SHELBYS – Holywood

Holywood, Co. Down

Project: Fit Out of bar area, secret room and supply of furniture.

Designed and fitted out by On The Square Emporium

Shelbys is a take on an American prohibition speakeasy. They wanted an elegant and understated design with some interesting quirks.

In an American style bar the most important and central point is “the bar”. Even though this is a restaurant the bar area has to feel like a speakeasy saloon bar that you could spend a day at. For that you need a big bit of serious hardwood. We wend for a dark teak at 2″ thick but doubling up the skirt to make it appear 4″ thich without having to deal with the tremendous weight a huge 4″ slab would be. The bar was curved to give the maximum seating area and ease of use for the barman. The front of the bar is a Muraspec copper effect wall covering. The bar carcass was built to house fridges sinks and cocktail station. Behind the bar we installed a gothic style mirror backed shelving unit and painted it the same dark blue/grey colour as the walls to blend it in and not make it too overpowering.

In the centre of the floor area is a raised stool seating area we made bespoke from a large mangle, we topped it with the same teak as we used on the bar. It is a unique and strong bit of furniture that really stands out. The tables that line the window have used the same teak again to give the bar continuity, these are traditional chair height on steel A-frames. In keeping with the prohibition period we matched these with traditional padded Bentwood chairs.

Facing the bar there is a further raised stool seating area using poser table bases and custom round teak tops matching the bar, these were paired with metal and wood industrial stools.

The entranceway is up some stairs and along a short but narrow corridor, we enhanced this by installing inbuilt bookcases and decorating with books and interesting bric a brac. But the piece de resistance is in the last bookcase as there is a secret lever in the form of a book. Press it and you open the secret room. This is a stylish room with wood panelling a large oak Edwardian dining table with contracting contemporary seating and a large mirror with a hidden tv. A perfect VIP dining area.