, is truly fantastic. We’ve spent a lot of time researching the traditional institutions of Munich, particularly the famous Hofbrauhaus, which is the key influence for this project”
“The products we offer are completely unique to Scotland and this kind of concept has never been delivered on such a scale as this. We believe this will be the perfect compliment to Glasgow’s vibrant and buzzing bar and restaurant culture.”