Bar and Restaurant: Forest Contracts

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to bring a stunning Grade II listed building, back to life; however Forest Contract had the pleasure to do so. A beautiful 19th Century Building situated in the heart of Ulverston, Cumbria, Rioja Restaurant & Bar is a popular for its luscious tapas and busy night life.

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Forest Contract was commissioned to fully refurbish this enchanted building and our interior design team did just that. Keeping in mind the unique architecture and history of the building we wanted to incorporate this into our design brief and use this to Rioja’s advantage.

The restaurant design draws on the grand and luxury theme, emphasising on the 19th Century architecture. Huge areas of the building were refurbished, the restaurant, vaults, bar and first floor. Forest Contract capitalised the pre-existent bank and transformed this into a modern restaurant with a dated twist. The vaults was a remarkable outcome, a moody but relaxed enclosed space for private dining; Forest Contract buttoned back banquette seating along the whole vault, complimented by Forest Sofa’s solid ash tables.

In the restaurant dining area the team created proposed an exquisite instagrammable feature wall, which has proved to be successful to Rioja. The project included Forest Contract supplying solid ash tables, a mix of our Manor, Colchester, and Magda chairs. Also just over 50m of banquette seating across the whole project. With the craftsmanship of the Forest Contract’s team at their Manchester and Blackburn factories and the professionalism of the Forest Sofa’s interior design team, they were able to design, manufacture, deliver and install this project in 6 – 8 weeks.

The design was executed perfectly, with the combination of modern design and historic features that were embraced. This created a great balance for the night life and fine dining.

With the success of our transformation of Rioja Restaurant & Bar, they have decided to come back to Forest Contract to fully fit-out and redesign their first floor. Integrating the Grand Great Gatsby Theme to compliment the current design on the ground floor and spectacular 19th Century Building. Forest Contract have proposed some beautiful cherry and plum faux leather deep buttoned banquette seating, complemented by some stunning bespoke dark oak solid ash tables inlaid with gold trims. Overall this project has been one of Forest Contract’s favourites to execute, to be given a completely blank canvas and being a part of the process from start to finish is truly rewarding.

Contact Forest Contract through the BCFA Product Finder.

The BCFA Product Finder is a unique search engine created especially for interior designers to source contract furnishing companies. Utilising this platform will support your findings for upcoming projects, with over 200 members profiles showcasing the latest product launches, new materials available, industry news and design trends.


About Jess Mockler

Jess is a Marketing & Event professional who joined the BCFA as a Marketing Executive in 2019. Working closely with designers and BCFA members, Jess has published an array of content for the Commercial sector.
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