Stephen Montgomery has just opened ‘Our Place Annan’. The new restaurant and bar in the centre of the town was formerly Tweedie’s Empire Bar & Eatery, which closed last year, but today the new venue bears no resemblance to its previous incarnation having been redesigned from top to toe.
It’s not just the interior that has had a complete renovation the exterior too has had an overhaul which has given the new restaurant and bar great kerb appeal.
Today Our Place Annan invites you in with its heritage blue colour woodwork, large windows, and its extensive floral display. The refurbishment included stripping everything back to the bare wood.
Says Stephen, “It took us much longer than anticipated to get it open because we had so much work to do and it took longer than we anticipated – it has been more than three months of pure sweat and worry and we spent more than we expected to.” He continues, “The budget doubled because every time we took something out another problem appeared so we ended up replumbing, replastering, putting in new toilets and pulling half the walls down.”
Well, it was certainly worth it. Customers have been well impressed with the transformation and since opening the venue has been busy. Stephen smiles “The feedback has been phenomenal. We wanted to try and stop people going out of Annan to Carlisle and other areas because there was a bigger choice of bars and restaurants. There is a lot of disposable income here but it was being spent elsewhere.”
The bar remains on the left-hand side as you walk in but it has been rebuilt from scratch. Says Stephen, “We used BarFab from Manchester, and they did a great job. It’s the part of the refurbishment which I like the best. We also put all new equipment in and put a Carndean floor in the bar area and groove panelling in heritage blue and grey is used throughout. They have also put in a divide created partly with floral decorations – which are evident throughout.
Stephen explains, “We wanted it to be more private and also we wanted to keep our customers from any drafts from the doors. “Now when you walk in you see all the floral decorations and the lighting. We have also put in a mixture of booth seating fixed seating and free standing seating upholstered in mink-coloured fabric and used Chantilly House for our wallpaper.”
New tartan carpeting gives the venue a softer look and helps with the ambience and heat retention. The Place Annan also boasts a Red Telephone booth which is a real instagrammable feature. Another feature which is instagrammable is the picture of Andrey Hepburn in the ladies’ toilets. Stephen admits, “I love the bar and the woman’s toilets but it was my wife Sharon who took care of the design there.” Stephen also sent his new team on a cocktail course so that they can deliver the best cocktails in town. He concludes, “We have created a bit of city in what is a great town and I think we have created a wow factor in Annan. Certainly, customers have told us that it far outweighs what they expected.