Design Focus: Celino’s

September 30th, 2017 | Posted in: Editors' Picks,Features

There has been a new addition to Partick in the shape of Celino’s – a great new Italian Delicatessan Trattoria owned by the Celino family, who also have a Deli and Trattoria in Alexandra Parade in Glasgow. This new build, corner site establishment is already proving a hit, with its bright red awnings by and extensive glass frontage.

Celino’s motto “tutto per tutti” which means ‘everything for everyone’ could have been written for this very eatery. As you enter you are just blown away be the sheer volume of food on offer. It’s in every cabinet, in every fridge, it literally hangs from the ceiling and graces every wall and available floor space. The overwhelming impression is one of colour, aroma’s and Italian hospitality.

It’s a place to meet up with people, to enjoy a solo coffee, eat with family or have girly prosecco… and whether you are into people watching or playing I spy, there is plenty to keep you occupied at Celino’s. Says owner Claudio Celino, “I’d like to think that Celino’s is whatever you want it to be, it’s about the whole experience.”

Celino’s is a family business and was originally run by Claudio’s mum and dad, Natalino and Maria, and although his father carried on on his own after his wife died, when Claudio started working with his dad it seemed, he tells me, a natural progression for him to buy his dad out when he retired. Says Claudio, “I was a joiner to trade, and then worked at Strathclyde Union in Entertainment before moving to the food and beverage operation there. But I always helped mum and dad out. After mum died I would try and do a few days, and steadily that time increased. When dad decided to retire I bought him out. At that point Celino’s was a deli with a few tables, and I bought the shop next door and we became a cafe by day and also did evening meals. I invested money in the food side and found a Resturant Manager called Alan Magee, who is still at Alexandra Parade,, who had formerly been at L’Ariosto. He came on board and helped me find the right people. We brought in an exciting young chef, Chris Rouse, who went on to win Italian Chef of the Year and who is now Cellino’s Executive Chef. I have another two key members of staff, that have been with me from the start, Jane Warren and Linda Carton. They were deli staff but today LInda is head breakfast chef and Jane is the General Manager at Alexandra Parade. Their involvement has allowed me to expand the business. I always wanted to expand, but there wasn’t any more space at Alexandra Parade. So I started to look around and the location of this outlet seemed ideal. I thought Partick was similar to the East End with the same mix of likely customers – locals, students, families… and when I did my research I discovered that Partick is actually one of the busiest train stations in the country.”

He continues, “It has taken me almost three years – it took long time to get planning, and also when you take a new build on you have to put everything in from the gas to doing all the shopfitting. I think I called just about every favour in I was ever owed.”

Joiner Michael McLaughlin was the man of choice when it came to the fitout. Says Claudio, “A lot of the ideas came from him – we work together very well. But my cousins wife Lesley Celino was hands on when it came to the design. I think for her it was a labour of love – she picked the colour schemes, the leather and the fabrics. The primary colour palate in Celino’s is duck egg blue, mustard and cream.”

When you come through the front door of Celino’s the first thing you see is the well equipped coffee station. You can sup at the counter or take it away, it is freshly roasted and ground on the premises. And you can also take away bags of ground coffee or even your own espresso maker!

Beyond the coffee station is an elegant and extensive chilled cabinet which stretches the entire length of the deli space and which is full of, and topped with, a variety of goods – from fresh eggs to cold Italian meats from pink meringues to olives, cheese and breads… in fact just everything you could imagine finding in a deli. There is also a fridge which is filled with ready to eat meals all made in-house.

The designers have made use of all the available space to allow people to graze… with a central island with stools in the middle of the deli at which you can sit and watch the world go buy, while enjoying a coffee, patisserie or any number of snacks. There is also a large fresh fish display, cabinet adjacent to the window. Claudio explains, “This is more of an attraction when you are outside looking in. We don’t sell this fish over the counter but we do use it in the restaurant. We have a variety of fish on ice as well as lobster and langoustine.” All the fish is provided by Bernard Corrigan.

The deli probably accounts for about a quarter of the floor space, and it is crammed full. Even the ceiling has been utilised to the max with everything from cold hams to packets of Biscotti hanging from the trusses which remind me of the spokes of a wheel. Although the roof is mainly exposed steel ducting.

Throughout the establishment the flooring remains the same – it is called chromo gold amtico. All the counters and table tops are a light oak – the cabinets too are in the same oak style. There are lots of cabinets and shelving units on the floors, used as room dividers, beneath the open kitchen and suspended on the back wall. They are all filled to bursting.

Beyond the deli is the restaurant – altogether Celino’s can seat up to around 130. There is a mix of round tables with non-fixed seating, booths and intimate tables for two. The primary colours used in the seating are pale duck egg blue and cream. In fact all the stools and chairs have this same colour theme running throughout. Except for the fixed seating which has a mustard seat and a square spiral of light blue and silver. All the upholstery was done by Jim Cairney of JC Upholstery. Says Claudio, “The fabric used in the upholstery was sourced from the USA you won’t find it anywhere else.” You won’t see their lights anywhere else either. He explains, “I came up with the idea of using a cage-like design and showed the electrician a photo and when they were made they were even better than I imagined.”

The entire righthand wall consists of windows which feature bright red blinds, by DBH Awnings, which can be lowered and heightened to change the atmosphere from morning to night.To the rear of the restaurant area you go up a step to a slightly raised area which has fixed seating and which is defined by a wrought iron feature and a mirrored cabinet inset into the back wall within which hangs various ham joints. The back wall also features slate grey bricks and to the right a large colour portrait of proprietor Claudio Celino with his father. It adds colour and vibrancy to the back.

Says Claudio, “This photograph was taken a year ago by a photographer who used it in an art exhibition with washing lines in the back court area. I really liked it. The joiner spotted the space and said to me “that would be the perfect spot for a family picture,’ so I bought the rights to it, and there is hangs.”

When you are seated at the rear you can see the open kitchen – Offrex supplied the kitchen equipment and much of the bar equipment too – and above a porthole-like features which add a bit of variety. There are lots of quirky aspects to this eatery – from the neon signs above the kitchen which shout out Celino’s Trattoria to the mesh cage-like storage area beneath the open kitchen and the bespoke Welsh dressers.

There is also a bar adjacent to the restaurant but which is divided from the main eating area by a louvre oak partition – the other half of the partition is solid. The louvre feature is also utilised at the maitre d’ station and at various other points in the restaurant. I would imagine this makes it more comfortable for diners and drinkers alike. It has a very Italian feel – you can imagine people sitting enjoying an Aperitivo at the bar before dinner or a cocktail.

The bar is a good size and once again every inch has been utilised. The rectangle bar has a marble-like top and there is a suspended powder coated fabricated shelving unit with a copper finish which has been utilised to store bottles and hanging glassware – it was done by Revamp and it’s the first time the company had powder coated the steel. They also did the bespoke back bar and all the other stainless steel in the venue.

Just about everywhere you look in Celino’s will give you a visual of wine for sale and they have a very extensive wine list, covering almost every region of Italy and the very first Eno-round wine tasting machine in Glasgow, which allows customers to sample the finest wines. but there are also a couple of beer founts for Birra Moretti and Menabrea at the bar.

Claudio concludes, “This is still a family business, and I have to say what a great support my wife is. Joanne has the business expertise, and also raises our three boys, I’m front of house, but she is definitely the brains in the back office.” 

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