Intertain continues investment in Walkabout bars


Walkabout Derby Reef BarThe Walkabout bar in Derby has become the first venue to undergo a refurbishment after operator Intertain changed ownership in May.

Signalling the new owners’ desire to continue the company’s investment programme, it has spent £500,000 on revamping the site, including the creation of two extra bars.

While management remained in place, a stake in the business was acquired in May by Barclays Ventures with the expectation that the remaining equity will be acquired jointly by TPG Opportunities Partners and Goldman Sachs.

Intertain is planning further investment in refurbishments over the next two to three years as well as the acquisition of new sites for Walkabout venues “in due course”.

At Walkabout in Derby, it has added The Reef Bar in the main ground-floor bar after the concept’s success in refurbishments at Cardiff and Birmingham. With an upgraded sound and lighting system, the Reef Bar features multiple projectors showing undersea footage on linked screens to create the feeling of an “underwater paradise”.

A new bar has been created at the front of the venue along with a variety of pre-bookable booths and private VIP areas for parties, club nights and live music. Front-row seats can also be pre-booked for all major televised live sports events shown on a new giant projection screen and multiple HD TVs.

The garden has been transformed into an outdoor bar with its own VIP area, a separate DJ and sound system and a retractable roof. Intertain has also introduced a new menu and increased focus on food at the venue.

Relaunched on July 4, Derby is the 12th Walkabout to be refurbished by Intertain. Chief executive John Leslie said: “The returns from our investment programme have been outstanding, delivering an average return of over 80 per cent, and we’re certain this venue will follow suit. The refurbishment will reinforce Walkabout’s position as the best party and live sports venue in the city centre.”

Walkabout Derby

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