Industry news round-up: April 7, 2014


Tony ConigliaroOur weekly round-up of industry news, for March 31 to April 7, 2014

Top bartender joins Mixing Star mentors
Leading bartender Tony Conigliaro (pictured) is to join specialists in a mixology boot camp in Sicily for finalists in Disaronno’s Mixing Star competition. He will lead the two-day intensive mixology training course for the winners of national heats in the international competition which challenges bartenders to create a unique twist on the Disaronno Sour. The deadline for entry is May 9.
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New ambassador for Diageo whiskies
Diageo has announced that Andrea Montague, former bar manager at London bar Callooh Callay, has become brand ambassador for Diageo Reserve’s whisky portfolio. She will look after Johnnie Walker Super Deluxe, Bulleit whiskeys and the single malt Scotch whisky portfolio that includes Singleton, Talisker and Lagavulin.
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German beer bar expands with new site
Bierschenke, the bar and restaurant based on a Munich beer hall, is relocating from London’s West End to larger premises at London in the City. It has taken on the lease of a 8,500 sq ft former Henry’s Café Bar, and plans to reopen it at the end of May. The sale of the lease, which covers the ground floor and basement, was handled by property specialist Christie + Co.
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Ardbeg to release new limited edition
Ardbeg is preparing to launch its latest limited-edition whisky Auriverdes, which has been matured in American oak casks with specially toasted cask lids. The lids produce a mocha coffee flavour at one end, flowing into creamy vanilla at the other. The 2014 limited edition will be available from May 31 – Ardbeg Day.
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New tequila bar opens in Manchester
Tequila and tapas bar El Capo has been opened in Manchester’s Northern Quarter by entrepreneur Pete Skelton. It aims to offer an authentic South American atmosphere with music and works of art and design that capture Latin culture. It initially stocks over 70 tequilas with a menu of 21 cocktails, sharing drinks and weekly cocktails. Pete, who also owns neighbouring bar The Whiskey Jar, will open El Capo’s cellar restaurant in early May.
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Paris Ritz bar unites with Connaught
Two of the world’s best bars are joining forces when the Bar Hemingway from the Ritz in Paris takes up a week-long residency at The Connaught Bar in London’s Connaught Hotel. From April 7 to 13, Colin Field from the Bar Hemingway will “jam” together with Ago Perrone, director of mixology at the Connaught Bar, to create a drinks menu that blends their respective styles.
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Meantime champions British brewing craft
Meantime Brewing has embarked on a campaign to highlight the craft of British brewing. It has distributed more than 20,000 hop-growing kits, called Hops in a Box, to over 160 on-trade outlets where consumers will be encouraged to grow their own hops at home. The Greenwich-based brewer is also expanding the availability of its brewery-fresh “tank beer” outside of London for the first time, introducing it at Indigo Pub Company’s Hare and Hounds in Brighton.
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Toussaint sets food and cocktail challenge
Chefs and bartenders are being challenged to create both a cocktail and a dish in a competition for Toussaint Coffee Liqueur. Teams of two will be called on to impress judges at heats around the UK, culminating in a final with the prize of a trip to the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans.
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New Tanqueray No Ten bottle for UK
A new bottle design for Tanqueray No Ten gin is to be introduced into the UK market. The bottle celebrates the spirit’s 10 botanicals, including whole fresh oranges, grapefruits and limes, with 10 elegant facets that flow down the bottle and meet at the base in the shape of a citrus fruit squeezer. The stylish bottle shape illustrates the streamlined glamour of the Art Deco period and the “golden era” of cocktails. The glass is also a lighter green than before.
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Reward scheme launched for Stonegate staff
Stonegate Pub Company, which operates 623 bars, pubs and clubs around the UK, has introduced a reward scheme for its staff. A new reward card enables all 12,000 employees to benefit from a 25% discount on all food and drink purchases across the company’s estate, all day every day. They are also entitled to free entry where door charges normally apply.
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US cherry lager comes to UK
American blushing-pink Dominion Cherry Blossom Lager, which is conditioned on a bed of Michigan cherries, is being introduced into the UK. The beer is brewed in limited quantities each year by Fordham and Brewing Company in Dover, Delaware in the USA, with demand regularly outstripping supply. It will be available to the UK on-trade from mid-April as a seasonal special within the range of Fordham and Dominion craft beers imported into the UK by Heathwick.
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New on-trade phase for Courvoisier campaign
Maxxium UK has launched the next phase of Courvoisier’s campaign, Here’s to Now, in the on-trade, aimed at “breathing new life into the cognac category”. It is sending out 1,000 kits featuring point-of-sale materials including posters, strut cards and tent cards themed around the campaign’s “Forest” ad which portrays an outdoor social drinking occasion previously unexpected for cognac. Kits also include branded highball glassware and bar runners, and there are menus and a cocktail guide.
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New food and drink menu for Slug
Slug and Lettuce bars have introduced a new cocktail menu and other changes to its drinks selection to mark the arrival of warmer weather. With an emphasis on fruity ingredients, it has added twists to the classics and also switched to Havana Club three-year-old rum for its rum-based drinks. Also introduced last week was a new food menu, featuring a range of new dishes including more use of pulled pork.
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Glengoyne to introduce 25-year-old
A 25-year-old expression is being added to the Glengoyne Highland single malt Scotch whisky collection. Matured exclusively in hand-selected sherry casks for a quarter of a century, the Glengoyne 25 Year Old will join the 10, 12, 15, 18, 21 Year Old and Cask Strength malts. It is being released in April.
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New operator revamps Newcastle bar
Newcastle upon Tyne bar LYH has been revamped by new operator and design company Bar Hound and relaunched with its original name, City Tavern. After a £250,000 renovation, it is being repositioned as one of the city’s best food-led pubs. Bar Hound is headed by David King who until December 2012 was co-owner of bar operator and design specialist Fluid Group.
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Bar operators sought for Birmingham sites
Bar and restaurant operators are being sought for four leisure units in the new Two Snowhill development in Birmingham. Colliers International has been instructed to market the units which range from 1,459 square feet to 4,121 square feet and benefit from external terrace areas.
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Caorunn to run bartender events in north-west
A series of interactive master classes and bartender events are to be held across north-west England for Scottish super-premium gin Caorunn this summer. They will cover the perfect Caorunn gin and tonic and a range of classic Caorunn cocktails that have been a success in bars in London and Scotland. The first is a Roaring 1920s Gin Revival evening at The Martinez Bar at 22 Redbank in Manchester on Sunday April 20.
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Inception Group announces new club
The Inception Group has unveiled plans for a new nightclub that aims to bring the spirit of Latin American beach parties to London. Cocobananas will open this summer next door to the company’s Italian-inspired bar and restaurant, Bunga Bunga, in Battersea, south London. Set over two floors, the nightclub will include a Caipirinha bar on the top floor.
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Salvatore marks Playboy founder’s birthday
To celebrate the birthday of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner on April 9, a cocktail has been created by Salvatore Calabrese of Salvatore’s at the Playboy Club London. The Hefner Cooler is made with bourbon, Disaronno, lemon juice, pineapple juice and Diet Pepsi.
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Peated twist for anCnoc whiskies
A new collection of limited-edition peated whiskies has been released by Knockdu Distillery for its anCnoc Highland single malt range. Aimed at bringing peated whisky to modern drinkers, the new whiskies feature anCnoc’s classic light, easy-drinking style but with a dark, distinctive and smoky twist. The expressions are named after the traditional tools used to cut peat.
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Bartending school offers round-the-world prize
The European Bartender School has launched a campaign aimed at promoting bartending as a career to teenagers and young adults. It is focused on a competition, called Ticket to the World, which offers the prize of two places on a trip around the world for five months to learn about the life of being a top bartender.
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Captain Morgan introduces glass tankard
A new tankard is being introduced for Captain Morgan rum to bars and pubs in the UK to help drive sales of golden and spiced rum drinks. The branded glass tankard is being made available to licensees for the recommended serve of Original Spiced Gold rum over ice with cola and a slice of lime.
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Trade challenges proposed e-cigarette ban
Proposals have been announced to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in pubs, bars and clubs in Wales. The Welsh government has published a White Paper for consultation, including plans for the ban on e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces and a minimum alcohol price of 50p per unit. Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, questioned the effectiveness of minimum pricing, adding: “A restriction on the use of e-cigarettes also has the potential to deter people from visiting pubs and bars in Wales.”
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Brazilian restaurant group to expand to Leeds
Cabana, the Brazilian barbecue restaurant group, is to open its first site outside of London in the Trinity Leeds complex this October. Specialising in Caipirinhas, it will cover 4,500 square feet. Co-founder Jamie Barber said he and business partner David Ponté were “struck by how vibrant, beautiful and exciting the city is”.

Ginger Grouse partners Tough Mudder
Maxxium UK has announced that a new partnership between its whisky and ginger drink Ginger Grouse and nationwide fitness challenge Tough Mudder UK. As the Official Pint Partner, it will be available at all seven events across the UK and as a partner in an obstacle on the course. Supported with high-visibility branding on all collateral, it will engage with 200,000 participants and spectators.

New CEO for station bar operator
SSP, a leading operator of bars and restaurants in stations and airports, has appointed Simon Smith as chief executive of its UK and Ireland business. He is currently managing director of WHSmith’s travel division and has a 20-year track record in retail, working at Fenwicks, Allders and Safeway. Simon will join in June and replace Mark Angela, who has been appointed to the new position of chief commercial officer for SSP globally.


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