Design Focus: Black Ivy

December 12th, 2017 | Posted in: Design,Editors' Picks,Features

Black Ivy, a stylish neighbourhood bar and hotel in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, is already making its mark following an extensive refurbishment by owner Billy Lowe. The new venue, which was formerly The Links Hotel, has been completely transformed into a stylish bar and restaurant, with 22 boutique bedrooms too.

Billy worked with long-time collaborator Chris Hines of Redhouse Design – to create Black Ivy, and Billy is pleased with the result. He told DRAM, “I think it is the best venue we have done.”

There is a wow factor from the outset, with the outside area at Black Ivy worthy of a mention as the substantial terrace boasts classy black, outside furniture and fire pits. The venue, and the name, have been inspired by a desire to create a premium neighbourhood bar rooted in the leafy, park location but also informed by stylish, forward thinking venues in London, Brooklyn and beyond.

The result is a vibrant venue, which contrasts neon art with vintage chandeliers and street art murals by international artist Rone with wood flooring salvaged from 19th Century French train carriages. There’s even a floor made entirely from American cent coins, which hold a personal secret for Billy. He says, “I included a penny [cent], one each from the year of birth for each of my four kids. and then one from 2012 to mark getting my dogs.”

Of course, there had to be a coin for Billy’s beloved Hibs so he picked one from 2016, when the team won the Scottish Cup. The sweet nostalgic nod didn’t go down to well with Karin, Billy’s wife. He says, “First thing she said was ‘where’s mine?’, so I picked a coin to commemorate our 30th wedding anniversary instead!”

Billy and his team have changed everything about the former hotel, to create a feeling of spaciousness and light.

When you enter Black Ivy, there is an elegant bar area to the left with leather-upholstered curved booths, which back onto an exposed stone wall. Behind each of the booths there is an arched mirror that looks like a window and exquisite chandeliers hang above the marbled topped tables. Explains Billy, “I had heard about this place in Stockport that had an amazing selection of chandeliers. So I took the train down and was blown away by what they had. For instance some came from Russian mansions, others from shipwrecks and so on. we bought. They add glamour.” They certainly do.

There are also trees behind the booths which also give you the feeling of bringing the outside in. Towards the back of this area, leading into a restaurant area, there is a raised platform with a baby grand piano. Says Billy, “When we bring in entertainers they will be able to perform from the platform. They will be able to see the whole space and people will be able to see them.”

This dining area, called The Conservatory, also boasts dark green leather upholstered seating, a generous booth and various sizes of tables – from oak topped tables for two, to a marble topped table for eight. Light streams in, and the clever use of mirrors – which have the appearance of windows – has an amazing effect on the ambience.

The far end of this area has a fire, and a statement fireplace, with a small seating area directly in front. There is also a large half circular booth fitted into the corner, creating a cosy area. Fires abound in Black Ivy. Says Billy, “People love fires and congregate around them.” In total there are three, but they are of the modern variety – think glowing fire-effect with sleek surrounds. An array of framed prints hang beside the fireplace in the conservatory and on the all leading to the second bar. Hanging from the roof are richly coloured wisteria and, of course, a variety of chandeliers.

Where there once was [in its former guise] a small corridor, there is now a marble-topped seating area which is just beside the tank of beer. Around the corner, there is another elegant bar featuring bright pink chairs that really add a pop of colour. A couple of steps further up, there is a glass enclosed room which boasts two long tables but this room has a dual role. Says Billy, “It’s all about getting the balance between work and play. The tables can operate as work stations set up with iMacs during the day, but come 7pm the tables are transformed into a ping pong station.”

The area also boasts a full wall of elegantly framed photographs. Billy comments, “I spent a lot of time finding them, and to me they represent style and energy. But so far everyone seems to love it and all ages are using it – from students to young mums, as well as sports fans and ladies that lunch.”

Sports fans have been well catered for with the venue having nine screens. Says Billy, “On sporting occasions we will not just be having the screens down, but we will have plenty of entertainment on too.”

There is no doubt about it Black Ivy is going to make its mark – and shortly its 22 bedrooms will open too. They have been styled in the in-design of Swedish cool, with contrasting dark and white. They are set to open imminently.

Black Ivy is definitely going to make its mark. Billy concludes, “It is the best thing we have done, and it’s very personal to me, it’s a ‘modern pub’ in the park!”.

The following two tabs change content below.
DRAM News Team

DRAM News Team

Editor at DRAM Magazine
DRAM magazine is Scotland’s leading monthly licensed trade magazine. It has been dedicated exclusively to the on-trade in Scotland for the past 23 years. It is independently owned, edited and published in Scotland. The DRAM is innovative, creative and original. First with the news, and the people in the news. Covering all the latest information on pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels in Scotland.


SCOTTISH BAR AND PUB AWARDS FIRST FINALISTS REVEALED

Fri 13th July 2018

It’s been a top scoring year for the 2018 Scottish Bar and Pub Awards with more than 3,000 nominations for bars and pubs received for ... Read more.

MCEWAN’S BAGS IRVINE WELSH FOR CAMPAIGN WITH PROSTATE CANCER UK

Thu 12th July 2018

McEwan’s has recruited Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh to bare all for a major new campaign in support of Prostate Cancer UK – th... Read more.

Winner crowned in Buzzworks Chef competition

Mon 9th July 2018

Chefs from Buzzworks Holdings just went head to head Buzzworks Cook ‘n’ Crown, with Chef Gabriella Crawford from the Millhouse in Stewar... Read more.

First core range of aged single malts from GlenAllachie Distillery

Mon 9th July 2018

The GlenAllachie Distillery has released its first core range since the distillery was acquired by Billy Walker last year. The release inc... Read more.

Quieter trading for pubs in the shadow of Glasgow School of Art

Fri 6th July 2018

Pubs in and around Sauchiehall Street have reported quieter trading since last month’s Glasgow School of Art fire, DRAM can report. Ac... Read more.

BBPA’s Brigid Simmonds slams proposed PPL fee hike

Thu 5th July 2018

British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds (pictured) has described a 480% fee hike proposal from PPL as “eye... Read more.

Edrington and Wm Grant’s crack Sunday Times Top 100 Private Company League Table

Thu 5th July 2018

Glasgow-based Edrington, has joined Wm Grant & Sons in the annual Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 league table which ranks Britain’s 1... Read more.

Smirnoff the first ‘truly’ Global Brand but Jinro is the most popular

Thu 5th July 2018

Smirnoff vodka, owned by Diageo,  is ‘the first truly global brand in the world’ according to a list of 100 top brands compiled... Read more.

Turnover steady but profits dip slightly at Inver House Distillers as brand investment grows

Thu 5th July 2018

Airdrie-based Inver House Distillers Ltd, the Scotch whisky subsidiary of International Beverage Holdings Ltd, saw turnover hit £62.7m for ... Read more.

MIXED RESULTS FOR GREENE KING BUT GOOD WEATHER AND SPORT PROVIDE A BOOST

Wed 4th July 2018

In its year-end results, Greene King (the parent company of Belhaven) has announced that pre-tax profit is down 11% at £243m. This follows ... Read more.

Best Bar None Scotland to deliver and promote 125ml measure campaign

Tue 3rd July 2018

The Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP) and Best Bar None Scotland are working together to raise the awareness and promotion of 125... Read more.

Funding available to encourage staff to cycle to work

Mon 2nd July 2018

Bike sheds could soon become as familiar a sight as smoking shelters outside Scotland’s pubs thanks to a shot in the arm of funding to... Read more.

Stonehaven Beer Festival Charity Boost

Mon 2nd July 2018

This year’s Stonehaven Beer Festival (28th – 30th June) raised £29,200 for charity – taking the total raised since it be... Read more.

Running out of Gas – The Carbon Dioxide Shortage

Tue 26th June 2018

Bars across Scotland are running out of gas! The Carbon Dioxide shortage facing the UK and Europe is taking its toll on the bar industry, wi... Read more.

Buzzworks on the East Coast

Mon 25th June 2018

Work has begun on the new Scotts Bar and Restaurant at Port Edgar Marina in South Queensferry, which will be the first East Coast venue for ... Read more.

Mangoes on the Run for Innis & Gunn

Fri 22nd June 2018

Scottish Craft Brewer Innis & Gunn has launched its first ever tropical flavoured beer in the shape of its limited edition Mangoes on th... Read more.

Back on the Docks – The Dockyard Social Returns!

Fri 22nd June 2018

The Dockyard Social, Glasgow’s newest street food market and bar hub, will be making a return this weekend. This return follows a sho... Read more.

New Prospects for DJ Prospect – 4042

Thu 14th June 2018

It’s not a club, but it’s not a bar either…Edinburgh’s first ever ‘3am hang-out’, 4042, has now launched... Read more.

Check out the new look Candy Bar

Wed 13th June 2018

Edinburgh’s Candy Bar has just been given a makeover by owners Montpeliers.... Read more.

The new Red Sky Bar at Radisson Red, Glasgow

Wed 13th June 2018

If you are looking for a bar with a view there can be no better venue in Glasgow than the new Red Sky Bar at the Radisson. Owned by Forrest ... Read more.