Blues Cafe

newcastle upon tyne

august 2020

Before the completed work, this Grade 2 listed building was beginning to fall into disrepair and needed renovation, which was completed to the high standards of English Heritage requirements. It was a big project, completed in two phases with many bespoke features built.

Completely removing the old bar, it was replaced ‘like for like’ with bespoke timber mouldings and a brass bar. This bar is tiled in bottle green metro tiles to ensure consistency with the pub’s Victorian heritage and original features. The back bar features a hanging blues guitar, and a glass whiskey shelf with an eye-catching, LED illuminated tiered bottle stand for other spirits.

The three archways downstairs have white metro tiles with vinyl branded lettering ‘Cloth Market Buildings’ across the sections. In this seating area, there is yellow upholstered fixed seating. Contrastingly, the walls are either painted grey or pasted with posters from old blues magazines. LED lighting here adds emphasis. Additionally, the ceilings and walls in this section were all treated to new plaster boarding and skimming.

The toilets needed to be ripped out and refitted with first and second fix plumbing and electricals carried out. Using white crackle-glazed metro tiles and leaving them unsealed allows the black grout to spread through the cracks and provides a worn-in aesthetic. All the toilet units are constructed from engineered wood.

Externally, the front door handles were custom made by modifying the necks from two old guitars. There is a bold, inviting entranceway using treated timber, two-storey columns in the discrete alleyway entrance at the back of the building. Crackle-glazed, yellow metro tiles were mitred around the columns and sealed with anti-graffiti sealant. This bespoke feature is completed with brass swan neck lighting to illuminate the tiles from above and add a heritage look.

In phase two of the project, the upstairs ‘Pink Boy Room’ was fully refitted, with first and second fix electrical work also carried out. The ceilings were replastered and then tiled over using worn-looking ceiling tiles and luxury vinyl tiles laid in a herringbone pattern wood effect on the floor. There is a vintage wardrobe utilised as an entranceway, opening into the upstairs bar. There are listed fixed timber seating around this, which despite needing to rip out the entire bar, has been carefully restored, per English Heritage requirements. The replacement bar is a custom made, glass-fronted, mesh cage, vinyl record storage unit. There is hidden LED lighting enhancing this feature further. Behind this, the back bar is also bespoke, manufactured on-site with illuminated shelving and metal fabricated cage doors to give it an industrial feel. This industrial-style ties in with exposed metal rolled steel joists. Back of house, there is a speed station for cocktails fully plumbed in like the downstairs bar.

In the adjoining room, removing a dividing wall opened up the space, providing room for the pool table. There is also a bespoke, neon crucifix lighting this room. In keeping with English Heritage requirements, all the walls have been refurbished and french-polished back to the original look.

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3d design renders

We use lasers to take measurements of the venue so that a computer-aided design (CAD) plan can be generated. Then we either produce a mood board collaboratively with the client, by ourselves, or one can be supplied by the client. After that, a 3D model of the proposed venue can be created that can then be amended slightly by the client before we can start to bring the proposed works to life on site.




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