LCE Architects, acting for their client Zelgrain, were responsible for the restoration of the building in 2001/2002, with help from grants from English Heritage, Brighton and Hove City Council and the European Community.
This Grade II listed pub/music venue was built as a Mausoleum for Sir Albert Sassoon in 1892 in imitation of Nash’s Mughai-inspired design of the Royal Pavilion. From this to the Bombay Bar of the 50s, this restoration has revealed many of the building’s former glories.
Critical to the restoration was the landmark tent roof of copper, and the timber clerestory windows “supporting” it, from the original Mausoleum. The paintings to the underside of the domed roof were also lovingly restored, by Stig Evans who was able to consult one of the original artists, Yvonne Cooper, adopting the original pigments and varnish to ensure an authentic restoration. It was originally conceived by WJ Lamkin in the early 1950s as part of the interior decor that adorned the Bombay Bar, at the time the Kemptown Brewery Company was granted a license to open a bar provided the Indian theme of the outside was maintained. Regrettably the original wall murals have not survived but the restoration has ensured the City has a striking new venue.