Cookhouse and Pub – New growth for hospitality giant
Hospitality giant Whitbread has launched its first Cookhouse and Pub in Oldbury, West Midlands, based on a concept geared to meeting the needs of Premier Inn and local guests.
Whitbread, which operates Costa, Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre, will roll out the concept, described as “an informal, all-day restaurant, with the relaxed vibe and affordability of a pub.” Further locations opening up before the end of the year include Holystone in Tyneside, Ripley in Derbyshire and Kilmarnock.
The Oldbury venue includes a 41-cover bar, a large open kitchen, and bespoke designs throughout.
Interior designers for the project were JMDA Ltd, with JW Wilkinson, who were commended for their work, as main contractors.
JMDA worked alongside the Whitbread marketing team led by Maria Leventis and Sarah Tinsley as well as the Whitbread property team headed by Cath Evans and Andrew Hilton. The project managers and quantity surveyors were EWH.
Simon Tyas, director of JMDA said: “The new venue was originally a Brewer’s Fayre and much of the original interior was stripped out. The kitchen and back of house areas were retained in the same location, but the kitchen was converted into a theatre-style, extending into the restaurant and including a bistro oven, so diners can see their food being prepared. Many walls of the original rooms, including a former play barn, were also removed to open out the internal space.”
The new space includes a reception area for meeting and greeting guests, with the bar and designated pub area located to the right. The bar has been designed with a traditional look, with features including timber panelling, a feature wall with beer casks and mirrors, an open fire and dark timber flooring.
Furnishing includes deep button backed seating, leather seating, booths, spindle style chairs, low and high metal stools and high poseur seating around the bar.
Lighting features a series of bespoke glass and sculptured timber shades, as well as amber coloured LED lighting.
A fresh palette of colours has been introduced, including teal, mushroom and off white, with accents of ochre yellow enhancing the light and airy feel of the interior.
Simon Tyas added: “The bar has been designed with a ‘theatrical’ element, including a long line of 14 beer and wine fonts installed on the back bar fitting, with cask ale hand pulls on the front of the bar. Further design features include backlit wine display shelves, a cocktail station, a coffee machine, a water fountain and a juice area.
“Another special feature of the bar area is a ceiling raft installed over the family dining section booths.”
The restaurant, located to the right of the entrance, includes seating designed for two as well as for large groups, with one section geared towards Premier Inn customers and featuring individual seating booths, where people can work on laptops, if desired.
Breakfast counter caters for Premier Inn and walk-in guests, sitting alongside a large feature dining table accessed via a bi-fold reclaimed timber door.
A further section of the restaurant is positioned to provide views through to the theatre kitchen and bar. The kitchen itself features white marble counters with copper banding and a metal gantry displaying various culinary oils.
Flooring is in a mixture of light timber and carpeting, with the designs on the carpeting inspired by various food products. This is echoed by sculptural 3D artwork on the walls throughout this area.
Throughout the interior, reclaimed bricks and boarding have been used on the walls to give a soft, natural look.
Externally, cedar cladding was added, and the original entrance porch was demolished and replaced by a new timber and glass version, to allow more natural light into the building. This was further enhanced by the addition of new windows and patio doors to the front elevation, with the doors also giving access to the garden.
The venue is open and trading, with takings significantly increased.
Simon Tyas concluded: “The tight timescale of the project was a particular challenge, as were the works to open up the former play barn area of the building.
“The main contractors did a fantastic job. This was a massively important project for us – particularly as the success of the Cookhouse and Pub brand could lead to a roll-out.”
Versital UK specialise in the manufacture of bespoke, made-to-order surfaces for use within the hospitality and leisure sector. The company has been in operation for more than 30 years and within this time has built up an excellent reputation for their true-to-life marble finishes, which are very popular for bar tops, table tops and washroom vanities.
Over the past three decades, Versital UK has been involved in various prestigious projects, including work for the Big Brother House, Heathrow Airport, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, The Andaz hotel London, Greenwich Peninsula and Yates Wine Lodge. Versital UK has previously worked on a premium pub roll-out for Mitchells & Butlers and has most recently been involved with Whitbread on the Cookhouse and Bar project.
Working on Cookhouse and Bar, Versital UK manufactured the bar tops and kitchen pass top, in a white ‘Arabesque’ marble finish. All products were made to order and were manufactured to meet the exact requirements ready for installation.
Gemma Stockberger, Versital UK, said:
“Being involved with a prestigious brand such as Whitbread is always a proud moment for us. We were absolutely delighted to be specified, once again, by the designer JMDA who we love working with. All our surfaces are hand-crafted with care and it’s fantastic to see them used on beautifully designed projects being enjoyed across the UK.”
“At Versital UK, we offer a completely unique product – being the most true to life marble you will find on the market, whilst also being totally waterproof and stain resistant. We take great pride in the manufacture of each item, paying attention to the smallest detail.
“We also pride ourselves on offering a great customer service, aiming for a stress-free, simple buying process to make working with us a pleasure our clients want to repeat time and again.”
www.versital.co.uk | 01204 380780