The new Red Sky Bar at Radisson Red, Glasgow

June 13th, 2018 | Posted in: Bar News,Design

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 Hotels and operated by Radisson Red, it really does have the most spectacular views of the River Clyde, the Hydro, SEC, the Armadillo and the Park area of Glasgow.

Designer Mark Brunjes of CM Design has made the most of the panorama with floor to ceiling windows that wrap around the bar area and minimal clutter which allows to you to focus on the jaw dropping vista. He says, “I was very excited to be invited to design the Red Sky Bar and terrace at the new Radisson RED hotel. The design for the hotel is very unique and our client wanted a contemporary classic design for the RED Sky Bar which would appeal to a wide age group but it was important that nothing should detract the panoramic views of the river clyde, the ‘squinty’ bridge, the Finnieston crane, the Hydro, the Armidillo, along with the headquarter buildings of the BBC and STV across the river.”

He continues, “The client wanted the RED Sky Bar to provide an alternative offering and not to fit within the “Radisson RED brand”, but it needed to relate in its DNA to the building it’s sitting on top of, and continue to create the WOW factor for guests. The client’s vision was to create a true destination bar and be the first of its kind in Glasgow.”

The bar, which is situated on the 9th floor of the hotel, seats up to 120 guests at a time and also has a special private function room with its own, private views of the city skyline, and a roof terrace.

As you come out of the lift into the Red Sky Bar the first thing that strikes you, is of course, the view, but generally the the design of the bar is quite pared back with pops of colour. For instance  as you come into the bar, on the right there is a comfortable seating area with a vibrant piece of art hanging on a marble-effect white wall above a modern rectangular living flame fire.

Says Mark, “The marble clad fireplace feature wall has a long horizontal glass fronted contemporary fire with artwork above, and display bookcases either side with objet d’arts and books on Art, Music and Glasgow history. The rug in front of the fireplace is handmade to a Paul Smith design.”

He continues, “The bar front is Portora Gold marble, an unusual  black marble with a gold vein and the bar gantry is formed in square brass tube, with LED illuminated glass shelves. The rear of the two gantries has clear glass to the corridor, so when arriving by lift there is an immediate view through the floor to ceiling windows.”

The ceiling shows off the exposed ducting and is matt black in colour while pillars which are strategically placed the length of the bar have been clad in shimmery tiles – they refect the light and create some visual drama. They also have a shelf at posing height – which will allow guests, when it is standing room only, to perch the drinks at the pillars. Mark comments, “Any walls that are not glazed are tiled in floor to ceiling in 1200 x 1200mm Calacutta gold porcelain tiles, a white marble with a subtle gold vein.”

The predominant colours throughout are dark gray, light gray and bright red. All the modern sofa’s are dark gray with little stripped colourful cushions – and all the furniture is movable. There is a mix of sofa’s, round white posing tables, tall stools and regular square tables – all the lower tables have dark wood tops. The bar stools have bright red upholstery and the other bright red pops are evidenced in the light shades which hang immediately in front of the windows.

The floor, which has a herringbone design, is also dark and the design draws your eye to the view.

The bar itself runs the length of the room, and just in front of the bar there is an area of off-white tiles, which the bar stools sit on. The bar top is a shiny black material while there is a further dark marble effect used on the base.

It may seem obvious but the whole bar has a very airy feel – the bar stools are not closed in and the chair legs are also visible which allows you to almost look through the furniture. It does feel a bit corporate, a bit like a very nice airport lounge, but then with the volume of people who have visited so far, waiting time for the lift at night, is a bit like waiting to board a plane.

It also boasts a terrific roof terrace, which is at the far end of the bar. The terrace seats over 30 people and has the Red Sky Bar iconic logo on the wall, the perfect backdrop for those social
media photos!

Mike McColm, who honed his love for innovative cocktail creations at Glasgow institution, Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn is running the bar. He comments,“We want Red Sky Bar to become a favourite Clyde-side hang out for everyone, not just those staying at the hotel. We want to create an atmosphere that suits all occasions, be that special drinks to celebrate birthdays, pre- drinks before shows at the Hydro, or a quick pint after work.” n

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Susan Young
Susan Young is a journalist who has spent the last 20 years editing the DRAM. Prior to that, she spent a decade working in Public Relations and Events dealing with clients as diverse as Cumbernauld Development Agency and James Burrough Distillers. Her knowledge of the Scottish licensed trade is extensive and she also instigated the first ever Scottish licensed trade awards which have evolved into the Scottish Bar and Pub Awards.


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