Pure Bar & Kitchen was a collaboration idea involving Purity Ale’s Paul Halsey, Simpson’s chef-patron Andreas Antona, and former M&B director Martin Hilton. Their aim was to pair quality crafted beer with exquisite but uncomplicated pub food.
They approached us to find a venue that would suit what they were trying to achieve, and to create an interior scheme that would complement the unique food and drink offer, and also attract women into the world of ale.
We needed a building that would stand out with real character, to attract an affluent city centre demographic, but have an interior that would serve and not overshadow the offering. We had to appreciate the existing Purity brand and enhance it.
We needed a design route that would appeal to a range of demographics from business types to foodies, and ale lovers to hipsters, as well as an approach that could be rolled out to additional venues in the future. As such we needed a grand canvas we could subtly apply the Purity brand to and allow the space to develop its own distinct feel.
After looking at a lot of different sites, we eventually decided on a beautiful Grade ii listed Georgian building on Waterloo Street in Birmingham. The location was perfect, in the centre of Birmingham in an up-market area, within a perfect demographic catchment area. Planning and change of use from office space was needed, but it was worth it for this ideal venue. It also offered us materials we wanted to use, like concrete floors and a versatile basement area.
The renovation work had to minimise the impact of noise to surrounding offices and we had to find a solution for getting deliveries of beer into the basement from the street, which we solved by installing a specialist lift.
Inside our design took a subtle industrial twist, as a nod to the city’s heritage, but with premium details and refined edges. We did this to contrast slightly with local bars that went for overt swankiness and gloss. We exposed the existing fabric of the building to give it an honest and raw feel, counteracted with details to soften the scheme – upholstered cushions hanging on the fixed seating, flowers on the tables, painted furniture, and warm lighting.
We endeavoured to create an open, neutral and minimalistic environment where the two main ingredients would work together without clutter. We didn’t want to mix typical pub furnishings with stuffy or pretentious restaurant details that would clash and miss the mark. We wanted something inviting, with a kind of canteen feel that would make the space feel accessible to the audiences we wanted to attract.