Nandos spreads its wings
A new Nandos chicken restaurant has just opened as the flagship venue of a £20m redevelopment of the Victorian vaults in the basement of Bolton’s former market hall.
The 124 cover 308m2 venue is located in the new subterranean complex below The Market Place and features a dramatic interior with exposed brick arches.
Interior designers for the scheme were Harrison Design; fit out contractors were HCM Interiors, who won praise for their work.
Created within an empty space, the restaurant, which is all on one level, includes a dining area, theatre kitchen, serving counter, waiting area, staff areas and toilets.
The stunning new interior was created within an empty space.
Mathilde Le Villain Senior designer at Harrison Design said: “Our brief was not to over-design the interior as the existing architecture already had enough character, so the design is geared to enhancing the beauty of the existing brick arches, whilst adding Nando’s characteristic African style.
“The interior design is based on a repeated diamond pattern characteristic of traditional African cloth, and this is the inspiration for the bespoke ceiling raft feature concealing the building services, which is made from specially aged steel and copper. The raft covers only part of the ceiling in order to maintain as much of the ceiling height as possible within the space.
“The diamond pattern is also featured in painted beading on timber screens and on the printed tile flooring.
“The African influence is also evident in the flourishes of bright colour evident throughout the interior.”
Dramatic, moody lighting has been installed to create an intimate atmosphere. The lighting is in a combination of different styles including multi-coloured glass, and hand woven and handmade clay shades. Flooring is in a combination of bespoke printed concrete-style tiles and reclaimed timber floor boards.
The venue includes both fixed and moveable seating which is also eclectic and colourful, with the fixed seating being specially designed for the restaurant.
Further design highlights include handmade tiles on the serving counter and Nando’s style art work which has been created in South Africa.
The restaurant also has an external seating area. Mathilde Le Villain said: “We tried to make the external area an extension of the interior, with the same intimate quality so that customers don’t feel too exposed.”
The project included the installation of all building services and a kitchen.
Challenges overcome by the contract team included height and access restrictions within the basement level vault.
Mathilde Le Villain said: “HCM were very good – and it’s always a pleasure to work with their managing director Jason Beedle.
“From what I’ve heard, everybody loves the new restaurant. Some people say that all Nando’s are the same – however this is not the case, as all of their restaurants are distinctively different, reflecting both the designer’s and the client’s passion for good design.”
Jason Beedle, HCM Interiors, said:
“I have been fortunate to work with Nando’s for numerous years and this was another project that I was fortunate to be issued by Nando’s. They are a fantastic client to work for and it’s a great name to have on our company portfolio. The designs they produce vary from location to location, which makes each site very interesting. We are proud to continue our association with Nando’s.”
As well as Nando’s signature flame-grilled chicken and peri-peri dishes, a range of new menu items including fillet steak and chargrilled vegetable pittas and wraps has been introduced at the new Nando’s.
Nick Robinson, regional managing director for Nando’s, said: “We’re really excited to be part of Bolton’s beautiful Market Place development.
“We’ve built a stunning restaurant to complement the unique, historic location.”
Nikki Wilson-Cook, the manager of the Market Place, said: “We’re very excited about Nando’s opening in our shopping centre and we’re absolutely delighted to have them.
“I and my staff have were asked on an almost continual basis about when the restaurant is going to open.”
The project commenced in January and was handed over on April 1st.
The restaurant, which has created 30 new jobs, will be the chain’s second in Bolton and its 19th in Greater Manchester.