Basalt, Ramore Portrush
Situated on the stunning coast of North Antrim in the seaside town of Portrush, The Ramore offers a unique range of restaurants and bars serving highly renowned dishes and drinks for all tastes.
The newest was Basalt, in July 2019. It is a Spanish influenced casual dining space with an open kitchen offering fresh and small plates to share and enjoy. It also has an outdoor terrazzo overlooking Portrush town.
Hospitality Sector Creatives O’Donnell O’Neill Design were responsible for Basalt’s design, and PREMIER HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE caught up with Gordon Devenney of O’Donnell O’Neill who told us all about it.
How did you get involved with this project?
“O’Donnell O’Neill Design have been interior designers for this client for about 15 years now We have been working closely with them for a long time as their restaurants develop in the overall complex which is known as the Ramore, which currently consists of six different restaurant brands and designs.”
Was Basalt a completely new opening or refurbishment?
“It was completely new, it used to be the Client’s apartment above the Restaurants, and they moved out several years ago so it was an opportunity waiting to happen – a new space with amazing views for an exciting new restaurant concept within the complex.”
What was the brief like?
“The Basalt menu influenced the design initially in plan and layout with an open kitchen style eating counter. Customers would eat at the counter and their food would be cooked in front of them in real time. The food was based on a small plate of modern style tapas menu. The brief was really articulated to us in terms of the food offering that they wanted to put out. In simple terms, the client explained they wanted a perfect synergy between the food, service and the design.
“Basalt is on the top floor and there are three restaurants below which we have designed previously. What also drove the design was carefully considering how the design would differ from what we have created before, and how to change the atmosphere, styling and food offering from the other offers, the clientele they attract and how they operated. We needed it to be sufficiently different from the restaurant directly below which was clean lined fresh and white, almost New England style. For Basalt, we needed to be darker, moodier and more intimate.”
If you were to pick out highlights of the design, what would they be?
“Probably the bar counters. We were able to use the best innovative materials that were good quality and used in a slightly different way. We’ve combined marble and brass to create the ‘best of the best’ in look and feel in the design.”
Was it challenging turning a former apartment into a restaurant?
“A change of use of a space is always challenging and it had to be a matter of ‘let’s just completely clear the space back to its building shell’. Dealing with the outside building and relocating some services and storage was tricky and presented challenges.”
Was there any challenges design wise?
“I suppose the challenge is always creating something innovative and different- especially working to a brief like ours. You have to work very hard to meet the client’s brief and expectations and our excellent relationship with the Client was a huge benefit.”
How important is this project to you?
“It’s very important. All projects are important, not only in terms of customer experience but especially in a sense of how it will improve the client’s business, and how it develops and promotes carefully considered creative design. What we deliver helps their both their business to be successful and O’Donnell O Neill’s.”
Ramore’s other restaurants include:
The Mermaid– A casual and relaxed style of full service dining offering fresh fish & local specials.
Neptune and Prawn– An informal dining experience serving many Asian inspired dishes which are perfect for sharing, along with an upstairs cocktail bar with amazing sunset views.
The Tourist– Family friendly world foods and drinks bar.
Harbour Bistro– Wood fired grilled meats, chicken, fish, and famous steaks from JD Hart & Sons Butchers, with a wide selection of bistro dishes in the restaurant carrying rustic charm.
Harbour Bar– One of the oldest bars on the North Coast the traditional “Front Bar” offering renowned Guinness, with the upstairs Gin Bar offering a huge selection of premium gins & spirits, wood fired snacks, and live entertainment on the house 7 nights a week.
The Wine Bar– Renowned for its fantastic tasting fresh food, lively atmosphere, and a menu to suit all tastes.
For more Information on O’Donnell O’Neill Design, please visit www.ooda.ie.
BPR Contract Furniture
BPR Contract Furniture designs, manufactures and installs quality furniture for businesses in the commercial and hospitality sectors throughout the UK and Ireland.
As a company, BPR takes pride in its adaptability and ability to ensure that exact specifications are met.
Thomas Rafferty, Production Manager at BPR Contract Furniture said: “We don’t carry stock and everything that we do is bespoke made. We are there to make exactly what the customer wants and not just supply a run-of-the-mill chair or piece of furniture; it is to meet what the clients expect.”
BPR Contract Furniture is differentiated within the marketplace through:
- A focus on quality craftsmanship.
- Attention to detail.
- A commitment to going above and beyond with customer service.
Recently the company has been involved with all three phases of Ramore Restaurants, completing works at Basalt, The Tourist and The Harbour Bar. Working closely with O’Donnell O’Neill Design Architects, BPR provided a host of bespoke contract furniture for each venue.
Erin Kelly, Head of Marketing, said:
“We were delighted to work on such a fantastic project so close to home. The Harbour Bar is one of the oldest original pubs remaining in Northern Ireland, so it was exciting to be involved in the refurbishment of such a unique venue. Each phase of the renovations had a completely different brief, so it was a great opportunity for us to manufacture a range of bespoke products. We are really pleased with the outcome of all three projects.”