When we first spotted Ard Bia at Nimmos, a tiny restaurant serving thoughtful plant-forward dishes on the River Corrib in Galway, Ireland, we fell for its offhand style: mismatched Thonet chairs, silver candlesticks dripping with wax, eclectic art on the walls. (See: Irish Eclecticism at Ard Bia in Galway.) Now, thanks to the talents of local Galway artisans and the vision of Triona Lillis and restaurant owner Aoibheann MacNamara (together, they curate The Tweed Project, a slow fashion line), the restaurant has a brighter, more open feel—original eclecticism intact. Here’s a look inside.
Photography courtesy of Ard Bia.
“The inspirations were fresh, clean lines,” Lillis says. “Plus local materials and craftspeople. Many heads, hands, and hearts made it happen.” The walls, flooring, lighting, and some furniture were given a revamp with a bright, Nordic aesthetic as the goal. (“Not industrial,” Lillis says.) Left as-is: The restaurant’s casual bunches of wildflowers and tarnished silver candlesticks.
MacNamara envisioned a wall of locally-sourced wood to add warmth to the space; the team paneled one wall in untreated local larch.
MacNamara displays a rotating collection of local artists’ work. Out-of-the-way shelves above the banquettes double as storage for wine, coffee, and cookbooks.
Built-in shelving by a local craftsman makes use of the small space around the bar.
The restaurant sells blankets and soft goods by the Tweed Project and locally made provisions.
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