The Square – Success taking shape
A new bar and restaurant situated in the heart of St Helier, The Square presents a relaxed atmosphere with urban/industrial interiors, creating an ideal spot for eating, drinking and being entertained.
The Square is part of the market leading pub, bar and restaurant business across the Channel Islands – the Liberation Group. The Liberation Group has 75 predominantly freehold pubs, bars and restaurants located in Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney. The company’s 24 managed pub restaurants in both Guernsey and Jersey boast an enviable reputation for great food, cooked fresh using the best local produce whenever possible, served alongside their own brewed beers.
Style Shopfitting were selected as main contractor for the developments at the corner of Liberation Square and Weighbridge Place, on the site of the former Southampton Hotel.
14-16 Weighbridge Place was demolished, except the listed façade of the Southampton Hotel, and subsequently was constructed into a six storey building with office space on the top four floors and an empty shell on the basement and ground floor for the new restaurant.
Style Shopfitting worked alongside project managers and interior designers LAP Architects and their client the Liberation Group to create a unique restaurant and bar with a relaxed, urban and industrial design with many unusual finishes and multiple surfaces to the floors, walls and ceilings.
Specially designed feature flooring in the bar and restaurant areas include reclaimed timber, tiles, vinyl and polished concrete – providing a smooth, mirror-like surface finish, resulting in a stunning statement.
Style Shopfitting coordinated and produced a variety of different wall finishes including painted walls, timber features and areas clad with brick slips. Brick slips have the appearance of ordinary brickwork but the thickness of 2cm, making them ideal for cladding statement walls.
Gary Lennox, Style Shopfitting Contracts Director commented:
“The project came with a number of challenges, not least of which was its position on the busy and pedestrian Weighbridge Place in central St Helier. Careful planning and scheduling of deliveries to site was required to minimize disruption and risk to pedestrians and traffic.”
“Style Shopfitting worked hard to ensure the main contract was completed on time and on budget, accommodating staff training in the basement kitchen whilst the fit-out to the floor above continued.”
The ceiling work included the installation of Andy Thornton ceiling tiles and the fitting of an acoustic board.
Extensive M&E works were undertaken by Brady and Gallagher and Mac Energy and Roger Baudain carried out the upholstery of bespoke banquette seating built by Style Shopfitting onsite.
Premier Construction caught up with Kenrick Brooks, Operations Director at Liberation Group, who commented:
“From a construction perspective the development began during late 2015 and The Square was completed and opened in February this year.”
“The feedback has been really good, the bar and restaurant is trading extremely well and we are very pleased with how it’s going, particularly the balance between customers using it for the full dining experience and those visiting just for a drink, whilst watching the live entertainment.”
An eclectic mix of materials makes up the interiors, with lots of timber on display, as well as stone and ceramics. Feature brickwork and low level lighting effortlessly create an industrial, sultry and very atmospheric feel to the space, producing a venue that is quite unique to St Helier.
Fascinatingly, the bar servery is one of the biggest in the Channel Islands, in terms of its height and presence, making it a key feature within the restaurant. Also, the beer dispensing fonts were sourced from Australia and they are something quite special, with feature gold plated end plates.
“I think that the biggest challenge was creating a space that would make people feel comfortable whilst being the ideal spot to eat, drink and be entertained, its a real balance to achieve a space that’s as good for a drink as it is to eat often the balance goes one way or the other. We also wanted something that would ‘wow’ and surprise customers. We were very keen to do a development that was different to competitors’ developments historically, and add something new and innovative to the area.”
“It’s been great to see the project finally come together; it’s a concept we have been talking about for about four years now, but we couldn’t find the right space to open in, until now that is. From our point of view it’s a real quality fit-out, set in a prime location in St Helier and as a company we are very proud of The Square.”