Industry news round-up: August 21, 2014


sakura manchester

Our regular round-up of industry news, for August 18 to 21, 2014

Eclectic to open first Sakura in four years
Eclectic Bar Group is to launch its first new bar under Japanese-style concept Sakura in nearly four years in a revamp of tiki bar Lola Lo in Bournemouth. Opening on Friday (August 22), it follows the opening of Sakura in Manchester (pictured) in 2010 and Reading in 2008. The company has also revamped its Cuban-themed venue Embargo 59 in London’s King’s Road, relaunching it as Embargo Republica, including a redesign and extension of its rooftop bar.
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Revamp and distributor for RTS cocktails
The Tails range of pre-mixed cocktails has been taken on by UK distributor Hi-Spirits after a redesign and reformulation of the recipes. The ready-to-serve (RTS) drinks have been refreshed in collaboration with Dutch spirits and liqueur producer Lucas Bols. With new products added to the range, the cocktails are now made with new higher-quality liquids and ingredients, including Bols liqueurs.
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Chaophraya operator seeks London site
Thai Leisure Group (TLG), which operates 11 restaurants and four cocktail bars across the north of England and Scotland, is looking to expand into London after a year of growth. It has reported like-for-like sales growth of 9% over the last year, with current turnover, annualised on existing sites, of £25million. It operates Chaophraya and Thaikhun restaurants and Palm Sugar bars.
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Leeds and Kent bars in design award final
Mexican restaurant Cielo Blanco in Leeds and The Velo House in Kent have made it to the shortlist for this year’s SBID International Design Awards. They are the only UK projects shortlisted in the category for best restaurant and bar design in the awards organised by the Society of British and International Design (SBID). In the category for best contract product, Forrest & Jones is a finalist for its wallcovering at Hoxley & Porter bar in Islington, London.
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New Manchester bar focuses on wine by the glass
A new wine bar has opened in Manchester offering 42 different wines by the glass thanks to the city’s largest wine preservation and dispense machine. Salut Wines in Cooper Street has been developed by pilot Jon Saunby and his wife, Sara Saunby, formerly cabin crew. They have been supported by a business loan drawn from a £24million fund delivered by Business Finance Solutions.
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Glen Garioch plans four new whiskies
The first in a series of four whiskies is to be released by Glen Garioch in September, showcasing how the malt’s house style matures over four years. The inaugural release, a Glen Garioch 15-year-old, will be the first in The Renaissance Collection, with the rest released annually at 16, 17 and 18 years, mapping out the progress of Glen Garioch’s spirit in the cask.
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London bar adds skinny cocktails
A Skinny Passion Fruit Martini (pictured) is among a new menu of low-calorie cocktails added at the Icon Balcony Bar and Terrace above the Casino at The Empire in London’s Leicester Square. Others include a Mimosa Lite, a Pina Colada Cooler, a Skinny Mojito and a Moscow Mule.
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UK team expands for German beer
The team looking after German premium beer Krombacher in the UK has been strengthened with the appointment of sales director Stephan Kofler. Working in the drinks industry for 17 years, he comes from on-trade drinks supplier Matthew Clark where most recently he was customer development director for the south-east. He joins the existing team of Julian Penny and Daniel Luecker, who became sales manager for the UK in January.
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Vegetable sculptures inspire new cocktail
An exhibition of striking sculptures based on vegetables by artist Patrick Laroche has inspired a cocktail at bar and restaurant The Balcon at the Sofitel London St James hotel. It combines heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, celery, soy sauce, apple juice, mushroom syrup and salt and pepper plus cucumber juice, rosemary and basil ice cubes and a garnish of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, salt and pepper.
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Love Drinks seeks marketing manager
Premium drinks company Love Drinks is expanding its team by seeking a marketing manager. Its brands include El Dorado and Gosling’s rums, The Bitter Truth bitters and liqueurs, Hayman’s gins, Abelha cachaça, U’luvka vodka and Einstök beers.
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Video: Maker’s Mark Bartender Trove
A short film has been released covering the Maker’s Mark Bartender Trove event in London where bartenders presented a precious bartending object alongside an original cocktail. Five bartenders were selected for a final to be held in September where they will compete for the prize of a trip to the distillery where Maker’s Mark is made in Loretto, Kentucky.
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Profits and sales up at Brakspear
J T Davies & Sons, parent company for Oxfordshire-based pub operator and brewer Brakspear, has reported increases in profits and sales for the year to December 31. Operating profit rose by 15.8% to £5.4million and profit before tax and exceptional items was up by 26.2% at £3.5million while turnover rose 8.4% to £17.8million. It increased draught beer and cider volumes by 5.2%, with a like-for-like uplift of 2.7%.

London brewer to run beer festival
London-based Meantime Brewing is bringing back BrewFest to celebrate modern craft beer and brewing. The event will feature three main bars, representing craft beer from the UK, America and the rest of Europe, offering over 150 different beers. It runs from August 23 to 25 at The Old Brewery in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and also features live music performances and tutored beer and cheese tastings.

Expansion for e-cigarette brand’s team
Premium electronic cigarette brand blu eCigs has strengthened its senior team by appointing a new commercial director, Alistair Hall, and a new marketing director, James Dodkin. Alistair brings more than 20 years’ experience across sales, marketing and operations, most recently working on projects with Mars, Nestlé, Fortune Brands and E&J Gallo. James brings over 10 years’ experience in marketing and brand management, including senior brand manager at L’Oreal and group innovation manager at Fosters Wine Estates.

Hendrick’s takes bar to Portmeirion festival
Hendrick’s touring pop-up Carnival of Knowledge is set to visit Portmeirion in Wales for Festival No 6 from September 5 to 7. Promising two days of “dynamic discoveries and titillating theories”, the travelling bar is running a programme of events with the help of the Guerrilla Science collective as well as offering cocktails with Hendrick’s Gin.

Norfolk brewer appoints marketing manager
Woodforde’s Norfolk Ales has appointed Rachael Shakespeare as marketing manager to oversee the firm’s marketing strategy and build customer affinity. With 10 years’ marketing and PR experience, she was formerly a director of a Norfolk PR consultancy and chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in East Anglia.


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