Our regular round-up of industry news, for July 14 to 17, 2014
Council backs Nottingham late-night levy
Nottingham council has backed plans for a late-night levy for bars, pubs and clubs but agreed to exempt those that belong to the city’s business improvement district (BID) partnership. The full council backed its licensing committee’s recommendation for a levy to be introduced in October requiring all licensed premises to pay a fee if they open from midnight until 6am. The levy is likely to vary from £299 to £4,440 a year.
Luminar to invest £1.2m in Swansea club
The Luminar Group is to invest £1.2million into creating a new late-night venue in Swansea after taking on the site of former nightclub Odyssey. Luminar, which operates 53 clubs including Pryzm (pictured), has signed a 25-year lease on the building after the club shut eight months ago. The 1,700-capacity site will become a stylish late-night venue with three distinct rooms, private pre-bookable booths, table service and a premium drinks offering.
Strongbow glass highlights provenance
Heineken UK has introduced a new pint glass for draught cider Strongbow which, for the first time, includes information about the brand’s heritage. The pint glass includes the phrase “made in Hereford”, highlighting the Herefordshire farmers who grow and press one billion cider apples a year to make Strongbow.
Appleton bus rolls into Manchester
Rum cocktails will be served from a classic Jamaican-style bus in Manchester for the next four weeks, staffed by one of the city’s leading bars. The Appleton Estate Rum Bus arrives in Great Northern Square today (July 17), with a bar and seating on board as well as an 80-capacity outdoor seating area with benches and parasols. The cocktail list is being curated and delivered by the team from The Violet Hour in West Didsbury, all made with Appleton Estate rums.
Jim Beam Maple launches in UK
Maxxium UK is further developing the American whiskey category in Britain’s bars with the launch of the UK’s first-ever maple-infused bourbon. The limited-edition Jim Beam Maple is made with four-year-old Jim Beam bourbon, slowly infused with maple to produce the perfect balance of sweet warm maple and bourbon. Bottled at 35% ABV, it is aged in oak barrels.
Coal roll-out reaches Gloucester
Coal Grill & Bar is to open in the Gloucester Quays development in Gloucestershire as part of an expansion programme supported by new funding. The 332 sq m 100-cover restaurant will be one of five openings this year to take the operator to 11 units, including new sites in Cardiff, Cheshire and Swindon. It has gained new backing from fund management group Beringea and venture capital firm Octopus Investments plus bank finance.
Leeds bar launches summer cocktail list
A new cocktail menu has been introduced at D&D London’s restaurant and bar Angelica in Trinity Leeds for enjoying long summer days. New additions include the fruity and sweet Crimson Velvet which combines Ketel One vodka and Xante pear liqueur with Chambord raspberry liqueur, lemon, orange bitters and raspberry puree.
Whisky competition finds Chivas Master
US bartender Masahiro Urushido has been announced as the first Chivas Master in a global competition for Chivas Regal whisky. Competing against 11 other winners of national heats around the world, he impressed the international panel of judges with his cocktail, The New Pal. Other competitors included UK winner Alistair Reynolds from Spitalfields Bar at Hawksmoor in east London.
June sales mixed for licensed trade
Britain’s managed pub, bar and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales grow just 0.4% in June, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. While the World Cup helped push up trade in drink-led managed pubs and bars by 2.4% on a like-for-like basis, branded restaurants reported flat sales while pub restaurants saw a sales dip compared to the same month last year. The biggest boost came in the week of England’s first match, when like-for-like sales in drink-led pubs and bars were up 10.9%. The following week, like-for-like sales were ahead 3.7%.
New TV ad for Southern Comfort
Southern Comfort, part of Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands, has launched a new “laid-back” TV advert in line with its global creative representing the “Whatever’s Comfortable” attitude to life. The ad, called “Young Gun”, runs on UK screens until August 18 alongside increased investment in the brand for summer, including a focus on digital and social media, targeted PR and other marketing activity.
Manchester opening planned for Ibérica
Ibérica Restaurants is to open a site in Spinningfields, Manchester, as part of ambitious expansion plans. The 200-cover restaurant will be the fifth for Ibérica and the first outside of London. Due to open in the autumn, it will be divided into a ground floor, where a large bar will act as a focal point, and a mezzanine, which will house the kitchen and further seating. It will also have two terraces.
Award for Cambridge gin and beer bar
Pint Shop, the Cambridge bar specialising in gin, beer, meat and bread, has won the title of best pub or bar in the inaugural Cambridge Magazine and Cambridge News Food & Drink Awards. Pint Shop was opened in Cambridge in November by Richard Holmes and Benny Peverelli who are on the look-out for more sites.
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