A cocktail bar has opened at the top of Glasgow’s new Radisson Red hotel, reports Mark Ludmon. Pictures by McAteer Photography
Glasgow’s cocktail scene has a new star – and it’s nine storeys high in the sky with views over the city and the River Clyde. Red Sky Bar, part of the new 174-room Radisson Red hotel in Finnieston, is a new destination for drinks with a bold interior design and a cocktail list presided over by some of Glasgow’s leading bartenders. Accessed by its own lift from the lobby, the rooftop bar has seating for up to 120 people, with a spacious outdoor terrace. Aiming for an urban and unconventional vibe, the interior is inspired by the River Clyde and its industrial heritage. It was designed by Mark Brunjes, founder of Glasgow-based hospitality specialist CM Interior Design, making the most of the views through the floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around the bar area.
The bar front is made from Portora Gold, an elegant black marble with sleek gold veins running through it, backed by glass shelves illuminated by LED lights. Walls are covered from floor to ceiling in Calacutta gold porcelain tiles, a beautiful white marble with gold veins that contrasts with the bar. A contemporary fireplace encased in glass sits at the back, adding warmth to the interior, with modern artwork above. “The design for the hotel is very bold so we decided on a contemporary classic design for the Red Sky Bar which would appeal to a wide demographic,” Mark explains. “It was crucial that the design emphasised the panoramic views of the River Clyde, the Finnieston crane, the Hydro, the Armadillo, along with the headquarters of the BBC and STV across the river.”
The bar comes under food and drink manager Frankie McGovern who was previously operations manager at Kained Holdings which operates leading Glasgow bars such as Lebowskis, Porter & Rye and The Finnieston. It is managed by Mike McColm, who was at another top Glasgow bar Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn, alongside Grant Caulfield (pictured). Their cocktail list is led by signature drinks such as the Red Sky @ Night which combines Glasgow Distillery Co’s Makar Original Dry Gin with St-Germain elderflower liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon juice and gomme, while Shepherd’s Delight mixes Wood’s 100 Old Navy Rum with crème de violette, St-Germain, rose and lavender syrup and lime juice.
Inventive twists include the Bro-hee-to, with Scotland’s Dark Matter Spiced Rum, brownie syrup and mint, and the Nae Martini, using another Scottish product, Glen’s Platinum Vodka, with dry vermouth, bubblegum gomme and pineapple.
Food is chiefly small plates for sharing, described on the menu as an all-day “picnic”, with options such as haggis bons, herby beef and port meatballs, mini chorizo, arancini, falafel and halloumi fries. Other dishes include pizzas, desserts, dirty fries and a cheese and charcuterie board. Open Wednesday to Sunday from midday to midnight, it hosts local DJs at weekends. “We want Red Sky Bar to become a favourite Clydeside hang-out for everyone, not just those staying at the hotel,” Mike adds.
Red Sky Bar, Radisson Red, 25 Tunnel Street, Glasgow G3 8HL
Tel: 0141 471 1687
Originally published in the July 2018 print edition of Bar magazine.