Located in Rayleigh, Essex, Bar Blanco is an upmarket cocktail bar from The Only Way is Essex star Ricky Rayment and his business partner and brother-in-law Danny Salmon.
Housed within a former furniture store, Bar Blanco opened to the public in late November 2012 and serves a fine selection of drinks alongside a mouth watering menu of tasty treats.
Bar Blanco is a £500,000 site, licensed to accommodate 250 punters and covers an area of approximately 2,350 sq ft. Additional seating has been included for the warmer months of the year, but for now Bar Blanco’s aim is to provide customers with a stunning place to escape the cold throughout the day and night.
Commenting on the new venture,Bar Blanco Director, Danny Salmon, said:
“Before we launched Bar Blanco, Rayleigh was calling out for a high-end cocktail bar and this was really the catalyst for this site.
“Our aim was to create a new venue where customers could go out for a few drinks, experience a nice glass of champagne and enjoy some great food – and that is exactly what we have done.
“At Bar Blanco we offer a complete menu, from salads and pastas, to steak and chips and we also have a selection of beers and cocktails.”
Work began on Bar Blanco in August 2012, with Steve Ward at Astounding Interiors as the lead designer on the project. Astounding Interiors has more than 20 years experience in the industry and has provided services for a range of sites, including the Swan at Chapel Down Tenterden, Denrios nightclub in Newmarket and Electric Social – a gastro nightclub in London. All of these sites were achieved with a ten week period and realised through careful and experienced planning, and working closely with suppliers.
In order to transform the former furniture store into Bar Blanco, work was undertaken to strip the building back to its shell ahead of a major refit. Ceilings and toilets were also removed – making the site completely unrecognisable from what it once was.
Although Bar Blanco is a cocktail bar and not a nightclub, Danny and his team do plan to increase the tempo on weekends, so a great deal of time and money has been spent on soundproofing the entire site. Approximately 9 tonnes of acoustic soundboards have been installed into the ceiling, whilst the front doors have been fitted with acoustic glass.
Features of the site include bi-fold doors, a static window with fitted bench seating, booth seating, loose tables and a bar. Meanwhile, a kitchen, a cellar, associated office space and toilet facilities round off Bar Blanco.
“In terms of the design of Bar Blanco there is nothing quite like it on the market right now and there is certainly nothing that it can be compared to.
“Astounding Interiors have sourced materials from all over Europe, with the VIP area including ‘3D effect’ leather and Italian ceramic tiles, and the bar showcasing a mix of crystal, acrylic black triangles and LED lighting.”
“Seeing Bar Blanco go from the initial concept right through into reality has been amazing. The project has had its challenges and at times I was on site up to 12 hours a day. Coming from someone with a non-construction background this was a big learning curve, however we persevered and it has paid off.
“What we have created at Bar Blanco is a fun, comfortable environment, ideal for couples. We have a huge social networking presence and with huge demand for a site like this we are proud of what we have achieved.”
Astounding Interiors Design Director, Steve Ward, said:
“We think the outcome is amazing considering the budget and timescale we had and we are really pleased with the way it looks. Bar Blanco is easily one of the most glamorous bars in the UK if not Essex.
“There has been nothing but good feedback from the public since the launch on the 30th November and we wish Danny, Ricky and Gerry all the best of success on their new venture.”
Astounding Interiors is an innovative design practice working on a wide variety of projects within the hospitality and leisure industry. The practice has over 20 years experience in the industry working on nightclubs, bars and social clubs to restaurants, hotels and even residential schemes.
When working on a bar – such as Bar Blanco – Astounding Interiors is aware that capturing a customer’s imagination is key to making a great site. In order to achieve this, Astounding Interiors researches its target market then creates a functional interior that visually stimulates the senses.
Astounding Interior’s philosophy is that a client’s success is their success. The practice values all of its clients and its goal is to use unique designs to help a business to flourish.