Ray’z Bar

With Gusto UK and Dirty Hands Co in Newcastle

Another collaboration with Gusto UK, reimagining Bierrex’s backroom bar as “Ray’z”, a cosmic watering hole.

Marrying influences from Soviet space iconography, futurism and postmodern design, the bar was made from Sapele slats which master black Valchromat, with a handmade zinc top.

Ambient LED lighting designed and specified by Raskl creates an atmospheric backdrop to the shelving and bar underside, which is framed by a unique foot rail - which appears to be supported by a troop of deco-style figures. A detail influenced by the handrail in Newcastle’s former Cooperative building.

The set of 12 stools, similar to those developed for Nitehawks, and 12 tub chairs were designed and upholstered in-house. The contours of the popular Bierrex benches were also adapted for additional seating. The material that was chosen to use was a powder teal blue silicon leather provided by Sileather: a high-quality vegan-friendly leather alternative that is tough, antibacterial and with a soft and supple touch.

The wall art and light boxes were a collaboration with our friends Dirty Hands Co who designed the graphic montage. The two bigger light boxes are made from a Valchromat frame, printed opal acrylic face with more printed Valchromat and acrylic popping out for a 3D effect.

Hanging above the bar are two authentic salvaged submarine lights which we refurbished and retrofitted with some laser cut and etched Perspex Mars Red fluorescent acrylic fins.

We were also tasked to create the exterior sign. The Ray’z rocket was constructed from an aluminium plate welded together with acrylic lettering and gun ray. The programmed LEDs give it a cool (and fully intentional) old-school broken neon effect which fully embraces the bar’s personality.

Photography by Richard Kenworthy and studio shots by Jack Storey