Award-winning Roof Terrace aims for the skies
LUXURY isn’t a word often used in conjunction with the outdoors in Scotland, but it’s difficult to talk about the Roof Terrace at 29 without it.
The outdoor area, part of Glasgow private members’ club 29, was already pitched at the top-end of the market before a 2012 refurbishment refined and improved the space even further.
The project, carried out in association with Champagne brand Moet & Chandon, saw the creation of new outdoor ‘cabanas’ – covered seating areas that can be zipped shut against the elements, or kept open on warmer days – and an outdoor bar.
At night, and in colder weather, the terrace is lit and warmed by portable heaters, while at weekends customers are looked after by a dedicated member of staff in the area.
Speaking to SLTN Michael Robertson, general manager of 29, said making the area appealing to customers regardless of the weather was “absolutely crucial”.
“It’s essential that the area has a usage all year round,” he said. “If you take away the revenue aspect, which is important, and the fact that it’s a point of difference, then simply there has to be consistency of delivery throughout the unit.”
The Roof Terrace allows us to keep people and revenue in the building.
Conversely, the space is also a boon for the outlet on the rare occasions when the sun shines, encouraging club members and their guests to stay on the property rather than seek a beer garden elsewhere.
“The first bit of sunshine in Glasgow and everybody’s outside, so it allows a [revenue stream] that you wouldn’t have inside on a warm sunny day,” said Michael.
“A lot of units will lose that because people will go to beer gardens or they will go outside onto the street. A lot of units don’t have that capability.
“It allows us to keep people in the building and the revenue in the building.”
Moet & Chandon has supplied the house Champagnes for 29 since the opening of the club in 2007, and the team worked closely with brand ambassadors and designers from the drinks company on the refurbishment of the Roof Terrace last year.
“They had, the previous year, done an outside area in Leeds, but it was completely different to ours and they wanted to make us the flagship for Scotland,” said Michael.
As well as the cabanas and custom-built external bar, the partnership saw furniture sourced from as far away as Germany.
The high quality of the furnishings and fixtures played a key role in the Roof Terrace at 29 taking the award for Best Smoking Facilities, in conjunction with Imperial Tobacco, at the 2012 SLTN Awards.
Ben Manzi, activation development manager at Imperial Tobacco, said: “29 Glasgow stood out thanks to its newly refurbished rooftop terrace, which includes pavilions that provide guests with shelter as well as privacy.
“The fixtures are of the highest quality and the addition of a fully licensed outdoor bar ensures that their smokers’ needs have been taken into consideration.”
Although smokers are an important market for the Roof Terrace, Michael said that the appeal of the space has broadened since the refurbishment.
“I think as it becomes known within the Glasgow landscape more and more people are taking coffees out there after dining in the restaurant, and people are quite happy to meet up and sit with a glass of wine,” he said.
“It’s a very safe environment and a very enclosed environment.”
The Roof Terrace is also available as a function space.
Part of the terrace is covered by a permanent marquee that can be utilised for events or private dining, and the open-air/cabana section of the space has already been pressed into use for members’ parties and barbecues.
And the award-winning terrace continues to develop.
Michael said the club is currently in the process of sourcing new lighting for the terrace, as well as more user-friendly heaters for the cabanas that can be operated by guests without help from staff.
The effect, said Michael, will be to compartmentalise each of the cabanas into an individual space.
It should also help ensure that the Roof Terrance remains a luxurious outside space for some time to come.
Images – Top, Moet & Chandon worked with 29 on the Roof Terrace refurbishment last year. Above, The Roof Terrace at 29 was developed to provide “consistency of delivery”, according to GM Michael Robertson. The team from 29 collect the SLTN Award for Best Smoking Facilities.
Up on the roof
THE Roof Terrace at 29 now offers guests a range of facilities, including:
• a licensed bar – offering a range of drinks including wine, spirits and draught beer Birra Moretti
• cabanas – four sheltered seating areas with sheets that can cover one or more sides or be zipped shut to create a private area
• marquee – a permanent space that can be used for private dining or events.