The Corn Stores
The Corn Stores is the latest opening from hospitality group Rarebreed Dining. Located within a sympathetically restored listed Victorian building, The Corn Stores will be a flagship site featuring a large ground-floor bar, a steak restaurant and a members’ lounge.
The 100 cover, all-day-dining restaurant will be overseen by Group Chef Director John Sparks. Rarebreed Dining showcase British meats in all of their sites and The Corn Stores will be no exception. Dry ager fridges will display stunning cuts of beef from the best suppliers in Northern England and Scotland.
All steaks will be marinated with Rarebreed’s secret rub and chargrilled on the Robata Grill. Signature dishes include the Rarebreed Wagyu Burger (made entirely from Wagyu-angus beef from Highland Wagyu in Scotland) and their Surf and Turf (a board of Lobster meat, T-bone steak, pork tomahawk, hand-cut chips and salad).
Not limited to the food menu, British drink supplies will also take centre stage. The drinks menu will feature a carefully curated list of cocktails and spirits using British brands such as Copper Rivet Gin from Kent and impressive English Sparkling Wines such as Nyetimber.
On the top floor of the venue is the 60 cover lounge, which will be available to card holders of Rarebreed’s inaugural membership scheme. The relaxing and elegant space will be ideal for working or socialising alongside exceptional food and cocktails, anytime of the day.
To find out more, please visit www.thecornstoresreading.co.uk.
Rarebreed Dining is a collection of suburban restaurants showcasing British meats and world-class cocktails. Founded by four friends, in addition to The Corn Stores they also currently own and operate The Plough Inn (Cobham) and The Shurlock Inn (Reading). Managing Director Jordan Hallows says, “Rarebreed Dining is unique in its long term approach; we believe in nurturing our team’s passion and creativity, experimenting and having fun, cherishing our sites to develop each of them individually into special and unique destinations.”
The Corn Stores interior design was overseen by award-winning studio Quadrant Design. Rarebreed Dining approached Quadrant in 2017 and together they developed a design that has helped breathe new life back into the stunning building. Premier hospitality recently spoke to Quadrant Design Director Matt Sears to find out a little more.
What was the condition of the building when you became involved?
“Past renovations have seen much of the architecture hidden away, with awkward circulation between floors which made the flow of space feel restricted and the customer spaces claustrophobic. The challenge of this site was always going to be around the restrictive access into the building and finding a solution to the difficulties of navigating between floors.”
What was the brief that you were given?
“Since day one, the brief for the design and layout of the building has been focused on returning the Grade II property back to its open and industrial original format. The proposal includes forming a new feature stair that provides access to every floor, creating a very different, multi-level experience for the customer to explore and immerse themselves in the Rarebreed experience.
“The Rarebreed team pride themselves on delivering a seamless and engaging client focused experience, through great food, drink and service, so the layout of the building had to provide a flexible environment to support that devotion.”
Give us a guide around the space.
“Each floor will be home to its own individual bar and each floor has been designed to transition between day and night to offer a changeable customer journey. The ground floor will have a large central bar, with a comfortable mix of furniture and layout to enjoy brunch, right through to late night cocktails and nibbles.
“The first floor sets the stage for the Rarebreed dining experience with a 90-100 cover restaurant space and a smaller cocktail bar for casual drinks while you wait to be seated. The second floor will become the engine room for the team, with an all new kitchen with open pass and the top floor will be an exclusive lounge for members of Rare, the brand’s new membership scheme.”
How much influence has the building’s history had on the design?
“The interior design scheme has taken strong influence from the building’s history as the Walter Parson’s Corn Stores and its connection to Reading’s history of quality ale and produce production. The turn of the century architecture has been restored and original winch mechanism has also been given pride of place and housed within the four storey atrium. The Victorian heritage of the site and trade in the industry has informed a modern and unexpected take on bold pattern, foliage and organic elements.
“A delicate combination of rich and refreshing bright colours, creates an inviting tapestry set against the retained and exposed original industrial finishes such as the exposed red brick walls, steel structure, timber beams and floors. The combination of plush velvets and warm leather finishes coupled with a range of feature lighting will create a mood that will be relaxed, comfortable and contemporary but not too modern.”
And finally, what does it mean to have worked on this project?
“We have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of working with the Rarebreed team and getting to see first-hand, their focus on quality hospitality. As a Reading based design practice, it’s a hugely exciting prospect for the Reading cultural scene and it’s been a privilege to be involved. You’ll find us at the bar from December!”
To view more Quadrant Design projects, please visit www.quadrantdesign.co.uk.