London & South East, Premier Hospitality

Fourteenth Colonie & The Yorkshire Grey

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Fourteenth Colonie and YG, Clerkenwell Road, London

Fourteenth Colonie, a restaurant and bar concept from London based business Ruth & Robinson, is about to be unveiled following months of intensive planning.

Located on Clerkenwell Road in London the venue has been inspired by R&R Managing Director Paul Garner’s links with New York; namely that his wife and interior designer for this project was born there.

Working in partnership with Colonie, based in the New York borough of Brooklyn, the company is developing the Colonie business across London. The Fourteenth Colonie will be the first site in Clerkenwell with several new sites to follow over the next two years.

Colonie was one of New York’s first crowd-funded restaurant and bars, and has since become a highly successful hospitality business, generating much media interest, strong sales and genuine goodwill within its market.

Brooklyn became the home of the Dutch Colojne, or Colonie in English, who inhabited the territory in the early 1600’s. The Fourteenth Colonie acknowledges this, bringing the best

aspects of collaboration in food, beer and wine to the London market.

We caught up with Irene Georgakis, one of the founders of Backroom Studios, who acted as the interior designer for the Fourteenth Colonie project. Irene commented:

“Paul Garner, my husband, and I visit New York a lot as I am from there and he was keen to bring some of New York back to London.  The Fourteenth Colonie is inspired by the non-touristy and outer boroughs of Brooklyn and so during our research for this venue we went to visit places out there.”

Fourteenth Colonie and YG, Clerkenwell Road, London

Irene explained that the idea behind the new venue is to form a community hub that showcases what is great in the surrounding area including artists, musicians and innovative business people. All of the companies that have been involved with this are start up businesses as the owners were keen to keep the roots of the business local in true Brooklyn style. Ruth & Robinson have plans to roll out the Fourteenth Colonie brand in different areas across London each of which will respond and reflect the community they are within.

The venue consists of a sunken bar floor and a mezzanine floor comprising the fine dining aspect of the venue. The rest of the venue is very relaxed offering diners a casual environment to enjoy the sumptuous New York inspired food and drinks menu. The design concept has remained true to Brooklyn style featuring salvaged objects and letting the exposed building parts speak for itself.

The menu comprises an array of reasonably priced dishes focusing heavily on New York Brunch Favorites, Grills, humon­gous sandwiches and Late Night Dining. The Drinks menu will from a diverse range of more than 40 craft beers, 20 wines and an exciting cocktail list using fresh ingredients.

Ruth & Robinson was established in 2014 by Paul Garner to bring the best of the New York Bar and Restaurant scene to London, combining the best that both cities have to offer in customer service, atmosphere and design. The company philosophy is that its bars and res­taurants will provide customers with premium products, fresh ingredients, attentive service and an exceptional atmosphere. The bars’ and restaurants’ designs are inspired by industrial Brooklyn, creating a unique environment compared to “regular pubs” – without taking away the original history or character of each site.

Paul Garner, Managing Director, commented:

“The consistent ethos within the Colonie business is the desire to draw inspiration from the history of the surrounding historic neighbourhoods, supporting the local food community by using as many local purveyors as possible, while providing the locals and neighbors with a comfortable, inviting spot to drink and dine.

“This crowd-sourced approach is important for us,” said Garner. “By the people/for the peo­ple is our way of collaborating and supporting a local community. Our philosophy is that ‘in unity there is strength’ and this is evidenced by the growth in social engagement and social sharing that we see across the London market.”

Fourteenth Colonie and YG, Clerkenwell Road, London

The Yorkshire Grey

The Yorkshire Grey is part of the Hawthorne & Hill portfolio and has recently undergone an extensive renovation. The venue, which sits over two floors, was fully operational before the project began and so the team were keen to ensure the scheme did not affect trade.

The facelift project was therefore scheduled to be a short as possible and saw The Yorkshire Grey closed for a record three weeks. The building was originally constructed in 1675 and as a grade two listed structure needed to be sensitively revamped in order to retain the building’s character and history.

The venue sits over two floors; the ground floor which comprises the main bar area and the first floor containing the function room. Interior designer Irene Georgakis commented:

“The client wanted this venue to be trending with what’s happening now but make sure it didn’t lose its old character and history. So we retained the old cornices and tile work didn’t touch anything that didn’t comply with listed building consent. We also worked with conservation officers to ensure everything was restored sensitively.

“We revamped the upstairs and downstairs bar as well as the back shelving, renovated all of the bathrooms and generally updated the whole site making it a welcoming, relaxing and homely environment. We ensured the building still spoke for itself despite the revamp.”

As the venue needed to be turned around very quickly the on site team faced a challenging task to achieve the clients brief within the assigned time frame. It was a fast paced project but the team worked well together to achieve a good finish. Irene said it is great for Backroom Studios to be involved:

“It is great for us to be involved as we get a lot of exposure by being involved in these great projects. I come from a hospitality background in New York; my dad was a contractor in the restaurant business so it is great to keep on progressing in that industry. Our company wants to be as much a part of this sector as possible, its innovative and keeps us updated on what is currently trending which allows us to come up with creative design solutions.”

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