Industry news round-up: July 15, 2013

Revolution Deansgate LocksOur weekly round-up of industry news, for July 8 to 15, 2013

Roll-out of new look for Revolution
Inventive Leisure is to invest £6.6million in rolling out a new look for its Revolution bars after successful trials of the new format. The “Evolution” programme has led to a new design described as “sophisticated”, building on the demands of the 66-strong group’s “affluent, style-conscious customers”. It brings crisp stylish décor injected with vibrant touches and attention-grabbing displays. The new format also features a full meet-and-greet service on arrival, with full floor service throughout the venues to create a “compelling” customer experience. The trials included Revolution at Deansgate Locks in Manchester (pictured). Click here to read more at

Mixologist turns to crowd-funding to finance bar
A bartender has turned to a crowd-funding platform to help him raise money to open his own cocktail bar in Thurso in the north of Scotland. Simon Collier (pictured) is looking to raise £20,000 through by the end of July this year so he can open the bar specialising in exotic and expertly crafted cocktails. To encourage people to take a stake, he is offering smaller investors the incentive of a free cocktail masterclass for themselves and nine guests. Click here to read more at

Rum university offers diploma for trade
An intensive course culminating in a diploma qualification in rum is being introduced for professionals in the bar and drinks trade as well as rum enthusiasts. The Rum Experience University, featuring five days of education on the southern coast of Spain, has been put together by Ian Burrell, UK-based global rum ambassador and founder of UK RumFest. Topics will include rum production methods, barrel making, rum tasting and appreciation, the history of rum and rum cocktails, cocktail-making, rum and food pairing, rum blending and effective public speaking. Click here to read more at

Competition champions ‘power of positive drinking’
A competition for AquaRiva tequilas challenges bartenders to make a cocktail using only pure and natural ingredients, accompanied by a tale of their wildest night-out. It aims to highlight “The Power of Positive Drinking”, named after the book written by AquaRiva’s founder Cleo Rocos, who champions “hangover-free” alcoholic drinks made with no artificial ingredients. Click here to read more at

Spanish bartender wins World Class
David Rios from The Jigger Cocktail bar in Bilbao was named Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2013 at last week’s global final. After months of events and competitions around the world, he represented Spain against 44 other bartenders in a series of challenges on board the boutique Azamara Club Cruise’s ship, Azamara Journey, as it sailed through the Mediterranean. Click here to read more at

Intertain continues Walkabout investments
The Walkabout bar in Derby has become the first venue to undergo refurbishment after operator Intertain changed ownership in May. Signalling the new owners’ desire to continue the company’s investment programme, it spent £500,000 on revamping the site, including the creation of two extra bars. Click here to read more at

Interactive beer maps promote BT Sport
BT Sport is distributing beer mats, bar towels and posters that can be scanned with smartphones to activate video content, including sports clips, using Blippar technology, from the start of the football season. They can also be used to vote on the big sporting issues of the moment, research game stats, enter competitions and share content via social media. BT Sport has started to send welcome packs to the thousands of commercial premises that have already signed up for its channels. The interactive beer mats, towels and posters will be in launch packs sent out from late July onwards, which will also include traditional wipeable fixture posters, window stickers and 10-foot banners.

Alcohol-free bar offers Redemption
An alcohol-free bar concept is to be launched in London offering “mocktails” and healthy food alongside live music and DJs. Catherine Salway, formerly group brand director at Virgin, is to unveil Redemption as a pop-up in the rooftop Netil 360 space at Netil House in Hackney, east London. Open from 11am to 10pm, it will run for 10 consecutive Sundays from July 21. From September 8, she will open a permanent venue for Redemption in Trellick Tower in North Kensington, London. Click here to read more at

Launch for new Caribbean spiced rum
O’Hara’s Spiced Rum is officially being launched in the UK this month after a successful preview in the north of England. It is a blend of three-year-old and five-year-old Guyanan rums and a five-year-old Trinidad and Tobago rum, flavoured with vanilla, lime, cinnamon, cloves and other spices. It has been created by Andy O’Hara and Adrian Keogh, promoted for drinking over ice or in cocktails such as an Espresso Martini and an Old Fashioned.

Disaronno Mixing Star won by Dutch bartender
Tess Posthumus from Door 74 bar in Amsterdam was declared the winner of the third Disaronno Mixing Star competition at the global final. Representing the Netherlands, she beat 17 other bartenders from around the world, including three regional winners from the UK, with a cocktail inspired by Steven Spielberg’s thriller Jaws. Her Killer Cocktail mixed Disaronno with gin, Campari, passion fruit syrup, lemon juice and cranberry bitters. Click here to read more at

ALMR membership increases by a third
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers has seen its membership increase by 35 per cent compared to last year, with an influx of 62 new members in the first half of this year. Membership and research manager Matt Steinhofel said: “Our successful and increasingly influential lobbying efforts – the work we are doing on Early Morning Restriction Orders and late-night levies, applying pressure to councils – has attracted significant support from pub, bar and casual dining operators in the last six months.”

Newcastle offered alternative to late-night levy
Best Bar None, the national award scheme promoting responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises, has offered assistance to Newcastle City Council after it announced its intention to run a “best-bar-none-style” scheme. Best Bar None’s national director, Simon Jackson contacted the council’s chief executive after plans were approved to introduce a late-night levy. “We would welcome the opportunity to work closely with Newcastle Council to help them reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder by building positive relationships between the licensed trade, police and local authorities, without the need for a late-night-levy,” Jackson said.

Pop-up gin bar arrives on South Bank
A sustainable outdoor pop-up bar, inspired by Baroque and Art Nouveau architectural styles, has been opened next to Tate Modern on London’s South Bank. The Botanical Bar, designed by Something & Son, is in the Skirt of the Black Mouth pocket park until September 28. It is serving drinks made with a specially blended gin from London micro-distillery Sacred using organic botanicals such as juniper, star anise and the exotic Boswellia Sacra.

AA and Pernod Ricard continue drink-drive campaign
Pernod Ricard UK has launched an additional phase of its joint anti-drink-driving consumer marketing campaign in partnership with the Automobile Association. Encouraging drivers to “accept responsibility” when it comes to drinking and driving, the campaign was launched last week and will run until the end of September. Designed to address the on-going issue of drink-driving among young adults in the UK, it is targeted at people aged 18 to 24 looking to enjoy casual drinking occasions in parks, pubs and friends’ houses over the summer.

Rekorderlig distributor boosts marketing team
Chilli Marketing, distributor of drinks brands including Rekorderlig, Cusquena, Abro and Saint, has appointed Linsey Adams in the newly created role of UK customer marketing manager. With 10 years’ experience in the on- and off-trade, she was most recently senior customer marketing manager at Pernod Ricard where she looked after Absolut vodka. She has also held management positions at drinks companies including Magners, Corona, Red Stripe and Red Bull.

Nottingham brewery returns after 20 years
Shipstone’s, one of the best-loved names in British brewing, is set to return after a 20-year hiatus. The Nottingham brand will once again be available to the on-trade after being acquried by Nottingham-based Richard Neale, who spent 16 years with brewing giant AB InBev. He has been working with Colin Brown, a former brewer at Shipstone’s Star Brewery, to ensure the beer is true to 150 years of brewing history and tradition.

New F&B head revamps GNH bar food
The food menu at GNH Bar at the Great Northern Hotel at London’s Kings Cross has been redesigned by the new head of food and beverage operations, Mark Sargeant. Officially joining on July 18, he previously ran Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s and launched restaurant Rocksalt in Folkestone, Kent. The bar menu of “small bits”, “big bits” and “sweet bits” ranges from smaller dishes such as black pudding scotch eggs with HP Sauce to an oak-smoked salmon club sandwich, paprika fries and dill pickle.

Innis & Gunn to cut carbon footprint
Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has announced two initiatives that will significantly reduce its carbon footprint. It will introduce new lighter-weight 330ml and 660ml bottles globally over the coming months across its core range. It is also moving all bottling to Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow where the beers are produced.

HR award for TGI Friday’s
Karen Forrester, managing director of restaurant and bar group TGI Friday’s has been named Most People-Focused CEO in the HR Excellence Awards for the human resources sector. Up against names from brands such as McDonalds, she won the accolade based on results from Best Companies, which oversees Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For, and a judging panel. Achievements include staff turnover that is six times lower than the industry standard.

Food and drink at new London event
The team behind the nationwide Foodies Festivals have added a new event, Feast at Battersea Park, south London. Running from August 16 to 18, it is described as an “exclusive picnic extravaganza”, featuring restaurants, chefs, food and drinks. Sections include The Vineyard, with a selection of wine and champagnes from around the world, and The Orchard, filled with British cider and ales. Cocktails can be enjoyed alongside DJs in The Speakeasy. Visit

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