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King City Leisure are aiming to recreate some of the glamour and sophistication of the art deco era when they throw open the doors to Corinthian on Glasgow's Ingram Street.
The former High Court has seen many a detective’s tale unfold within its walls but recently the building itself has been the subject of some architectural sleuth work. For years, the building's original Victorian grandeur has been hidden by lowered ceilings and partition walls. In a £5 million bid to restore it to its prime, an architectural historian was brought in to track down details and diagrams of how the place used to look when it was built in 1852.
Pictures and plans were collared and interrogated until they sang like proverbial canaries. Working from what they had learned, King City Leisure have recreated the old fittings and fixtures. The results are jaw-dropping.
Two bars flank the ornately patterned mosaic floor in the vestibule. On one side is the cocktail bar and on the other the piano bar. Both are fully seated and decked out in wood panelling and huge mirrors. Targetting a market in their late twenties and upwards, the ambience in these bars is going to be subtly cosmopolitan. With music that varies between light jazz
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and 3 Vegas vibe, they won't be kitsch but their metaphorical tongues won't be far from their cheeks either. Imagine a Glasgow version of the movie Swingers and you’ll just about be on the money.
Stylish as they are, neither the piano nor the cocktail bar are a patch on the splendour of the Telling Room. When the building was used as a bank in the second half of the 19th century, this was the main hall. Now a grill restaurant and bar, the Telling Room seats 180 in a mixture of loose tables and small booths that resemble the old bank telling booths. Built like a telling counter, the bar is overlooked by a huge set of stained glass windows that flood the room. High above the Italian furniture, the ornate cornicing and the four huge chandeliers, is a 26ft glass dome that looks like a wheel made of light.
It's all very stunning but it’s only half the story. Not content with feeding and watering their urbane clientele, King City Leisure hope to provide for their other needs. Come autumn, phase two of the development should be complete and Corinthian will also boast a night club downstairs in the vaults, a fine dining room with private salons, a conference centre and a private members club.
(Jonathan Trew) Count/nan, 191 lug/am Street, Cl/()S(]().'/, 0/4] :35? 770/
Five bars . . .
where you can toast your tootsies next to a real fire.
The Barony It may he pa( ked with trendy young profess:ona|s, espe( rally at the \.'.'eekends, but at heart The Barony rs a traditional pub rrght doxztn to Its last hrrg'nhy polished real ale pump The coal .‘rre glo\.'~.rng l:". the grate ‘.'.arms the (o< Kles almost as etfe< tv-rely as the (ontents of the gantry
The [Ra/org: BIotIg/iton Street, Edinburgh, 0137 557 0546
Air Organic With rt's hyper stylish decor and taste'oud truilatrng menu of organrtaliy produ<ed food, At" Olleth (omhrnes man~made modernity With a sense of the "atarai The real fire Ill the bar area helps prevent that feeling of (lrnrtal sterrl;ty \.'.h;(h (an engulf the more stark designs
Arr Organ/r, Ke/raggrtrxe Street, Glasgow, 0/47 564 5200
Uisge Beatha Named after the (aaelk for water of life .or \.'.'nrs:-<y as most of us prefer to (aél It nox‘. :hrs rough- l‘-e\.‘.'n bar .s a slice of the llrgh.ands Ill Glasgov. Loads of txhrsky, parmen in Kzlts and, Just to (ompiete the :llusron, iog fires
U/sge Beat/ta, mood/ands Road, Glasgosx, 0747 332 0473
The Waterfront Boastrng a htg stove ny the srde of the har and a fire in the Chart Room, thas marine themed, lertn h'stro and bar have the right edea when. at (()H‘.(‘S to ()l‘.'|ll(l a \.'~.'arm '~.'.'ea(ome OK, so the fire In the Chart Room rs a< tually run on gas out .t .ooKs (()l‘.‘.’;l‘:( ing enougli l‘spe( rally gr-.en that although sprung ()th rally started a l(‘\'.’ weeks ago, It's still hrass monkeys around these parts
The ‘/./aterfr‘ont, IC' pm PM e, Ed/npu/‘gh, 01'3/ 554' 742/
The Babbity Bowster P'a( T!( ally a iegend ~.*.:thrn its o'.‘.n open1rtg hours, lllis l‘tlertiiant Czty fan'ourzte keeps the l‘.().'l‘.(‘ t’res purmng not lust ‘.'.rll‘ thetr oper‘. heartn oat \.'.lil‘. a good range of real ales, great put) grub and a healthy dose of (ram
Bah/my Hoax/ster; Blat Kt’r/ars Street, G/dst}();‘.i 0!le 5.5.? /774'