Steak and gin restaurant opens beneath Glasgow Station
Alston Bar & Beef is the latest addition to hit Glasgow’s restaurant scene, located in the atmospheric catacombs beneath Glasgow’s Central Station, the new restaurant, opened this summer, and is designed by award-winning interior design and architecture practice Jestico + Whiles for food and drink group Glendola Leisure.
The luxury restaurant, specialising in prime Scottish steak produced locally alongside other produce, is complemented by a bar displaying fine and specialist gins.
This 80-seat restaurant occupies a set of forgotten arches in the catacombs below Glasgow’s Central Station and is so named after Alston St, the main thoroughfare of Glasgow’s mysterious, forgotten Grahamston Village that stood at the crossroads of the main north-south and east-west axes of Glasgow, and which was built over in the late 1800s to create the station.
Jestico + Whiles’ design integrates the rich historic layers of the city while adding contemporary elements, creating a brand new venue that is efficient, innovative and highly atmospheric. The restaurant design draws on the rugged history of the station, along with the wider context of Scotland to create a calming retreat that is full of oblique references and layers of interest.
Visitors to the restaurant are met by a soaring mural of over scaled native Scottish wildlife; magpies and hawk moths, playing against a backdrop of huge thistles. These interlayered illustrations produced by local design studio Timorous Beasties define a route down into the previously derelict undercroft of the 18th-century station.
On descending to the foot of an industrial, blued steel staircase studded with underlit lenses, a zinc framed window and pass reveals glimpses into the kitchen, the heart of the restaurant. Three cast glass pendants made of old railway electrical isolators define the division between the kitchen and front of house service.
Beyond the kitchen, the subterranean setting of muscular brick arches and oxidised steel bracing of the robust, honest and workmanlike railway architecture has been enhanced by contrasting it with the careful placement of new elements. A clean, white marble bar, and sparkling chandeliers made from crystal decanters sparkle in the twilight.
James Dilley, head of hospitality and interior design at Jestico + Whiles, said: “Our design for Alston draws on the history of the station together with the wider context of Scotland to create a relaxed atmosphere. We have created a unique space featuring a dramatic interior environment and distinctive ambiance.
“It’s been an exciting interior design project to be a part of, right down to the branding and visual identity of the restaurant.”
Images courtesy of Will Pryce
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