‘SMITHS’ of Smithfield
A new ‘SMITHS’ of Smithfield has opened its doors at Cannon Street, London.
Designed to reflect the distinctive personality of their flagship restaurant in Farringdon, the new 200-cover site offers the mouth-watering dishes ‘SMITHS’ is known for. The bar and restaurant sits opposite Cannon Street Station in the Walbrook Building allowing easy access for guests who wish to dine until late in the evening.
Award-winning architects The Manser Practice worked on the design of the restaurant with Senior Designer Rob Owen and his team creating a contemporary feel that works for business breakfasts through to post-work drinks, private celebrations and intimate dinners.
“We pitched for the project in April of this year and had the restaurant completed on November 11th. The design is due to the strange nature of the site as it’s a very long commercial unit,” commented Rob. “The bar area is to the front of the space with the bar itself separating the area from the restaurant at the back. Part of the bar counter is double sided, allowing staff to work from either side and creating an atmosphere that flows from one end to the other.”
The original ‘SMITHS’ of Smithfield sits within a unique Grade II listed building and features a cafe, two restaurants, two bars and a collection of exclusive private hire space, flowing across four spacious floors. There is a fine dining restaurant on the top floor with a more industrial style on the first and second floors. “We wanted to bring the essence of the original restaurant and bar to the new site at Cannon Street. For the bar it was very much about the industrial style of ‘SMITHS’ whereas with the restaurant we created a slightly smarter design in order to suit the expanding customer base. Certainly with the clientele around Cannon Street there will be many business meetings that happen at breakfast, lunch and dinner in both the restaurant and bar areas. So the design very much focused on that.”
The bar area is heavily influenced by the ‘SMITHS’ branding with the colour scheme and features. “We went for a lot of matte black and red gloss mosaic on the wall so there is a strong brand identity as guests enter and see the logo on the wall,” added Rob. The exposed ceiling and dark grey paint keeps the industrial feel of the original site. “We worked closely with SWP, the mechanical and electrical designers, to produce a really beautiful ductwork ceiling which is exposed in the front area.” The industrial look of the bar is tapered with high-end, quality finishes that run throughout the whole of the interior. The bar has red leather banquettes and red tiles throughout with detailing such as herringbone tilling and brass trimming on the flooring.
“Some of the details of the bar run through to the restaurant but the overall atmosphere is different,” commented Rob, “We used a lot of timber such as the panelling and parquet flooring which creates a much warmer tone. A very soft blue was used on the walls as well as some delicate wallpaper on a back wall to create a more refined design.” Some of the brass within the bar is also picked up in the restaurant through the subtle corner trims and skirting within the banquettes and booth seating.
One of the unique features of the Cannon Street site is the use of industrial metal mesh that is used as a visual connection for the two areas within the separating bar. “We kept a lot of the bar quite open with the mesh so guests can see into both the restaurant and bar area, allowing the atmosphere to feed off of each area throughout the day,” added Rob.
The exterior of the new ‘SMITHS’ site has been kept simple and elegant with the signage maximising the impact of the front of the restaurant. “The area is strict with what we can do with the signage for the front of the building so we hung delicate pendant lighting and placed them next to the window. The window has a long drinks shelf so customers can sit within the window animating that front space.”
As with any new project there were challenges along the way that Rob and his team overcame. “We had to deal with a level change within the unit and the restaurant area had no natural light so we worked with Moth Lighting to ensure that the atmosphere we wanted to create would still be suitable for dining throughout the day.” As well as regular recessed lighting within the banquette seating areas, there are delicate wall lights that are used throughout giving ‘SMITHS’ the flexibility to change the lighting during the day to create an ever changing atmosphere but still with the classic ‘Smiths’ of Smithfield feel.
With over 50 years’ experience in interior bar and restaurant fit out and build, Ecsec Ltd deliver projects with flexibility, high quality and punctuality in mind. Ecsec also undertake high-end retail and commercial interior developments.
The dedicated team at Ecsec has the experience and energy to tackle any challenge they face, promising a quality end product. The company has worked with multiple clients including Carluccio’s, Turtle Bay, Giraffe, Aviva, Middleton’s Steakhouse and of course, Smiths of Smithfield.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Iain Maling of Ecsec Ltd, to discover some key information. Iain said: “Smiths asked Ecsec to join forces to produce a more grown-up Smiths of Smithfield in the Walbrook Building in Cannon Street London. The challenges faced included underfloor drainage and floor levels which had to be built up from over 1 metre below the external paving to produce 3 levels – Entrance, Bar and Restaurant. There was a strict budget to meet which was achieved.”
Some of the materials used were coloured mosaic tiles to form the Smiths logo on the feature wall, brass kitchen gantry and features, an extremely complex exposed extract system and a bespoke built chilled wine display room. The overall project value was £1.4 million and took 12 weeks to achieve.
“We pride ourselves in our exceptional service and value for money and as such have developed long term working relationships with our clients.”
When asked how important it was to be involved with this particular project, Iain replied: “All of our projects are important – but it is good to be involved with an up and coming concept!”
For further information please visit: www.ecsec.com.