Passing Clouds – Sky high success
This month saw the opening of Passing Clouds, a brand new bar located in Newcastle’s Bigg Market adjacent to popular live music destination, Filthy’s. Owned by the same company, Passing Clouds is another part of the exciting Bigg Market regeneration project.
Fabian Pritchard, Marketing Manager for Passing Clouds and Filthy’s, told Premier Hospitality:
“The Passing Clouds project began in mid-March 2016 and the bar was open at the beginning of May for the Bank Holiday weekend.
“I thrived off the adrenaline from working to a tight deadline and it was an enjoyable process, and once we opened it did turn out really well.
“This is the first step to making the Big Market more of a family friendly place – we incorporated tables and chairs outside of the bar for people to sit out in the sun and socialise with nice drinks.”
Walking through the doors at Passing Clouds customers can see the bar on the right hand side, followed by the eye-catching tin effect tiles which make up the backdrop and the back bar wall abundant in premium spirits. To the left of the bar, plush upholstery booths allow for customers to be seated in style, facing an eccentric shelving unit that displays a whole host of random objects such as picture frames and ornaments to represent a living room.
Straight ahead there are more tables and chairs adjacent to the staircase which leads up to another floor, featuring the Passing Clouds lounge that acts as an isolated lounge area, boasting an impressive balcony that overlooks the entire bar downstairs.
“Passing Clouds is technically part of the same unit as Filthy’s – the bar is actually where the VIP room of Filthy’s used to be. The unit used to be a student venue that offered low cost drinks and at the weekend they would be a bit more expensive – whereas now – half of the venue is live music and the other half is more sophisticated and luxurious, perfect for customers who wish to sit down and relax with a cocktail.
“Seating five or six people at a time, the booths have been fashioned with a yellow felt fabric, adding colour and vibrancy to the space. The tin effect tiles have added a quirky edge to the bar, appearing as if the entire back bar is made from metal. These tiles were originally ordered from Texas – you can imagine the delays we experienced! We ended up getting them from Glasgow to make sure we made the timescale.”
One of the focal features within Passing Clouds is the large, grand chandelier that hangs from the centre of the bar, acting as a statement piece. Similarly, the shelving units by the booths have a quirky nostalgic effect due to the objects placed on them, making them a perfect talking point.
“The feedback has been excellent! One of the main aims was to make the design more female friendly – so a lot of the artwork and branding is pink, and we are running a competition at the moment named ‘Paint the Town Red’, giving away a pair of Louis Vuittons to a lucky winner. This has seen a lot of female interest with online social media, which is really quite refreshing.
“It has been an honour to work on Passing Clouds, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It was quite a high pressure development with the timescales but to see it all come together has been amazing.”
Premier Hospitality also spoke to Gordon Devenney, Design Associate of Dublin and Belfast based Interior Creatives O Donnell O Neill Design, responsible for the design aspects at Passing Clouds. Gordon revealed that:
“This is the second phase of refurbishment of the premises formally occupied by Bambu Nightclub. The first phase completed last year was redesigned and branded as Filthy’s Newscastle. This second phase, the ‘Passing Clouds’ element of the project was turned around from start to finish on site in approximately four weeks.
“Our design brief was to create a dynamic and desirable eclectic bar that had a nostalgic feel. Essentially the bar consists of a mix of eclectic materials many of which are reclaimed from architectural salvage yards.
“The tight time frame was certainly the most challenging aspect of the project – however the feedback has been excellent since opening which makes it all worth it. It has been an exciting opportunity to reinvent this landmark premises and secure its viability for many years to come.”