Industry news round-up: May 19, 2014

All Seeing Eye ASE Blackie Boy NewcastleOur weekly round-up of industry news, for May 12 to 19, 2014

New late bar created in Newcastle
New late-night bar, The All Seeing Eye (pictured), or ASE, has opened as part of the refurbishment of the Blackie Boy in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre. It has been created out of a function room on the first floor, stripped back to expose brickwork and opened up to create a downtown New York City vibe. It was carried out by Blackie Boy owner Star Pubs & Bars with lessee Fluid Group and also included an overhaul of the Blackie Boy.
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World Class announces UK finalists
Diageo has announced the last four bartenders to reach the UK final of the global Diageo Reserve World Class competition. They are Iain McPherson from Panda & Sons in Edinburgh, Massimo Zitti from Cane and Grain which is about to open in Manchester, Luca Corradini from The American Bar at The Savoy in London and Richard Tring (pictured) from Red Light in Bristol. They will compete this month in a series of challenges to decide the UK representative at the global final.
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Summer campaign for Southern Comfort
Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands is to distribute kits including drinking vessels in a range of designs (pictured) as part of summer activity for Southern Comfort. Available in selected outlets from June, the 5,000 kits include bar caddies, napkins and flag stirrers with messages playing on the brand’s campaign, “Whatever’s Comfortable”. It champions the serve of Southern Comfort, lemonade and lime and will be supported in bars by experiential activity based on social media “selfies”.
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Bartender creates imaginative pop-up
Bombay Sapphire Gin has teamed up with bartender Richard Woods from Duck & Waffle in the City of London to create the Bombay Sapphire Imaginarium at Callooh Callay in Shoreditch, east London. He has worked on the pop-up with mixologist Sean Ware, Bombay Sapphire’s UK brand ambassador, after winning the brand’s 2014 UK & Ireland Most Imaginative Bartender competition. Running from May 19 to 24, it will offer 10 inventive cocktails.
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New flavour for energy range
AG Barr is building on the success of its Rockstar SuperSours energy drink range with the launch of a new flavour. It is adding SuperSours Blue Raspberry which joins other flavours including the first two introduced in February last year, BubbleBurst and Green Apple, available in a 500ml can.
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Gin Guild welcomes bartenders
Bartenders and bar owners were among new members who have been welcomed into The Gin Guild which was set up by The Worshipful Company of Distillers to promote gin and excellence in its production. The 25 installed into the trade body included Nathan O’Neill from London bar Milk & Honey, Nick Strangeway from drinks consultancy Strange Hill, Thomas Aske of consultancy Fluid Movement and London bar The Worship Street Whistling Shop, and Peter Meacock, owner of Canary Gin Bar in Bath and creator of Bath Gin.
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Gazpacho drinks win award
Cho, a range of gazpacho-style savoury drinks, has been named as best drink product at this year’s Caffè Culture show at Olympia London. Launched last year, they are a blend of salad fruits with extra virgin olive oil and spring water, ranging from a classic gazpacho to flavours Tomato & Strawberry and Beetroot & Apple. They were announced at the show last week as winners of the category that was run in partnership with Bar magazine.
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Bank holiday outing for Foodies Festival
Foodies Festival, the UK’s largest celebration of food and drink, will be at historic Marble Hill House near Richmond, London, over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend from May 24 to 26. If will feature top chefs, including Masterchef winners and finalists, as well as ale, cider, spirits, liqueurs, cocktails and wine.
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Manchester event on fortified wines
Mal Spence of Kelvingrove Café in Glasgow is to lead a master class in Manchester on Wednesday (May 21) on Emporia Brands’ range of fortified wines, aperitifs and vermouths. It focuses on Mal’s “Inverso” concept of rethinking classic serves. It takes place at Under New Management, formerly Corridor, in Salford at 2pm. To book a place, contact Dave Marsland at

Milton Keynes bar wins award
Stonegate Pub Company’s Missoula Bar & Grill has won awards for Best Bar and Best Dessert at the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards. The award for best bar was based on its menu of cocktails and imported spirits and the hospitality of its staff, while the dessert award, voted for by customers and the community, was thanks to its Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough dish.

Membership grows at ALMR
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has reported that the number of members who are operators of bars, pubs and clubs grew by over 30% in 2013. At its annual general meeting last week, it also revealed that supplier membership increased by over 18%. The ALMR now represents the interests of about 170 companies, between them operating 14,000 outlets and employing over 350,000 people in pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants.

Search for dog-friendly bars
The 2014 Be Dog Friendly Awards have been launched to reward and encourage bars, pubs and other businesses across the UK that adopt a dog-friendly attitude. Organised by The Kennel Club, it includes categories for pub or bar, hotel, and café or restaurant. Details at

Tatler award for Mayfair restaurant
London bar and restaurant Hush Mayfair has won the title of Restaurant of the Year 2014 in the Tatler Restaurant Awards. Now in its 15th year, the venue competed in the “Test of Time” category, which featured restaurants of 10 years or older. Hush came out on top against the likes of Mango Tree, Nobu and Bibendum.

Countdown to London bar awards
Marking their 20th anniversary, the London Club & Bar Awards will be held on June 2 at the InterContinental Hotel London Park Lane, hosted by Boy George. It includes awards for the best clubs, bars, promoters, DJs, events, interior design, hosts and cocktail bartenders. The evening ends with the Outstanding Achievement Award and an after-party.

Poppy pop-up for flower show
ETM Group’s The Botanist bar and restaurant is to create a poppy-themed pop-up opposite its premises in Sloane Square, London, to tie in with this month’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Running from May 20 to 24, the Champagne and Oyster Poppy-Up Bar will be sponsored by Joseph Perrier champagne. As it is the centenary of the start of World War One, it will support the Royal British Legion.

Cardiff pub reopens after revamp
Legendary Cardiff city-centre pub The Owain Glyndwr is undergoing a £370,000 investment by Stonegate Pub Company, including new outside seating. Due to relaunch on May 22, it is now open from 9am for breakfast, serving food until 10pm.

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