London’s Nam Long, situated on Old Brompton Road, has been revamped following a three month restyle project by the venues new owner Dzuewen Dang, who has recently taken over following the retirement of her father.
Originally established in 1987 Nam Long has achieved a cult status because of its potent house cocktails and indulgent, oriental dishes.
Alexandra Shamoon, Director of Boxer & Brown, project managed the renovation project as well as delivering the design concept for the project. We caught up with Alexandra to find out more about the scheme, she commented:
“I got involved with Nam Long after being recommended by a friend; I pitched for the project and a month later was awarded the contract by Dzuwen. Nam Long is an institution in the area comprising of a ground floor bar with a basement area which had always been used as a through route to the toilet. With this in mind the brief was to revamp the upstairs whilst maintaining the existing features so the existing clientele wouldn’t be shocked that the space had changed.
“The downstairs area was completely gutted and transformed into a sexy, opium den-lounge that opens to the public later in the evening.”
Alex pitched for the project in October 2014 and were confirmed as the designers in November, spending the rest of November undertaking the planning process before works started on site just before Christmas. The venue was closed completely until it reopened on the 6th February.
Working alongside main contractors, WPR Logistics, Boxer & Brown gave the space a new lease of life. As part of the scheme the first floor space was repainted, new floors were laid and a new bar was installed, designed and manufactured by Cantilever, alongside new striking decorative items.
The basement area had not been renovated since the 1990s and so was in need of attention. Alex and the on site team stripped everything out of the space and fitted a new bar, again from specialist designers Cantilever and created a bespoke design scheme to maximise the space; which now comprises enough room for 30 covers.
The basement lounge comprises a range of banquette seating, lounge tables and a bookcase with integrated seating all of which has been designed bespokely by Boxer & Brown and manufactured by White Velvet to give the space a unique, luxury feel.
The team did encounter a few access-related issues with regards to the basement, Alex commented:
“Access in the basement was hard so we had to bring a lot of the furniture down in pieces and construct them in situ. In order to fit the banquette seating into the space the spiral staircase had to be semi-dismantled.”
The basement now features an array of atmospheric burgundies and velvets, drapery and luxury items linking the downstairs space with the upstairs. The design team have linked both areas with similar colour schemes, comfortable chairs, menus and the waiter stations. The team have also utilised decorative glass to create an impressive feature wall in the basement which links with the decorative glass on the bar front upstairs.
Cantilever Bars specialise in the design, manufacture and installation of bars and bar equipment across the hospitality industry. Cantilever has instrumental in the upgrading of Nam Long’s bars, revamping it alongside owner and operator Dzuewen to ensure the successful delivery of a comprehensive range of cocktails.
Caroline Craven, Managing Director of Cantilever Bars, commented:
“We worked closely with the owner to update the bar, keeping the overall feel of the space but installing up to date equipment.
“The owner understood everything we specialised in which makes it very exciting for us. Dzuewen is very precise and was detailed about what she wanted from us and Cantilever delivered a very bespoke approach to the design of the bar equipment.
“We delivered a bar that fulfilled operational requirements and worked closely with the design team to deliver the aesthetics of the bar including the bar fronts and tops.”
The team delivered a new main bar on the ground floor and developed the basement area into a much more cohesive space with a neat bar.
Another part of the two month on site project involved the revamp of the venue’s outside space which has been refreshed, repainted and the colours have altered to make the space smarter and modern, whilst in keeping with the old space. The basement has also been designed to double up as a private dining space.
Part of the revamping project was to ensure Nam Long’s ventilation systems were not too intrusive, especially in the basement where there are no windows and ventilation is crucial. The team also discovered a few areas of damp once the team started ripping up tiles which were a challenge; in spite of this unforeseen difficulty the team managed to keep within the necessary timeframes imposed by client. There was also a short amount of time left after the venue opened, before the press launch, where the team were able to iron out any small teething issues.
“It has been fantastic to be involved with this project and is quite an accomplishment to be chosen as a the designers of a bar formed in 1987; to still be thriving after 30 years is impressive for a London bar. This scheme has been a great moment in the Boxer & Brown history and hearing what the existing clientele had to say when it was finished was so satisfying I cannot put it into words.
“Being given the opportunity to work on an establishment like Nam Long as a fairly young company was fantastic.”