The client wanted to create a true bourbon experience, an experience that was tied back to the original Kings Cross bourbon, minus the boozy image and more about the idea of a late night food and entertainment venue. Food was the primal focus of the ground floor venue, he really wanted to capture this mixed with live music and a casual yet refined interior. The interior of the space was based around the facade of the building appearing to land in a new front terrace area, and this facade being the original building (which it was not). From this point Paul Kelly Design placed the building in a time period between the 1920's and 1950's as this was where the original hotel interiors, especially in Potts Point and Kings Cross were really amazing. The timeframe of 20's to 50's also assisted with the perception of the basis of the Bourbon, that being a link to America we positioned the interior in a mixture of Chicago and New York, with the music edge of New Orleans. This also assisted with the concept for the venue which was to be based around good service, and good food hallmarks of a time gone by when service and quality were paramount. This is the essence of the venue and what Paul Kelly Design wanted to create, a venue that has the original feeling of the past, with links to an American period of interiors with a fun New Orleans music edge. The layout of the space is based around the idea that a venue can accommodate a wide variety of clientele and uses. The entry is a controllable access point to the building that leads the customer past the lift lobby (for future phases) and directly to the main food pass and a view towards the large new York inspired bar. The venue is split into 4 areas. 1. The Main Bar Area which is adjacent to the main bar. 2. The Dining Area which is located within view of the open kitchen and busy kitchen pass. 3 The recessed Terrace area, which has large sliding doors that open this space directly to Darlinghurst road and 4. The gaming room, which has a separate entrance and accommodates 30 machines in an outdoor smoking environment. All of the spaces allow the customers to have a multitude of experiences within the one venue, they can have a seriously awesome meal, desert, quality wine, a couple of cocktails, have a bar meal, bar snacks, stand up and have a quality boutique beer from Brooklyn, listen to live music 7 nights, share a meal with friends, sit in front of a fireplace, have a function, sit in an enclosed acoustic smoking area, play on 30 outdoor gaming machines and mainly come back... This project had a lot of people who had been to the venue previously, a lot of these people wanted the Bourbon to come back as the venue that they remembered. The pressure was on Paul Kelly Design to create a venue that did have some of the elements of the original design, as well as being able to accommodate the current trends and allow the Bourbon to survive in Kings Cross which is a difficult area, especially with licensing and alcohol issues. The Bourbon feels like it has always been there, it is as the venue you would image the Bourbon to be. The heritage starts from the old facade reaching down to the ground in the recessed terrace. Paul Kelly Design have used tiles here that are hand made with a green grout and all the decorative trims as required to give that old school edge. The main bar has a wide stone top, brass edging and is a lower height than normal which is the way New York bars used to be, the bar has decorative timber and brass hampers hanging above the bar with discrete lighting over the bar for patron comfort and the front of the bar uses a leather upholstery in sections to look like angled joinery. All the materials used in the space have original and real textures, the travertine stone floor tiles laid in a herringbone pattern match the single piece timber stained herringbone patterning over, the outdoor pattered single piece black and white floor tiles have a matching pattern inside with a handmade black and white rug that is the main carpet for the bar area. Other areas that have the heritage feel are the glazing profiles which are trimmed out with decorative cross bars and traditional glazing breaks, to give the effect that the glazing is in sections. The main heritage element that runs through the space is the use of simple combinations of classic materials like walnut timber, brass, filament globes, decorative timber wall cladding with brass inserts and timber balustrading with brass joins. One of the main design features is the hand washing feature to the basement toilets, we acquired a cast iron 19th Century Water Fountain and converted this to a communal hand basin for four people, to top this off the top of the water feature still operates as a fountain, it's quite a piece. The artwork we chose for the venue has a great story behind it. In the 1950's, a nanny named Vivian Maier started a hobby as a street photographer in New York and Chicago. She took over 100,000 photos and kept the negatives in storage locked, never to be published until her demise in 2007 when the locker was bought as a delinquent storage area. The new owner acquired the negatives of a lady who is regarded as one of the top American street photographers of all time.
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