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December update: The Wild Wood – design

17 December 2009
December update: The Wild Wood – design

When Dominic originally bought Wild Wood, the property was decorated in vibrant yellows and lime greens throughout, having previously been a Brazilian restaurant. He says: "The business had been going strong for 10 years and had seen its fair share of wear and tear. This was particularly evident when we took over the property as it was empty of furnishings and showing its scars."

But far from being daunted by the project, Wood found it a really enjoyable experience to go in and start from scratch. "To be able to go in and strip the entire place down to a raw canvas was very liberating," he says.

The work was mainly cosmetic and the whole property was repainted with floors sanded back and new fixtures and fittings installed. He kept the main layout of the rooms but did rip out the old bar and replace it with a new wider one to make it less of a dispense bar and more of a workable bar with proper taps for draught beers.

Wood explains he was very lucky to have two friends he could rely on for interior design advice. "I was very fortunate to have Eoghan Conway and Dave Manfield from an interior design company, Burlington Design in Cardiff, as good friends who offered their services morning noon and eve on the promise of the occasional beer," he admits.

"We also installed a new EPoS unit that has been very useful! Again, I borrowed the knowledge of a friend to install this, Phil at PRB Projects."

Wood explains the way he put the place together - with the help of so many friends, family and "long-suffering fiancée Katie" - has really affected the ethos of how the bar operates. "We are always complimented on the friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Looking at it now on a busy Friday night, I can't believe how we transformed the place."

He furnished newly stripped down Wild Wood by "begging, stealing and borrowing", as well as adding a few of his family possessions. "My grandfather's retro sun clock and a traditional cuckoo clock are dotted around."

There is a strong Bristol connection to the bar and Wood and his supporters took nearly all of the photographs themselves. He adds: "It's great watching people looking at the pics and trying to work out where they are in Bristol. People often comment on the great design of the place, but to be honest there was no method to the madness, we just tried not to be pretentious."


DECEMBER UPDATE

Dominic Wood has just celebrated the first year of trading for Wild Wood and the future is looking positive. Although he admits the place could still be busier, he recognises that it has taken time for word about the to get around.

"December is now fully booked," he reveals, adding: "So things are looking good."

Looking to next year, Wood has plans to develop the large storeroom downstairs into another private use area, however with no external walls, ventilation is an issue he needs to sort out before committing to the project.

He says: "For the moment, I intend to make best use of the space I have rather than thinking of extending. I am fortunate in having a good landlord who wants to see the best from his property and so any funding, if in his interests, may be of a joint nature."

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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