Refurb and Interiors: Fitting into the neighbourhood

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A new-build always provides freedom to create a pub that perfectly fits your vision, and, for the owners of the Waterfront, this was an early...

A new-build always provides freedom to create a pub that perfectly fits your vision, and, for the owners of the Waterfront, this was an early 19th-century timber-framed warehouse.

The pub/restaurant was built as part of a major new retail project on Barton Marina, Burton-upon-Trent ­ an area chock full of historic industrial buildings. Waterfront general manager Chris Hine felt he needed to fit in.

"Because the area is Burton-upon-Trent, there are a lot of old business buildings and breweries," he explains. "It made sense to match them.

"What we wanted to achieve was a modern pub/restaurant with an olde-worlde feel." The building is decked out with flagstone and wooden floors, with much of the material reclaimed.

The barn-style first-floor function suite splits into three soundproofed rooms and has been particularly popular since the Waterfront opened in July.

As you might expect from a pub built in this era, the Waterfront also incorporates a large outdoor smoking area. The area, which Chris says had a lot of thought put into it, features a great amount of cover, heating, lighting and piped music.

The amount of outdoor space that smokers can use, though, was reduced early on when a smoking officer ruled that sections were too enclosed to qualify as a smoking area under the now-familiar 50 per cent rule. "There¹s still plenty of other room," says Chris.

The building work was managed by new-build pub specialists Authentic Designs, a company that encouraged the Waterfront¹s owners to raise the pub and ensure that they capitalised on panoramic views of the 85 acres of landscaped docklands.

Authentic Designs managing director Peter Blackburn says: "Inspiration from previous canal side projects in Shropshire, and researching dockside buildings around the country, in particular Liverpool's old dock area, was the background for the design." He adds: "It is important that the building is not only functional and fitting for its use but stands comfortably in its locality." According to Chris, the pub is 'making about 110 per cent over its budget so far'.

He adds: "The response has been tremendous. Customers love the look. They come in and say 'wow!'"

Related topics: Property law

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