Design Focus: Pellegrini


1075 Argyle Street, Glasgow

Writing about the Pellegrini refurbishment involved far less legwork than usual because it’s only a few manly strides from our office in Finnieston. Right on Glasgow’s Argyle Street, in fact, where Panevino used to be since 2012.

The new owners Rosaria Crolla Pellegrini and her sister Gabriella acquired the 60-cover restaurant from their cousin, Remo Crolla. Rosaria’s husband, Stefano, is Pellegrini’s executive chef.

The sisters run the Liverpool-based The Italian Club family of restaurants and have been hands-on with the design, being
involved right up to the hilt. Said Rosaria, “I’ve never used interior designers – we were lucky enough to have a very talented mother with an eye for interior design and from whom we learned so much.

“We tend not to go with current trends like the chrome-industrial look that’s just not really us – we go with what we like, with a focus on comfort fused with a traditional element. We were also keen to add colour and so the contractor suggested the drawing room blue that we’ve used on the walls. Overall, I’d say that the colours reflect the colours of the Amalfi coast.”

Much of the refurbishment also came about in order that the outlet could attract more of a lunchtime clientele. Explained Rosaria, “We are one of the principal restaurants serving the Hydro and the former layout, while wonderful, didn’t lend itself particularly well to groups.”

For anybody that was familiar with Panevino, the fundamental structure – i.e. ground floor and spiral staircase up to a long mezzanine and toilets – remains pretty much the same.

So what’s changed?

Well, the central bar on the ground floor that had seating all around it and to the left in the window, plus all the heavy wood panelling and mirrors, have all gone and in their place stands a bar immediately to your left as you enter that is fairly wide, housing a generous prep area. There’s also a door off to the kitchen and a serving hatch here. The lovely yellow tiles on the bar-front and the white walls and ceilings all contribute to a lighter, airier feel. The countersunk spotlights in the ceiling generating a warm, bright light.

They’re pouring Birra Moretti behind the bar – a brand with strong links to the Italian tradition of great food, beer and company, perfectly aligning with Pellegrini’s offering. Directly in front of the bar are some lovely bright patterned tiles,
beyond which is a parquet wooden floor, on top of which sit the tables and chairs of the main seating area. It’s framed by a big corner banquette in blue velvet and this same colour has been used in the free-standing chairs, as well as yellow and a rust colour, which have then been paired with wooden tables.

The drawing room blue goes up to dado-rail height from where the panels have then been painted white. There are also some interesting brass wall lights (Rosaria loves brass) and right at the top, a shelf running the entire way around that houses bottles of wine and Mediterranean-looking fish jugs. On the walls are circular mirror and contemporary prints.

As you climb the spiral staircase, you’re confronted by exposed filament light-bulbs on varying lengths of shade-free pendants halfway up, to entertain you should you require a rest, and which are an unexpected touch. There’s also a huge mirror in which you can check yourself out on the stairs, alternatively, and continue to do so along the long mezzanine.

There’s a long tan leather banquette in this area, along which is a row of tables and multi-coloured wooden chairs. The colour scheme is the same as downstairs, blue and white, with white walls, wall lights and food-related pictures. At the very end of this tunnel-like space is a lovely circular mirror.

The day I visited it was lunchtime and there were plenty of customers enjoying the new design as well as the food, so the
investment and all the consideration that went into the design looks to have been well worth the effort.


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