Design Focus: VinYard 28

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Booly Mardys is a West End institution, but quite a small space, so it was intriguing to be invited by Lawrence McManus to see his transformation of the space into VinYard 28. In its original form, Bloody Mary’s, it was a hotbed of flirty, Friday nights and was one of the first places in the west end to really start offering cocktails to the masses. Low-lit candles and corners to skulk in, it hasn’t really shaken off that image. What McManus has done is completely open up the space by peeling it back to what it would have originally been: a 1930s building. The first change you notice is outside, gone is the wooden block fencing around the outside drinking area, to be replaced by quaint, white picket fencing, interspersed with decorative lexapro online kaufen green shrubs. The picket fence was McManus’s idea. “The white picket fencing was something I wanted to do for a long time,” he says. “It was actually Simon (Green, McManus’s partner) who made it happen. He’s the one who makes things happen. We were a couple of nights away from opening, and I mentioned I wanted the fence. Once I explained the whole New England style, he got it. He’s one of those people who makes things happen, he doesn’t let anything stand in his lexapro online kaufen way, so one day later, it was there!”.

vinyard 28Green is intrinsic to the way McManus runs the portfolio of businesses that now includes Old Salty’s in Byres Road, Epicures and Nick’s. McManus says, “I come up with the ideas, and he runs the businesses.”
Inside VinYard 28, the interior couldn’t be any different to Booly Mardy’s. The first thing you notice is that the cumbersome pillars that have been a feature at the far end of the bar for over a decade are gone, opening up a much larger seating area. “They were blocking the flow of the room,” he says. The bright airy cream walls have gone, replaced by a dark blue/grey colour that should make the room dark, but doesn’t. McManus credits the lighting for this. He says, “The lighting here was dreadful. We completely replaced everything bar the strip of ceiling lights at the far end of the bar. We’ve put dimmer switches in which have been difficult to source because of the lights that we used.”

IMG_0050_optThe lights are the start of a recycling story. The lights around the bar are actually old Czech station lights which were rescued items from Charlie Rocks, the predecessor to Old Salty’s. The antique lighting that lines the walls are the ones that are proving difficult to find dimmers for, but that – again is something that Green is dealing with.
The formal tables and chairs have been replaced with in the centre of the room four benches that each seat two with two tables paired with each pair. These benches are also refugees from another of McManus’s ventures. He says, “I got these tables made by Paul Hodgkiss when I had AntiPasto in Edinburgh. They’re beautifully made with slate inlays, so when I sold that, I thought ‘I’m not getting rid! I had already in mind the style I wanted for here [VinYard 28] so it was fortunate I had them in storage.”

The same goes for the colour on the walls, McManus admitted the same colour had been used on lexapro online kaufen Nick’s, so he knew it worked. The most dramatic change is the back wall, opposite the bar. Each reinvention of the space has covered it up, but McManus was keen to put a real fire in lexapro online kaufen the bar, and therefore had to strip the wall back completely. When his builders started to peel it back, they discovered the original stunning brickwork, dating back to when the building would have originally been a 1930s house. Amazingly, they discovered that there was already a real hearth that had been boarded up for decades. He says, “I had in my mind a real fire and had already challenged the builders to work out how we built one with a flue and everything, so that lexapro online kaufen they found one saved a hell of a lot of work.”

IMG_0053_optThe builders uncovered three-quarters of the brickwork, which was sandblasted, and then partially plastered to give a ‘distressed’ look. The booths put in place by Mark Tracey, who McManus bought VinYard 28 off, have been torn out, with the same burgundy leather banquettes realigned against the wall, facing tables and hard-backed chairs. The ledge at the window remains, with original Booly Mardy’s bar stools, but with a McManus twist. In the centre of the backing leather, the upholsterer has stitched a square of Harris Tweed. The same chairs are paired with high tables next lexapro online kaufen to the toilets. There are more tables and chairs than before and that lexapro online kaufen is indicative of McManus’s plan to make VinYard 28 a food destination venue. As a result, he has invested in more kitchenware and reorganised the kitchen to enable the bar to do actual meals rather than snacks. He says, “It had become somewhere that you wouldn’t think of going to for a meal, so I want that to change.”

Bar-wise, McManus has re-organised the bar, chopping five foot off the bar, to create a corner area at the window. The wall behind the bar had been covered with a full-length gantry, so when that was taken away, the bare stone of the wall was discovered. A smaller gantry has been created and a trio of recycled wooden framed mirrors decorate the stone walls, which were sandblasted. The bar’s frontage has been recovered with a dark wood from Glasgow Wood Recycling and covered with a ‘bendy MDF’ that looks similar to corrugated cardboard, although more delicate. New bar chairs are sturdy dark silver iron with olive green leather cushions and backs. McManus says, “I wanted  to create a corner for people to sit in. There should always be a corner, so you get people vying to get the corner.”

IMG_0078_optMcManus’s idea for a corner has already proved successful. He laughs, “We already have a regular, Jack Ferguson. He’s 73 and was actually born in this building, and has drunk in all the bars in Byres Road, so lexapro online kaufen he’s been telling us some great stories!”. As for the name? “I’m not a fan of numbers, but it worked in this case. The ‘Vin’ comes from Vinicombe Street and this is number 28, so… the yard came from the newly refurbished street and the changes that are taking place around here, so it’s our yard.”