Edinburgh’s Candy Bar has just been given a makeover by owners Montpeliers. The George Street basement venue, bought by the company in 2002, has been refreshed to appeal to the bar’s sophisticated audience.
Innes Bolt, Managing Director of Montpeliers, told DRAM, “Candy Bar hasn’t had a full refurbishment for over five years and we all felt it was time to freshen the interior up and move the product on a few notches. The market place is incredibly competitive now in Edinburgh and it would be very easy to get left behind.”
He continued, “The brief was to strip the existing product back to its original features and put back in a fresh, cleaner and more simplistic product. Our market place is still the same young student/professional crowd looking for a fantastic night out. However, they are much more discerning so we have improved the music, drinks and food offers. The environment is a bit of a blank canvas so we are also in the process of inviting local artists to come in and help us evolve the interior design. This will always be a work in progress and something we are very excited about. We managed to stick to this throughout – there’s always tweaking to be done but that’s part of Candy’s product.”
Now in the Candy Bar, which is known for its sweetie-jar covered walls, there is a serious lack of candy!
The colour scheme has been drastically changed. The base of the new colour scheme in the bar is very earthy with lots of brown and green. It has a lot of neutral tones thanks to the use of exposed brick and brown tones in the wood and upholstery. This allows the splashes of colour to really pop, but the only main colour they have used is green. Although this will most likey change soon as the bar has plans to invite artists and graffiti artists in to decorate the brick walls.
The front and side walls have been stripped and pushed back to expose the original brick, this immediately opens up the space making it feel bigger while creating a far more rustic feel to the place. The ceilings have also been raised, and there is an industrial edge to the design as the steel features have now been exposed. There is also a brand-new bar, complete with shiny emerald tiles covering the wall of the bar in a herringbone pattern. The deep green tiles featured on the bar are also used sparingly along the right-hand wall and the place is adorned with plants everywhere you look. There are plants hanging from the ceiling, shelves run along the walls where plants sit, and plenty more are dotted around the bar and on tables.
The new layout creates a spacious and open feel, with only a few tables in the centre of the space and long, slim high tables to the right of the bar. The majority of the seating runs tight to the walls, leaving plenty of room in the centre. They made the decision to upcycle a lot of their furniture. Neil Bowie, General Manager of The Candy Bar, comments, “We didn’t want everything to feel brand new, we wanted to keep things with marks on them and let them look a bit more rustic and used.”
The seating is an eclectic mix of upcycled steel bar stools and colourful plastic chairs. As well as fixed seating along the front wall and booth-style seating, both of which have been upholstered in caramel leather.
The lighting is also a mixture of styles. There are glass lanterns, steel industrial-style lights and modern droplet lights. This accentuates the combination of themes in the bar.
The kitchen has had to be updated as well to accommodate the new menu, which offers a slightly smaller but higher quality selection from the previous ‘all food for £5’ menu.
Says Innes, “The Candy Bar has always been a vibrant party bar for the young professionals and students alike, it’s been an institution since it opened in 2002. It has a great daytime and early evening food offer that accommodates everyone, but as the night progresses it operates more like a late-night bar than any of our other businesses and it’s a great pre-club location.” http://www.candybaredinburgh.co.uk