Industry news round-up: June 9, 2014


Adrian Gomes

Our regular round-up of industry news, for June 5 to 9, 2014

UK figures highly in global bar awards
Bars and bartenders from the UK have made the finalists’ list in the global Spirited Awards, held as part of the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans. They include Bramble and The Bon Vivant in Edinburgh and the Artesian Bar at the Langham, the Beaufort Bar and American Bar at The Savoy, the Connaught Bar, Blind Pig, NOLA Bar, White Lyan, Hawksmoor’s Spitalfields Bar, the Nightjar and London Cocktail Club in London.
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Aberdeen bar owner wins UK Mixing Star
Adrian Gomes (pictured), owner of The Tippling House and 10 Dollar Shake in Aberdeen, has won a place on a “boot camp” in Sicily after being named UK winner of this year’s Disaronno Mixing Star. Entrants were challenged to create a twist on the classic Disaronno Sour. He will travel to the Disaronno Mixing Star Lab in Italy in July on an all-expenses paid trip, joining other leading bartenders for top-level professional development.
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Mondrian London operator updates on bar
Morgans Hotel Group has announced details of the “seasonal cocktail bar”, Dandelyan, due to open at its new Mondrian London at Sea Containers hotel on the South Bank this summer. It will be headed by bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana who set up his own bar White Lyan in Hoxton last year and cocktail bar Henry at New York City’s Hudson Hotel – also part of Morgans Hotel Group.
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View guides to let bars manage reviews
A new system has been added for View city guides to allow bars and clubs to manage their own listings. Running across all 21 city guides including ViewLondon, the new View Portal lets venues update information, special offers, images and videos but also, for the first time, they can manage user reviews to make sure they provide a balanced picture.
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Former Varsity becomes new student bar
The former Varsity student bar in Lincoln is being revamped into a new student-friendly destination offering craft beers alongside cocktails. The site in Guildhall Street is to become The Mailbox after a £230,000 refurbishment by Stonegate Pub Company. It is due to open on June 12.
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Virtual reality brings big top to bars
Customers in pubs and bars will use the latest Oculus Rift virtual-reality glasses as part of a sampling campaign for cinnamon-flavoured whiskey Early Times Fire Eater. The technology will be used in venues in Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds and Glasgow to transport people inside a circus tent and have them plunge through a circle of fire.
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Line-up announced for Bombay Sapphire final
Bombay Sapphire has revealed the full list of bartenders who will compete in the global semi-final and final of its World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition in the UK this week. It features finalists from 14 countries, including UK winner Richard Wood from Duck & Waffle in London.
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Captain Morgan taps into washroom media
Diageo GB is using interactive washroom technology for a campaign for Captain Morgan rum to tie in with the World Cup. It has created a game with technology specialist Captive Media where men can score a goal through tactical peeing at the urinal.
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Appletiser extends with pomegranate variant
A new apple and pomegranate variant is to be added as an extension of premium adult soft drink brand Appletiser. Distributed by Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), Apple & Pomegranate Appletiser will be launched in a 275ml bottle in July, aiming to help licensees boost their adult soft drinks sales.
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Fever-Tree creates pop-up G&T bar
A dedicated gin and tonic bar is popping up in east London this week, featuring 160 gins from around the world. It is being set up by tonic specialist Fever-Tree in Hoxton Square from June 12 for six weeks, offering master classes, dining experiences and tasting flights.
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Flavoured ciders spin off from Stivy’s vodka
The company behind Stivy’s vodka liqueurs has extended the brand into the flavoured cider market. In line with the fun flavours of the vodkas, VC² Brands has launched two new ciders, Stivy’s Original Kola Fruits and Stivy’s Original Cherry Berry. They are designed to be served chilled over ice.
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Only way is Essex for La Sala debut
The team bringing the La Sala restaurant and bar concept from Marbella to the UK have announced their first site: Chigwell in Essex. It will open later this year, aiming to recreate the Spanish dining and entertainment experience. Roll-out is led by James Horler who previously built up Spanish chain La Tasca and now operates Rocket bars and restaurants.
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The Kraken Rum launches into cinemas
A cinema and digital advertising campaign has been launched in cinemas for The Kraken Rum. Costing a six-figure sum, it features a 30-second animation of the mythical kraken squid destroying a ship. It will run in cinemas nationwide but with a focus on London, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow and Brighton. It also includes pre-roll and banner advertising on film and music websites such as NME, Viewster, Contact Music, Metro, the Evening Standard and The Independent.

Major revamp for central London bar
Marston’s has embarked on a multi-million-pound refurbishment of its bar The Fire Station next to Waterloo station, London. Now closed, it will reopen in late 2015 with a new look and upgraded food and drink menus. The 4,700 sq ft 700-cover building will undergo extensive restructuring. Managing director Colin Sadler said: “The Fire Station has always performed very well but the time has come for significant investment.”

Eighth site announced for US-style Diner
American-style restaurant brand The Diner is to open in Dalston, east London, in October, bringing the size of the group up to eight. It will offer the signature classic US dishes, from burgers to hot dogs alongside its alcoholic milkshakes, or “hard shakes”, “Hard Tea cocktails” and craft beers. It follows the launch of its Spitalfields site at the end of last year.

Kopparberg embarks on summer activities
A £4million marketing campaign is under way for Swedish fruit cider Kopparberg, focusing on its Elderflower and Lime and Cloudberry variants. It is being rolled out across TV, outdoor, digital, video on demand, press and events throughout this summer, including the Kopparberg Urban Forest event in Dalston, east London, in July. A new magazine, Eklektik, will be distributed to Stylist and Shortlist readers in London, Manchester and Glasgow and go live digitally on a regularly updated site, linking the brand with music, style and creativity.

Charles Wells plans Yummy new project
Bedford brewer and pub operator Charles Wells is to refurbish another London pub in partnership with multiple operator Yummy Pub Co. Due to reopen in August, the Victoria in Bow, east London, will be the third that the companies have developed together under lease agreements. The other sites are The Somerstown Coffee House in Euston and The Gorringe Park in Tooting.

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