Student pubs for a new age at The Graduate in York

Graduate York

In time for the new university year, Stonegate Pub Company has opened a new-look student pub in York

Student pub The Graduate in York has been transformed, updating the idea of a student pub both in its offering and its use of the latest technology.

Working with design studio Spatialized and consultancy Profit People, Stonegate Pub Company has invested £305,000 to transform the site on Lendal in the city centre, creating a venue with a wide choice of craft beers and student-friendly offers as well as super-fast broadband connections and interactive digital entertainment.

The Graduate is open from 8am for breakfast, offering a coffee shop-style grab-and-go counter serving tea, coffee, snacks and pastries to eat in or take-away.

As with Stonegate’s other student bars, it has introduced not only free broadband but also a free wifi-linked printer so they can print off last-minute assignments. There are also plug sockets and USB ports on tables for phone and computer charging.

The Graduate’s main food menu offers burgers and meaty hotdogs, loaded with chilli, plus favourites such as mac and cheese or fish and chips. For lighter bites, there are bacon sandwiches and generous sharer trays.

The Graduate has a choice of five regularly rotating craft beers on tap, and customers can try three at once with third-of-a-pint taster trays, or share a two- or three-pint flagon with friends. Cocktails are available by the glass or as jugs for sharing.

To reward regular customers, the pub has launched a new loyalty card scheme where customers can earn points for purchases or for promoting The Graduate via social media such as posting about it on Twitter or logging onto its Facebook page. This can be translated into hard cash to spend in the pub.

Graduate York
The layout of the pub is geared for eating, drinking, playing, relaxing and working with flexible furniture that can be moved around to accommodate big group seating. There are areas with large trestle-style tables as well as comfortable armchairs for lounging.

Downstairs, designers have re-created rooms home-from-home with a living room, dining room and even a kitchen complete with an island bar for cocktail-making demonstrations or private hire.

A dedicated games area has been decked out with pool tables and board games.

The Graduate has introduced Secret DJ, the interactive jukebox system that allows the customer to digitally select a track using their smartphone or instantly download a song they have just heard.

Flexible cinema font lettering gives the team, and its customers, the choice of changing messaging around the pub. Pin boards dotted around the pub and a large blackboard display the pub’s favourite tweet of the day or invites customers to vote in the poll of the day.

The garden has also enjoyed a makeover, with Astroturf grass, a colourful mosaic wall and an undercover seating area.

General manager Andrew Paul said: “There’s a phenomenal change to the pub. The refurbishment has allowed us to think out of the box and create an environment that offers both the great traditions of a pub whilst blending in practical elements that make it viable for todays’ technology savvy customer.

“Our ethos is to be generous in everything we do, from the food and drink we serve to the entertainment or facilities we offer. We know our customers won’t settle for anything short of great quality and why should they?

“My favourite part of the pub is the quirky new rooms downstairs that make you feel that you are relaxing in your kitchen or living room at home.

“I’m looking forward to showing off The Graduate, as it’s so far removed from other student pubs out there and takes the student offer to whole new level.”

It is one of eight new-concept student pubs from Stonegate, which began with the opening of The Southfields in Middlesbrough in October last year. This week also saw the opening of The Soarpoint in Leicester and another three are due to open around the UK next month.

Graduate York
Graduate York
Graduate York
Graduate York
The Graduate, 6-12 Lendal, York YO1 8AA
Tel: 01904 541284

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