Having been open a relatively short time, Chef Nico Simeone has tweaked his Public House by Nico concept on Glasgow’s Great Western Road into a new 60-cover neighbourhood gastro-pub called The Hebridean.
Having originally made a journey to the Outer Hebrides with head chef Andy Temple with the intention of creating a bespoke six-course tasting menu for the Six by Nico brand, he said that he was instead inspired to create The Hebridean after meeting with fisherman, distillers, butchers and bakers from the Islands.
The changes to interior design are on the subtle side and reflect a taste of the upper reaches of Scotland, namely Skye, Lewis, Harris and Barra, bringing a little of it all back to Glasgow in terms of both the pub’s food and drink offering and its new interior design.
Glasgow-based Severino Eusevi came up with the concept after accompanying the guys on their reconnaissance mission to source some design inspiration. Speaking about the project, he told DRAM, “Working with Nico Simeone to achieve his design concept visualisation was a great pleasure. He wanted to bring Scottish Hebridean roots to Glasgow and so we travelled to the outer Hebrides together to gain an understanding of what he wanted, sourcing stuff like an old sewing spindle, for example, and a whole host of other items. The whole project was a breeze and there were no challenges.”
Chef Nico Simeone added, “The Hebridean Isles are truly otherworldly. Since first visiting the Isles, rich in their own unique cultures and offerings, we have been inspired to open an establishment where we can champion the best of the Isles rich produce. The Hebridean will be a neighbourhood gastro-pub that will offer an honest approach to cooking with Hebridean produce at its heart.”
Now for our verdict on the design.
Let’s start with one of the starkest contrasts between old and new – the exterior of the pub which couldn’t be more different. Gone is the black painted frontage and gold signage and in its place is a new gleaming all-white paint job with subtle yellowy-green signage.
Inside, the layout remains the same, with the bar on your right as you enter encased in its own wee area thanks to an exposed brick wall and seating area.
The restaurant area, where most of the changes were made, lies beyond.
This middle area, the largest space, overlooks the kitchen thanks to a sizeable serving hatch, and beyond this, partitioned by another exposed brick wall, is the final seating area.
The bar has a wooden panelled front, white marble top and metal glass shelves for glasses and bottles. The back-bar is mainly wood, with glass shelves and a lovely stained glass detail as its centrepiece.
The floors and walls look to have been a legacy of Public House by Nico, but there are a few noticeable changes. The biggest being the addition of the booths that run parallel to the window. Upholstered in Harris Tweed on the back rests with caramel leather seats, they’re a marvellous addition with an aspect onto the busy pavement.
The tiles on the floor in this area, that sit on top of the unchanged wooden floorboards, have been painted an aqua-green colour replacing what were black and white ones.
The banquette upholstery in the third area has also been replaced from a tartan to the Harris Tweed /caramel leather combo.
The metallic wallpaper and wall lights remain the same in this area but the furniture in this part of the pub as well as throughout has gone from being uniform wooden with the same tartan upholstery to an array of different styles of seating and upholstery, including more Harris tweed and a reddish leather.
The walls were a lot plainer in its former incarnation save for the stag’s heads on the walls in the main body of the kirk which have now been joined by shelves displaying various nick-nacks and a host of other artisan-looking objects.
Hanging on the walls are also a variety of mirrors – from the plain to the talking point, like a circular one with a thick knotted wooden frame that really stands out.
So we can safely assume that Chef Simeone was over the moon that he made that trip north because he’s been able to change course pretty early on in this unit’s life without doing anything too drastic to the interior, ensuring that it’s new enough to re-ignite fresh interest while retaining a strand of continuity with his Public House by Nico concept.