Fish! gets refurbished
Established in 1999, Fish! was the first restaurant of its kind in London. Their concept was simple with staff providing customers with the best quality fish, cooked in front of them, in classic and simple ways.
Located at Borough Market, the closely run family business is spearheaded by father and daughter duo Director and Owner Tony Allan and Director Charlee Allan, with the help of Financial Director, Chris Van Brockhoven who has been with the company since it opened in 1999.
Their central location in Borough Market means that London’s best produce is right on their doorstep and Fish! are proud to provide their customers with produce sourced mostly from Borough Market itself. Their fish is delivered daily from their very own fishmonger, Jarvis, which is renowned for its extensive range of the freshest fish and seafood. Head chef Nick Melmoth-Coombs has been an integral part of Fish! for ten years, adding to the success of the restaurant.
Starting life as a Victorian pea-shelling warehouse, the impressive glass steel space home to Fish! was the first restaurant in Borough Market. The remarkable building has recently undergone refurbishment and offers diners 360 degree views of the market, Southwark Cathedral and The Shard.
Rachel Oborne, Principal at COA Architecture, who designed and project managed Fish!’s refurbishment said: “As well as giving the restaurant a new look, the refurbishment has been to provide Fish! with more back of house space. Over the 16 years Fish! has been in the market things have changed. Initially the market was a small wholesale market and now you have The Shard and the local area is a lot more developed. These have contributed to making the area much more popular, which in turn has made Fish! much busier, so more back of house space was necessary.”
Work undertaken at the restaurant has included a new more inviting entrance and reception. An office has also been provided, which is a new element to the building, as well as an in-house wine store.
Rachel added: “Until now Fish! have not changed the restaurant much from the initial design by Julian Wickham, so this was an opportunity to give the whole restaurant a new look. The central dining bar which surrounds the open kitchen has been replaced and is now the main feature of the restaurant. The open kitchen was all refitted.”
The family run business also had a helping hand from Denys Allan, Tony’s wife, who played a huge part in the overall design and concept of the refurbishment. Denys worked alongside Rachel throughout the project to create her vision of the restaurant. The pea shelling warehouse has now been completely transformed, with the mirrored embellishments bringing a sense of industrial glamour to the spot, and the new leather banquette, which circles the top of the restaurant, making for a comfortable, luxurious way to dine.
Work undertaken at Fish! was a four week contract and started at the beginning of January 2016. The main contractor for the project was R I Design and Build. RI Design and Build provide a dynamic, experienced and thoroughly professional service to the design and build construction industry.
Tony Allan said: “They were absolutely fantastic to work with. To get such a huge job done in a time frame of only 30 days was phenomenal. We will be sure to use them for any work we need in the future. They’re a credit to themselves.”
Some work was also undertaken by Weber Industries who made the bar, all of the waiter stations and the entrance roof, which was made off site and assembled on site.
“We wanted to express the glass and open the restaurant up to the outside,” said Rachel. “The previous bar was quite open, it was lovely, but it didn’t allow for any kind of hidden space. Now the bar is more practical, provides storage, and is generally a beautiful centre piece, while still giving the opportunity to be able to see the chefs at work in the kitchen.
“The notion behind the curved end of the bar was conceived as a layered chandelier – we lit up the mirrors, glass shelves and glasses. The original bar was built at an angle so it worked well ergonomically but our aim was to try and design a vertical bar that also worked for the kitchen.”
Charlee Allan has taken on responsibility for the whole of the re-branding behind Fish!, including logos, menus and all graphics for the company, along with managing the restaurant.
Having worked with Fish! for over 10 years, Rachel and her team are happy to have that continued working relationship progressing with the successful restaurant brand.
She commented: “It’s great to have an ongoing working relationship with Fish!.”