Novus Leisure’s most recent venture, Forge, located in The City has wowed guests with its multi layered restaurant-come-bar-come-club experience and innovative industrial-chic design.
The venue was unveiled in July after an impressively short seven week closure and has seen the building transformed from its previous guise, Abacus, to the new and improved Forge.
Works on site began in May 2014 but ran into difficulties after paperwork complications caused the project to be delayed by three works. Due to the delay the on-site team operated an accelerated works programme, being on site 24 hours a day for the entire project.
Interiors UK was the main contractor on the project, whilst Harrison was the project designer and architect.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality about the project, Stuart Sutton, Contracts Manager at Interiors UK said:
“This project has been great; we have worked with Harrison before, as well as for Novus Leisure. Previously I had gone through quite a learning curve working on Core Bar and that learning curve wasn’t as steep this time as I knew how both teams worked. It was however a massively challenging job due to the building’s Listed status.”
The building, which used to operate as a bank, is Listed and so the team had to be sensitive to the property’s structure as there were elements that could not be altered, or added to.
Jon Bentley, Associate Director of Harrison, said:
“The ground floor now benefits from the original impressive stone pillars and features which, following their discovery, were incorporated into the design. In fact, most of the original features were completely concealed behind false-work so the project has really allowed the building to show off its historic qualities. The other big change was to move the location of the bar to the opposite side of the space, allowing the kitchen to be fully exposed to add energy and interest to the lower level restaurant at the far end. We also raised this level by half a metre which connected the restaurant to the bar level even more. This was a good example of engineering the space with the customer’s experience at the forefront of the thinking. ”
In the spirit of revealing the characteristics of the building the property’s ventilation system and cable trays were left exposed, spray painted only to retain the venues industrial feel. Forge also boasts an array of traditional finishes yet somehow modern in execution along with mild steel screens and balustrades.
Parkside Tiles specialise in the sourcing and supply of ceramic tiles to the commercial and domestic sector, and have recently worked as part of the Forge project. The firm supplied all the floor and wall tiles, including the handmade tiles for the venue.
Richard France of Parkside Tiles said:
“We are proud to have supplied tiles to such a prestigious and exciting venue, as well as to have played a part in helping Harrison realise their design and Interiors UK complete the project on time.”
The venue lies over three storeys; guests enter the venue on the ground floor through the main entrance and upon turning to the right are greeted by the venue’s brand new bar area. The bar is made of folded metal with a pewter top and introduces diners and drinkers to the Forge’s strong industrial theme.
Also on the ground floor guests can see the open kitchen before descending three steps into the restaurant area, which also contains the toilet facilities. From the dining space diners can see their meals being cooked on theatrical elevated grilles and watch the hustle and bustle of the kitchen as they relax at their tables.
Down another level guests will find the stripped basement and lounge bar containing an impressive large island bar, cosy booth seating and mood lighting. As guests descend further into Forge they are greeted with varying ways to spend their evening; on the lowest level the late night, club area is situated complete with a large DJ booth and VIP area. This space opens up after 9pm at and offers diners the chance to let their hair down and make the most of venues dance floor. On the very lowest level the staff facilities and sundry rooms can be found.
“We enjoyed the project greatly including putting measurements to the designer’s drawing and sending the briefs out to manufacturers, steel fabricators, and joinery contractors in order to bring Forge to life.
“The feedback so far has been tremendous.”
Mastic Man specialises in mastic application for commercial and domestic developments as well as privately owned homes. The company has been in operation for four years. In this time, Mastic Man have worked on a number of projects providing and applying silicone seals for Hyatt Hotels and Wates Living Space amongst others, as well as working on a number of other projects with Interiors UK.
Working again with Interiors UK on Forge, Mastic Man worked as sub contractors sealing all of the interiors once the project had completed.
Chris Radcliff, Co-Owner of Mastic Man said:
“We sealed areas including the kitchen, flooring, skirting and joinery to increase hygiene levels and to aid in pest control as well as protecting from water damage. The project was unique for us in that it was an old building, and we’ve not done anything similar to it before, it’s always important for us to do the job to a high quality and professional finish.”
“We pride ourselves in providing a punctual and reliable service and a high standard of work.”
Dawnvale are one of the largest commercial bar, kitchen and furniture specialists in the UK. They have been providing their services to many high profile clients in the hospitality industry for over 19 years. The firm have worked alongside TGI Fridays, Living Ventures and have just completed the third Red’s True BBQ in Headingly, following on from the phenomenal success of the Leeds and Manchester branches.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Neil Guest, Managing Director at Dawnvale, to find out more about the company’s latest project; Forge. Neil said:
“This is our fifth project with Novus Leisure and we were particularly pleased to be involved right at the beginning of this project. Our past experience working on this type of theatre style cooking meant we could utilise all the expertise and skills we had gained on previous wood burning barbeque projects and add some further innovations to enhance the food and bar operation.”
One of the key strengths of Dawnvale is their in house bar manufacturing facility which enables them to offer the complete package to include design and build of the bar and kitchen, together with contract furniture. Testament to the Dawnvale’s bar building skills is the stunning 20 metre island bar and club bar located in Forge basement. Neil added:
“It makes a big difference for the customer and Dawnvale as suppliers to be involved in so much of the project as dealing with many other trades can be difficult. We offer one point of contact for all of the bar, kitchen and any other elements of the project, which lends itself to a smoother fit out for the clients.”
Renovate Contracts Ltd
Renovate Contracts Ltd are expert hardwood flooring contractors which specialise in the laying of hardwood floors, as well as the refurbishment of existing hardwood floors. The company has been in operation as a limited company since 2003.
Renovate have extensive experience in the hospitality industry having worked on Heston Blumenthal’s The Perfectionists Cafe at Heathrow Airport, as well as undertaking projects at London’s Royal Opera House and The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.
Premier Construction caught up with Duncan Maclauchlin, Director at Renovate Contracts Ltd, to find out more about the company’s recent involvement in the Forge. He said:
“At Forge we undertook a refurbishment of the venues existing staircase. It was great to be involved with Interiors UK as they are a very good company who we are pleased to do business with. They always pass good quality work our way which we appreciate.
“As a company we pride ourselves on our reliability and quality of work, as well as our dependability. Every task we undertake is very time crucial as it halts other workers being able to do their jobs so we have to be very efficient and ensure the job is completed to the right standard at the right time.”