The brief was to transform an old villa with a long history as a gentleman’s club followed by a dubious life as a student bar to recreate it as a sophisticated restaurant and bar under the Montieth's banner. The location on the edge of Palmerston North’s CBD was ideal with a forecourt to create a generous outdoor garden bar.
The design philosophy involved retaining the character of the original building and using it’s history to build the story around the Brewer’s Apprentice and the Monteith’s brand. There were opportunities to retain original features in the villa and use them to build the new image. The brick fireplaces were stripped back to become foci for different spaces. An old cellar was found under the floor and soon became part of the stage set. Fitted with a glass panel in the floor, old bottles and brewing equipment were arranged and lit as part of the story of the Brewer’s Apprentice.
A major rework of the back of house and the bar areas included opening the rooms out to the deck areas and garden. This has lightened the interiors and helped create a warm friendly environment. The main bar has been located centrally and is the link between a variety of dining/ lounge areas. The customer can choose from several small more intimate spaces or the large front room with it’s easy flow onto the decks with the afternoon sun.
The stained timber finishes and furniture with the earthy palate of colours sit comfortably under the Monteiths brand. Other touches such as the back lit wheat panels on the bar front and the frosted perspex window to the kitchen show a fresh and individual approach to the fitout.