Situated over two floors, Bealim House is Newcastle’s first authentic Gin distillery, bar and eatery.
A spectacularly innovative venue, Bealim House is home to the Newcastle Gin Company and the city’s only working in-house Gin still.
Developments began on site on what was formerly a sports bar in June this year – with the restaurant bar being finalised in August. One Concept acted as main contractor, delivering their high quality services alongside Collective Design, who managed the design aspect of the project.
With three levels, the ground floor houses the gin distillery, as well as the main bar that presents a wide range of drinks, alcoholic and otherwise. Moving up to the first floor, an open plan kitchen and dining area awaits guests who wish to enjoy good, honest food. The basement provides space for the back of house area as well as toilet facilities.
Premier Hospitality spoke to Simon Mcilwraith, Owner and Director of Collective Design, to find out about the transformation. Simon said:
“We used the architecture of the building, using a lot of the steel and put that on show as part of the design – so it had an industrial vibe about it. To reinforce this we incorporated industrial steel and screens, adding some reclaimed materials in there such as reclaimed timber panelling on the walls. We then softened that up with more luxurious products such as real leather.
“The open kitchen was designed in a way so that the public didn’t have any clear definite lines of segregation of the space between the restaurant and kitchen – even in the kitchen we have a table where guests can dispense their own beer if they order a keg.”
With an air of theatre, the space is stylish and unique and presents a sense of fun with the opportunity to watch food being prepared by the chefs and order large kegs with the bonus of the self service facility. The entire experience has been designed to incorporate guests and allow them to feel integrated into the working space, whilst enjoying the theatrical atmosphere.
Featuring delicious options, the first floor eatery menu includes a selection of tapas dishes including mini chorizos in Newcastle Gin, spicy pork pops, mussels and chilli spiced squid. Mouth-watering mains include handcrafted lobster and crab cake, seared salmon, steak and chips and the handcrafted burger. Chocolate Nemesis Cake served with crème fraiche, and refreshing lemon posset are two of the tempting treats on the dessert menu.
“The feedback has been fantastic; the restaurant has been received very well. Everyone seems to love the vibe and the design which is great.
“I like projects where you learn something as you go along. I really enjoyed the fact I was able to decompose the lines between how you should use the space and how we worked that space with the open kitchen. Sometimes the client can be very precise with what they want however in this case, they allowed us to be creative in this; and I always find that when a client allows you to be a bit creative with a project you always get the best results out of it.”
“During the project the client and I worked well together, it was a successful collaboration. The client also brought a great operations scheme that complimented the teamwork perfectly. It means a lot when you have a client that believes in you and you believe in what they do.”