Set within the heart of vivacious Edinburgh, Bierkeller has undergone an internal refurbishment of its former site, situated on the lower floor within the renowned Frankenstein venue. From a design perspective, the project commenced in March 2015, with architectural practice J A Leask Architects starting onsite in September. The refurbishments were finalised and the venue opened its doors to the public in October 2015.
The Bierkeller at Frankenstein’s is a traditional German beer cellar that can accommodate party goers and regular punters alike. Delivering top party tunes, the venue also brings an Oompah band to get everybody in the spirit with its German songs featuring a modern twist. Open until 1am on weekdays and 2am at the weekends, the venue promises a great night filled with drinking, dancing and debauchery!
Architectural and design practice, J A Leask Architects, carried out the interior design, architecture and project management of the project at Bierkeller Edinburgh. The venue itself presents four floors; however the improvements only took place on the lower storey, where Bierkeller is situated.
In order to discuss the company’s involvement with the project, Premier Hospitality spoke with Michael Kelman, at J A Leask Architects, who said:
“The existing venue itself was a Frankenstein bar with a Bierkeller underneath, and the entire budget was £200,000. We completely reworked the space within the dated building, creating a flexible space that presents high quality finishes and an attractive Bavarian themed design.
“The building wasn’t used to its full capacity; it wasn’t fully established as a Bierkeller as the design didn’t really reflect the typical Bierkeller, it portrayed more of a Frankenstein theme. Since the overhaul, the venue clearly has its own personal identity and this has been referenced with elements such as branding and external signage.
Bierkeller Edinburgh is a stand alone operation however it does draw reference and pay homage to the Frankenstein theme. For example, the copper, green LED lighting and graphics are subtle hints, and even the fact that the beer is served in Steins – there are several elements that tie the two venues together successfully.
Distressed stained pine was incorporated for the backdrop at the venue, to impart a rustic, aged and natural feel to the space, complimented with pastel walls and a mixture of reclaimed and brand new pine and hardwood flooring, as well as reclaimed green marble tiles. This works alongside dynamic green LED lighting set behind the panelling and palettes of green – adding to the continuation of the Frankenstein theme throughout the venue.
According to Michael:
“The feedback has all been very positive and it seems that the new Bierkeller has been very well received by everyone. The comments that we have had are all very encouraging.
“The Bierkeller is effectively a venue within a venue!”
Lovers of German beer can choose to enjoy three draught beers served in the distinctive Steins, or choose from ten types of bottled beers. Also on offer are the stein cocktails, schnapps and culinary favourites including bratwurst, schnitzel and apple strudel.
A condensed yet delicious menu offers a range of dishes without the hassle of indecision. Starters on the menu include soup of the day, bruschetta and BBQ chicken wings. Appetising mains feature on the menu such as the steak burger, Franken-furter, chicken Caesar salad, Cajun chicken breast and a vegetable option of halloumi and vegetable skewers. For dessert, diners can choose from refreshing key lime tart, sumptuous chocolate brownie, and ice cream.
Fantastically, the space can cater for both larger events and smaller gatherings, in the form of general drinking, social events, parties and anything else you can think of. Ingeniously, the space was designed with an approach to flexibility in order to ensure that this venue would attract a wide audience.
Guests can book their own table, area or booths within the Bierkeller at Frankenstein’s Pub making it ideal for stags and hens, group bookers and nights out with friends. A number of packages are available for guests ranging in price and what they entail, such as free entry, table service, food and beverages.
Featuring two staged areas, Bierkeller Edinburgh maintains the brand’s typical bar-feel with the encouragement of drinking and dancing on the tables in a boisterous fashion, boasting a great sense of energy and exuberance. However the great thing about this particular venue is that it also serves as an ideal place for dining – again due to the flexibility of the space. This notion allows for a perfectly smooth transition from day to night.
Impressive large photo-printed wallpaper greets guests in two of the vaults, displaying Bavarian themed images such as the famous Neuschwanstein Castle that has been printed onto a wallpaper roughly 2.5 metres high. This is placed onto the back wall of the vault, and appears to look as if guests are actually at the castle from one of the stand points.
There is a great sense of authenticity about the place, with the use of natural reclaimed materials such as reclaimed timber and tiles, delivering the feel of a spectacular Bavarian beer vault. Despite this, a clean and polished effect is still emanated within the venue, with the integration of polished concrete flooring and fascia to the bar and a copper clad bar, promoting clean lines and juxtaposing against the rustic design elements.
“It has been absolutely fantastic – it was great to be part of such an institutional building, Frankenstein is very well known within Edinburgh, Scotland, nationally and worldwide!
“It was a privilege to work with all of the different people involved and we feel that we have made a positive contribution to the space and we have maximised its potential. Bierkeller Edinburgh is most definitely a wonderful new space with its own individual identity.”
Hugh Stirling specialise in fit out and refurbishment in the hospitality industry. The company have been in operation for around 40 years and in this time have worked with a number of prestigious brands including JD Weatherspoons, Manorview Hotels and Hawthorn Leisure.
Working on Bier Keller, Hugh Stirling were the main contractors and were therefore responsible for delivery of the complete refurbishment and fit out including the manufacturing of the bar counters and feature furniture.
Angus Alston at Hugh Stirling said:
“The Bier Kelling was a challenging project as it had to be delivered with a very short lead-in and on a restricted budget within a restricted closure period. We were keen to demonstrate to Glendola what we could deliver in terms of quality, value and timescale. Glendola were delighted with the result.”