Antrim-based firm, Marcon Fit-Out, has played a key role in the latest stage of an ambitious rollout of a new coffee and food brand across Northern Ireland and beyond.
Marcon has just completed the fit-out of a new Synge & Byrne ‘coffee kitchen’ at the Foyleside Shopping Centre in Derry-Londonderry.
It is the third Synge & Byrne to date in Northern Ireland after Abbeycentre in Newtownabbey and Sugar House Quay in Newry, which both opened earlier this year. And Marcon, which works across the retail, heritage, office, leisure and hospitality sectors, has fitted out all three.
The locally-owned BWL Group, which is behind the new brand, is planning to introduce three new locations each year over the next five years. Around 35 hospitality jobs have been created since the first Synge & Byrne was opened.
Brothers Damien and Adrian Garvey, who run BWL, are also considering rolling out Synge & Byrne coffee kitchens in Britain and further afield.
The brand was inspired by what Damien Garvey describes as the “new artisan movement” which reflects a strong demand for a food and drink offering that has its roots in traditional Ulster cuisine.
No two Synge & Byrne interiors are the same. While there are common features, such as the counters, signage and backdrop, there is individualism in every location, depending on the specifics of the particular building.
“Our approach to design is about maintaining the architectural integrity of the buildings and creating complementary old and new talking points in each place we develop,” explained Damien.
In the case of Foyleside, Marcon has helped it to breathe new life into a vacant unit.
Marcon Director Mark O’Connor explained: “This was a challenging but very enjoyable five-week project and one that our team fully embraced.
“The Synge & Byrne theme, which we have worked with BWL to develop, is not quite what you would expect from a coffee shop. The ethos behind the design is to create interesting spaces, and to blend old style finishes with new.”
Features include solid surface counter worktops, wainscot timber panelling, ceiling rafts made from various materials and an aged metal tile effect wallpaper. There’s also a feature table made from sand blasted timber scaffold planks and metal strapping which has been a huge success and has become the focal point of the café.
All the joinery items and solid surface worktops were manufactured at Marcon’s specialist joinery workshop in Antrim.
Mark O’Connor added: “Since our inception 10 years ago we have been working with BWL Group fitting out their cafés and coffee shops. As our business has evolved so too has theirs and it’s great to see this new brand and how well it is being received.
“There is no doubt that together we have created a very comfortable space to enjoy the coffee and food adventure of Synge and Byrne.”