Premier Hospitality

Midnight Bell and The Duke of York

Midnight Bell
Written by Roma Publications

Midnight Bell and The Duke of York

Camerons Brewery is now the only remaining major regional family brewer in the North East of England. The Lion Brewery has been established in Hartlepool for over 150 years and has been the home to Camerons since 1865. In April 2002 The Lion Brewery was purchased by Castle Eden Brewery and a new company was formed – Camerons Brewery Limited.

Using the finest ingredients and water from their own well, Camerons are a major regional independent brewery that delivers the highest quality craft beer brands and unrivalled service to their consumers and to their trade customers alike.

The company recently undertook the redevelopment of two of their sites in Leeds. The Midnight Bell and The Duke of York were transformed by interior design practice JMDA to offer a new angle on the brand, creating designs with traditional pub values, but with a desirable and individual edge.

Speaking to Premier Hospitality magazine about the project, Interior Designer at JMDA, Phoebe Beckett said: “Concept development began with an initial brief from the property team at Camerons and from this brain storms, mood boards and conceptual sketches were created. Once fine-tuned we were briefed on specific sites to bring the concept to life so we created drawings and specified the soft furnishings, lighting and bric-a-brac schemes, while working with the client to ensure operational requirements were met. Working closely with suppliers meant that we were able to develop the concept and adapt it to work within each site. Elements such as illuminated timber bookcases, large pendants to stairwells and mottled mirrors to back bars are key elements that are consistent throughout the brand.”

The Midnight Bell in Holbeck’s atmospheric urban village is reputedly the oldest of industrial buildings in the world. Work on the transformation of Midnight Bell began in February 2018 and was completed in August.

JMDA wanted to retain a traditional pub feel but with a contemporary touch and unique character. Located on the ground floor, the bar creates the main focal point of the space, complimented with tasselled pendants, fixed seating, crackled leathers, reeded glass screens and bronzed metal finishes. A solid oak staircase was retained within the scheme and sits well with existing exposed brickwork. A large motif sits centrally on the staircase wall, hand painted directly to the brick work, adding to the sites authentic charm. The first floor restaurant is filled with comfortable dining covers, illuminated bookshelves and quirky bric-a-brac elements.

Phoebe said: “The client was very pleased with how we had taken the brand and how well we had understood the brief. Customers appreciate finer details found in the light fittings, unique 3D bric-a-brac and artwork displaying Leeds history and snippets from ‘The Midnight Bell’ book.”
Located in the heat of Medieval York, at the top of a historic Shambles, the ‘Duke’ is a pub packed full of history and charm. Before work began on The Duke of York, it wreaked traditional elements but lacked warmth and cosiness. The first floor was described as hard and uncomfortable for dining with a very traditional, vertical drinking bar.

Phoebe said: “As part of the new design we have added in warm cosy corners with leather arm chairs. Ambience was created with the lighting and softer fixed seating creates a space that is comfortable and allows the customers to relax and enjoy lazy afternoons, away from the busy bustle of York shambles, just a stone’s throw away.”

A new timber back bar, big feature pendants over the stairs and a grand feature timber book shelf on the staircase and in the dining area – both with books relating to ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’-  are just some of the design highlights throughout the space, with traditional elements retained where possible.

“The feedback has been very positive. The dining trade has increased and that was the aim,” said Phoebe. “The transformation has been positive, drawing in new customers as well as keeping the old!

“The Camerons projects are very important to JMDA as they are the first projects we have delivered for Camerons Brewery. They have a refreshing take on operations and design within the hospitality industry and particularly the pub sector, which is always exciting for a creative team. The Midnight Bell was important as it is so close to our central Leeds office and can be enjoyed as a mid-week and Friday night hang out.

“With The Duke of York, again this was particularly special to JMDA. Our MD and senior team have lived in York for many years. Having a local site means a lot to the team as we are able to enjoy the space with friends and family, plus it is an easy choice for our annual team bonding days!”

Midnight Bell

Chippendale Projects

Chippendale Projects is a leading fit-out contractor delivering projects across a range of sectors, including offices and schools, but with a specific focus on schemes within the hospitality and leisure industry. The company has been in operation for 35 years, is backed by a 10,000sq ft manufacturing warehouse and has built up a reputation for its high-quality service.

Over the years, Chippendale Projects has developed a packed portfolio of projects ranging from a recent bar refurbishment for Coronet Bingo in Didcot to the implementation of various fire-stopping schemes in schools, utilising bespoke door sets all manufactured in-house. Meanwhile, with Cameron’s, Chippendale Projects has built up a strong working relationship delivering Head of Steam in Birmingham, Brewery Tap in Leeds and more recently, The Midnight Bell.

Chippendale Projects Director, Jamie Hacker, said:

“We really appreciate our involvement with Cameron’s – they’re a leading name in the pub sector and a great client to work with.”

Jamie added:

“At Chippendale Projects we pride ourselves in our attention to detail, as well as the quality of our manufacturing.”


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Roma Publications

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