Industry news round-up: September 22, 2014

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Our regular round-up of industry news, for September 18 to 22, 2014

Dirty Martini continues expansion
CG Restaurants & Bars has acquired a new site for its Dirty Martini cocktail bar concept in the City of London only weeks after announcing another half a mile away. It is taking over the site of Novus Leisure’s Jewel in Wood Street, near St Paul’s Cathedral, which will open as a Dirty Martini in mid-November. CG is due to open another next month near Monument and is already negotiating on two more locations.
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New kettle design for Ketel One
A new limited-edition copper kettle is set to be revealed for serving drinks using Ketel One Vodka. The Diageo Reserve brand has created the new vessel in collaboration with contemporary London designer Clive Darby of fashion house Rake Style. Two further uniquely designed copper kettles are being created and will be available in a number of selected bars across the UK.
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Bars cut prices for Tax Equality Day
Pubs and bars are set to support Tax Equality Day on September 24 by cutting prices as part of the campaign for lower VAT on food and drink in the on-trade. At all 69 sites operated by managed pub and bar operator TCG around the UK, the price of food and drink will be reduced by 7.5% for the day. Cambridge bar Pint Shop will lower prices of all its food and drink by 15% on the day.
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Monkey Shoulder names pop-up winners
Three bartenders from Glasgow have won the chance to run their own pop-up bar at London Cocktail Week in October in a competition run for Monkey Shoulder whisky. The brand’s Ultimate Bartender Challenge was won by a team called The Cowbell, made up of Stuart Bale, Abi Clephane and Ervin Trykowski.
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New food menu for The Snug bars
A new food menu has been introduced at The Snug bars, building on popular dishes and developing a bigger focus on breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Giles Fry, owner of The Snugs, said: “This new menu continues to focus on our winning combination of home-cooked comfort food with an added Snug twist. We’ve also made more of a feature of our breakfast offerings and created a quick-stop lunch menu so that our customers can visit any time of the day.”
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Las Iguanas adds bars in Edinburgh and Derby
Latin American restaurant group Las Iguanas is set to open bars as part of two new sites in Edinburgh and Derby. A new restaurant and bar will open on the corner of George Street and Charlotte Square in Edinburgh at the end of September. With interior design by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, it will be spread over the ground floor and basement including a cocktail bar. Las Iguanas will open on Friar Gate in Derby in mid-October, with a cosy bar and patio, all designed by B3 Designers.
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Vedett extends with IPA
A new IPA is being launched for Belgian beer brand Vedett, available in both 33cl bottles and on draught. Extra Ordinary IPA, at 5.5% ABV, combines the subtropical citrus and more floral and fresh aromas of different hop varieties, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial and Chinook.
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Student spend set to boost on-trade
Student spending power represents a £2.4billion opportunity for retail and leisure providers, according to research from While students have already spent an average of £1,096 each on getting ready for university, every new and returning student will spend a further £1,019 over the course of freshers’ week. For pubs, bars and restaurants in university towns, their return will provide an average £306 boost per student during the week.

New barbecue concept opens in Hereford
Charnwood Pub Company is to unveil its first concept barbecue restaurant in Hereford on September 26. A once-traditional pub is set to be relaunched as BBQs & Brews, celebrating the American Deep South pit barbecue, slow-cooking meat in imported American smokers for up to 18 hours. The bar will feature American craft beers and bourbons alongside English cask ales and local craft cider.

Launch for new drinks company Vantguard
Global Premium Brands has set up a new business, Vantguard, to look after sales of its premium spirits, beer and water. The trade name change is aimed at supporting international growth of the brands which include Gin Mare, Capucana cachaça, Ibiza beer Isleña, Ysabel Regina brandy and sherry blend, and 22 Artesian Water from La Rioja in Spain.

Oktoberfest returns to Glasgow brewery
West Brewery, Bar & Restaurant in Glasgow is bringing its popular Oktoberfest event back to its home in the Templeton building in Glasgow Green on October 3, 17, 24 and 31. It will feature music from The Brasswurst Bavarian Beer Band and a new recipe for West’s popular Oktoberfestbier. A new food menu will offer dishes such as Jägerschnitzel, Currywurst and Semmelknödel.

TGI Friday’s rewards top workers
TGI Fridays has thanked 100 of its most hard-working team members by officially recognising them as “Friday’s Legends” at an awards ceremony in Liverpool. Each “Legend” received an all-expenses-paid trip to the ceremony, staying in the city’s luxury Titanic hotel and enjoying a cocktail event followed by a VIP experience at the UK Bartender Championships. The next day they were treated to a private, secret gig in Liverpool’s famous Cavern music club. They were chosen by a vote among Friday’s 4,500 team members, with 2,069 nominations received.

Formula 1 link-up for Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker whisky has announced a new partnership with the Formula One group to enhance the brand’s global positioning and significantly expand the platform for its responsible drinking initiative, Join the Pact. The multi-year arrangement also sees Johnnie Walker become the Official Whisky of Formula 1.

Scheme seeks mentors for pilot scheme
The Institute of Hospitality is inviting participants to take part in a pilot mentoring scheme in its two branches in London and Yorkshire. The six-month programme blends an informal mentoring experience with just enough structure to guide learning for both leaders and budding managers. During the six months, it is estimated that mentors will commit to about 15 hours and those being mentored will need about 25 hours.

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