London based bar group Drake & Morgan have unveiled their latest venture; The Fable Bar & Restaurant.
The Fable is Drake & Morgan’s seventh site; the impressive three storey space is situated on the intersection of Farringdon Road and Holborn Viaduct.
Premier Hospitality magazine caught up with Sam Smith, lead designer on The Fable project, who is an Associate at Fusion Design. Sam said:
“Fusion have worked with Drake & Morgan from day one, we have been designing their sites from the company’s inception in 2008. It is really exciting for Fusion to work with a company who are so involved in the innovation of the restaurant and bar industry. We were involved in the planning process of this venue from early 2012, before construction on site started in September 2013.
“The venue has two ground floors, one on Farringdon Road and one on Holborn Viaduct with a mezzanine floor sandwiched in between so it was a tricky site to coordinate. We wanted to create a space with a big impact; so each level contains a bar that emphasises the impressive drinks offers.
“The venue is not just an eatery and a bar; Drake & Morgan also conduct cookery and craft classes out of every venue so each site has to be flexible. We were given the name, The Fable, halfway through the planning stage which really helped to trigger our imagination and pull together a design concept.”
The 200 cover lower ground floor contains the venue’s kitchen and links to the mezzanine floor via a double height void space. The design on both floors echoes a 1960’s vibe, boasting autumnal colours, as well as a large library bookshelf on the mezzanine level which is full of old fables, and childhood stories.
The upper ground floor, which holds space for 130 covers, is 1970’s retro in its design with large print, palm plant wallpaper adorning the walls. The space also boasts calm, soothing creams and light brown tones which are highlighted by strong, dark coloured marbles.
Like every other Drake & Morgan site the menu is accessible on all floors. The bar and kitchen wrap around each other on the lower ground floor so the hub of the staff activity is based on one level. The team have installed a cold bar on the upper ground floor so sharing plates can be prepped upstairs, as well as being able to run a normal bar service from the floor. The upper floor also contains spaces for hire and facilities for various classes.
One of The Fable’s most quirky features is the mezzanine level which caters for 110 diners. The level boasts its own bar and can be hired out for private parties. The mezzanine floor sits directly above the lower ground floor and can be reached via a staircase adorned with a glass balustrade.
The main contractor on the project was Fileturn Limited, as the building was a new build archaeological works had to be undertaken before construction could begin. During the dig the remnants of an old pub called The Three Tunnes was discovered below the existing building. The frame of the new structure is a contemporary steel beam building with reclaimed and engineered solid timber flooring used throughout.
All of the wall tiles which decorate the venue are handmade and the impressive solid walnut top on the lower ground floor bar, sourced from Muraspec, continues the natural design. The three levels are joined by a huge mild steel staircase, with simple soldered mild steel treads and a simple mild steel balustrade. The walls of the staircase are dressed in feature wallpaper which hold numerous pages of short stories and so tie in with the name of the venue.
The project completed in the first week of February just in time for Valentine’s Day. Lead designer Sam Smith said the venue brings something new and vibrant to the area:
“The site is going to be the first bar-restaurant of its type in this area. We are on a main commuter link in and out of London and are just down the road from Farringdon Station and Holborn Viaduct Station. We are hoping to offer a real hub for city workers; the occupiers of the adjoining office building are Amazon so we are presuming they will relish having a cool bar and restaurant next door. Drake & Morgan are good at spotting sites that are in up and coming areas and this is another example of their foresight.
“Our partnership with Drake & Morgan is very important to us here at Fusion; we really enjoy working with a company who are so innovative in their approach to business. They send their key members of staff around the world on innovation trips and they are constantly chasing global inspiration. It is nice to be challenged at every site we are involved in. There is a global approach to finding out what is new and staying ahead of the game.”
The Contract Chair Company consult, source, supply and manufacture loose furniture for commercial interior projects. The firm supplied the seating, table bases and dining surfaces for The Fable development, most of which were manufactured to bespoke requirements.
The company’s Sales Director and Co-Owner James Ketteringham said:
“Every single project is unique in its way for us, but The Fable, being Drake and Morgan’s innovative vision brought to life by designers at Fusion, was an exciting opportunity to showcase an extremely wide range of styles and types of furniture we are able to supply.”
UHS UK is a specialist bespoke furniture designer and supplier for the hospitality industry. Having been in operation since 1976, UHS have supplied endless amounts of products to a vast array of restaurants, hotels and coffee shop chains.
The firm produce a range of furniture and are skilled at adapting them in line with client’s requirements, as well as creating brand new, bespoke pieces whenever customers require them.
The company have an impressive portfolio of projects having just completed works on Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville’s latest venture; Cafe Football and are currently working on Heston Blumenthal’s newest venue. Premier Construction caught up with UHS UK’s Marketing Director, Dan Gillmore to find out more about their involvement in The Fable development.
He said the firm worked with project designers Fusion Design and supplied the venue with TAGG bar stools, as well as bespoke copper tables and a range of ash tables.
Fusion Design sent mood boards through to the team and UHS sourced and hand made products to suit their requirements. Dan added:
“Drake and Morgan is a high profile brand which is great to be involved with. We are working with many high end brands and well known chains with our team being focused on working with the clients and designers in order to understand their needs. UHS have access to a huge range of products that we source from all over the world, as well as being skilled at creating bespoke products for customers in line with their requirements.