Traditional Irish Pub Design for The Big Tree Tavern, Dublin

The Big Tree Tavern located on Dorset Street, not far from Croke Park GAA Stadium is one of most famous pubs in Dublin with a tavern at the site since 1543. During the construction of the Dublin One Hotel The pub was closed, the old interior of the pub was removed and the footprint reduced. The Architecturally significant exterior was all that remained of the Big Tree Tavern. The buildings were former Georgian houses that had Victorian Ground Floor additions, read more here

The Design Brief

The Big Tree Tavern is very popular with sports fans attending GAA matches and concerts at Croke Park Stadium. Intec Design were asked to develop a layout that would feel comfortable and atmospheric on the quieter nights but to have the flexibility to cater to a large number of customers during peak times. This was achieved by;

  1. creating an island bar;
  2. adding drink shelves; and
  3. selecting the right mix of loose and fixed furniture.

How Intec Design achieved a traditional pub design

The traditional interior designs were developed to reflect the Victorian exterior and to stay true to the pubs reputation. Using CAD drawings Intec Design added the following features:

  1. Mahogany bar counters with a stained finish
  2. Painted (fire rated) MDF panelling on walls
  3. Salvaged woodblock floors – these were old repurposed woodblocks that had the old bitumen adhesive removed and were lightly sanded to retain their aged look
  4. Traditional style lighting e.g. Ribbed glass pendants and antique brass wall lights
  5. Traditional wallpaper and the used of embossed wallpaper with a painted finish
  6. Porcelain wall tiles
  7. Selection of upholstery and the design of the furniture

5 Key steps in a Bar Interior Design Project

5 Key steps in a Bar Interior Design Project

In this post we  want to give you a summary of the key steps in creating a successful commercial interior design project. In particular we are focusing on hospitality design. The following items are relevant for a bar and restaurant design, café design or hotel design.

  1. Bar Counter Location

It is vital that the location, size and aesthetics of the bar counters are right for a space to feel welcoming and will ultimately determine the popularity of the business. We often see areas within bars and restaurants that are too “cut off” from the main bar and these seats tend to be very unpopular with customers. A simple hatch window to a bar can improve this by giving a visual link, or perhaps a new cocktail bar linked via a doorway to the main bar will help to transform the atmosphere in previously unpopular areas. Customers want to feel immersed in the experience and the bar tender and the general activity around a bar is a key part of this. Lastly the bar needs to be the correct distance from the entrance doorway. A good tip is for the bar counter to be close enough to the main entrance so the bar tender can acknowledge and welcome new guests.

  1. Layout of high, low, fixed and loose furniture

The next key step in the design of a bar is the furniture layout. The style and size of furniture will vary considerably depending on the type of bar or restaurant. For example, a cocktail bar will typically have small diameter tables, a modern eatery may have bench tables and a fine dining restaurant may want circular booth seats and tables. Once the brief is provided by the client it is important to get the maximum number of comfortable seats. In a busy pub with high footfall, it is important to add high seating as it is more suitable in this setting.

  1. Lighting

Another key step in a successful bar design is the use of attractive lighting. The main goal is to create warm pockets of light that enhance a warm and inviting atmosphere. Feature walls should be highlighted with directional spotlights and tape light can be used to add lighting to display shelving and bar counters. A quality decorative lighting scheme will set off the entire design and is crucial to its success. Our main tip is to never use white light!

  1. Wall and Bar Counter Finishes

An obvious key step in a successful interior design project is the wall and bar counter finishes. We use 1:20 scale CAD drawings to provide details on the features, materials and finishes. For example, a bar counter may have a glass rack overhead with some greenery and pendant lights. It’s important to provide a client with a clear and accurate visual representation of the scale and style. A good designer will be able to produce designs with detailed notes for the construction phase that will ultimately create the finished look that is true to the designs and is functional for bar staff

  1. Ceiling and Floor Finishes

The last key step in the bar, restaurant, café or hotel design process is to provide the ceiling and floor finishes. It is necessary for a designer to specify a commercially suitable product for the floors and to make sure it complements the rest of the design. In many of our traditionally styled interiors we will search for reclaimed flooring to add an authentically rustic feel to the fitout. Ceilings are also very important and are often overlooked. For example, a feature vaulted ceiling can be used to create a striking focal point or more simply a dark ceiling colour can transform a room. A key consideration in many European countries is the fire regulations and ensuring that compliant products and methods are specified and constructed to standard. Irish fire regulations tend to be a lot stricter than the British Fire regulations.

Contact Intec Design if we can help with any of your interior design needs

bar fitout ireland

Thirteen on the Green – Largest Whiskey Mirror in Ireland

We recently completed the design and refurbishment of “Thirteen on the Green” in Galway. Formerly known as Garvey’s Bar, this Victorian style pub needed an uplift. The main changes to the design included the creation of a new overhead display cabinet, a new cocktail bar, new lighting and a new tin tile ceiling.

The large backlit Jameson Whiskey mirror, located behind the new cocktail bar, is particularly impressive. Jameson confirmed that it is the largest Whiskey mirror in Ireland and it makes for a stunning backdrop.

Other new features include the use of ribbed glass lighting and Morris and Co. wallpaper to complement the existing Victorian features and to enhance the visual appeal of the pub.