Samuel Jones – Smoke & Ale House

Based in the heart of Exeter’s bustling quayside development, Samuel Jones offers comfortable casual dining and drinking with a fresh and contemporary urban feel. The building itself holds a lot of history, in fact it was originally owned by a Cider Company until Samuel Jones took ownership of the property in 1878 with the intention of increasing Exeter’s trading powers as well as improving his own successful wine and spirit importing business. The building has housed a number of nightspots over the years and boasted the likes of David Bowie, Mud and KC and the Sunshine Band. More recently, St Austell Brewery’s investment of £1.5 million breathed new life into this truly historic building, reigniting Samuel’s dream of bringing the finest ales, wines and spirits to the people of Exeter with the addition of a unique, contemporary eating experience that Jones himself would have been proud of.

As part of their development, Sign Specialists Ltd were contracted in to design, manufacture and install their new signage. Their brief required us to maintain a look and feel that resembled how the building would have looked in its hay day, yet with a 21st century touch of style.

On this particular project a variety of options were needed, ranging from frosted window graphics through to a wooden tea crate that would hang from a crane above the nearby canal. Above the entrance would be 5.4 meter wide Corten steel backdrop, specifically used to avoid rust contamination over the years. On top of this, individually fret cut aluminium letters were placed, just under down lit LED’s that would light the sign up brilliantly during the night.

Either side of the entrance we provided LED lit chalkboards on a Corten steel backdrop that could be used to detail historical information, daily specials or upcoming events that Samuel Jones had coming up. To the left of this, a bespoke frame was crafted and hand painted to the same steel effect used on the entrance signs, internally lit, it would showcase the Smokehouse’ menu. The finishing touch applied to the entrance was a frosted vinyl graphic showcasing the Samuel Jones logo.

Either side of the building would hang 2m high steel signs fixed at either end using custom made wall brackets. Within the brackets, we installed LED’s that would light up the sign below. A third sign, similar to these would then be attached to the wall near a second entrance, along with a second bespoke menu frame.

The center piece of the project was a 1m high wooden tea chest that would hang from a pre-installed shipyard winch standing just under 2m tall. The tea chest itself was hand painted with the Samuel Jones logo to all sides and lit from above using LED lights hidden in the lid. For those who pass by, this feature is truly unique and compliments the rest of the buildings style.