The Blues Kitchen has opened in Brixton, London offering late night live music, authentic BBQ food and a vast selection of bourbons.
Located in what was once the old Electric Social premises, the cavernous ground floor space is dominated by a flamboyant faience-fronted, ceramic tiled bar, which has been designed and hand-manufactured by specialist tile company Craven Dunnill Jackfield.
This contemporary installation of Victorian-style ceramic tiles breathes new life into a traditional art form and highlights the practicality of ceramics in a bar environment.
The faience-tiled bar stretches 10 metres in length and is set against a backdrop of white and blue brick-shaped ceramic tiles and amber dados, which define arched recessed areas.
The venue promotes its own BBQ and drink specialities by writing on the glazed tiles, which can easily be wiped clean and reused for fresh adverts.
The faience tiles at the front of the bar mimic the 1880s in style and are hand-made at Craven Dunnill Jackfield’s workshop in Shropshire.
The bar and each of the five floor-to-ceiling pillars are adorned with five different designs of tile. Each of the central green tiles measures 245 x 600mm and are convex, weighing around 10kg each. The heavily textured relief design dates to the late 19th century and features a repeating urn motif.
These tiles are bordered by four styles of decorative blue and amber coloured dado tiles. The same designs are featured on the 2.5 metre tall pillars, which are capped with deep capital tiles, decorated with an acanthus leaf design.
Craven Dunnill Jackfield employs a unique team of expert ceramists, acclaimed for their specialist knowledge and experience. The relief tiles are made using hand-carved plaster moulds and decorated with metal oxide glazes, which craze upon firing to create an authentic aged effect.
Each of the large tiles featuring the urns required 200g of glaze to achieve the desired depth of colour and took two people to dip the pieces into a large vat of glaze. These were then gently lifted and carefully stacked into the kilns and fired overnight at 1040°C.
The Blues Kitchen is the third such venue to open from The Columbo Group. The venues are known for live blues, soul and bluegrass music, Texan BBQ food and a wide range of bourbons and cocktails.
The interior style is eclectic, successfully combining Moroccan decor with contemporary textiles, commemorative stained glass windows and extensive reclaimed materials.