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irst of all I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year. You’ll probably receive this magazine in time for the Hogmanay celebrations, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that you will have had a prosperous festive period. This issue we have my annual gongs. Check out who has impressed me, and who has not, on pages 12 and 13. In the run up to Christmas there was a flurry of new openings so this month we have three design features - The Hanging Bat in Edinburgh and Cirque and Ciao Bella in Glasgow. Our licensee interview is with Alan and Lorna Vannan of The Green Tree Hotel in Peebles while our drinks feature focuses on all things Scottish. On our roundup pages you can check out the guests at Dundee’s Best Bar None Awards, and some of the pictures from the Oran Mor Whisky Awards. And finally this issue includes our annual Buyer’s Guide, an indispensable publication for today’s savvy licensee. I hope you find it useful. Susan Young Editor





12 16 21 26

DRAM GONGS 2013 Susan Young’s take on the trade’s new year honours. TREE’S A CROWD Jason Caddy interviews Alan and Lorna Vannan. BARD’S BOOST TO THE TRADE Scotland has got a lot to celebrate. Jason Caddy looks at some impressive brands. CIAO BELLA We take a look at Burnside’s newest eatery.


04 08 22


All the news on pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels.


All the latest brand news.


Straight talking from our very own Editor.


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Industry veteran Eddie Tobin has opened the New York Kitchen on Dumbarton Road. The NY style hamburger joint seats 60, and is situated next to Velvet Elvis. Eddie told DRAM, “ I still have my cleaning business and my security business, but this was too good an opportunity to pass up. I feel this area doesn’t have enough restaurants despite the fact it is a heavily populated area. Scots are known for their love of red meat, and our burgers I am sure will impress.” He continues, “A very successful tapas restaurant operated here, until the death of the owner, and my friend, Allan Mawn, and there is no reason why the New York Kitchen cannot be just as successful particularly as my aim is to deliver good food to a lot of people.”

The Stag opens The Stag in Aberdeen’s Crown Street, formerly The Star and Garter, has just reopened after being closed for two years. It is now owned by the people behind McGinty’s Meal An’ Ale on Union Street - Alan Aitken, Derren McRae and Allan Henderson. The trio have invested £500K in the bar and says Allan Henderson, “We are delighted to open The Stag, our second pub in Aberdeen, as we look to regenerate an iconic venue in the city which will feature our own little twists. We firmly believe in traditional values like excellent customer service and serving good quality bar food.”

Roll up, roll up... New boutique hotel for Edinburgh It’s a merry go round at Picardy Place. A new company, the Edinburgh New Town Company, is now operating the boutique hotel, which goes under the name Twelve Picardy Place Hotel. The building also houses a new bar, Twelve Bar & Lounge, Steak Restaurant, a wine vault and outside terrace. The new hotel is located in the former home of Mark Greenaway’s who left the business in November, a year after buying Barrie Brown out, and after spending £250K on developing seven luxury bedrooms at the premises. He has not yet reappeared on the dining scene, but is said to be opening a new larger restaurant soon. Michele Civiera a Director of the the Edinburgh New Town Company and Steak, said “Following the opening of our highly successful restaurant Steak Edinburgh on Picardy

Place, we are delighted to announce the takeover of No.12 Picardy Place which heralds a new and exciting chapter for our new brand. This is a very exciting time for us indeed.” Barrie Brown is also involved in the new venture.


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Fife Business Scoops Scottish Employer of the Year

A new night club called Cirque has opened in Glasgow, on Queen Street. Owners Hyde Leisure spent £500k on an extensive refurbishment of the former Yang, which incorporates two floors, ground and basement, with a circus themed interior. For more on this, see our design feature on page 28.

360 Champagne & Cocktails at Braehead Shopping Centre Braehead Shopping Centre in Glasgow now has its own champagne and cocktail bar called 360 Champagne & Cocktails. The company behind the bar, already run similar premises at The Trafford Centre in Manchester and the Metrocentre in Gateshead. The new bar boasts an open-plan, island bar which provides an elevated position for customers to watch the world go by. The bar also boasts a white marble bar, cream bar stools and of course a wide selection of champagne including Pommery, Moet, Veuve Cliquot and Dom Perignon and sparkling wine such as Cava and Prosecco is available by the glass or the bottle. The bar also provides a good selection of cocktails. However it only opens from 10am til 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am til 7pm on a Saturday, and 10am til’ 6pm on Sunday’s.

Have you heard? Bar Soba has opened in Edinburgh in Hanover Street. The business, owned by Brad Stevens, already has two bars in Glasgow with the same theme – pan-Asian street food. The new Bar Soba seats 130 and is located over two floors and as well as pan-Asian food it offers cocktails and premium drinks too.

Congratulations to Fife-based company, Flood Inns. It has just picked up the accolade Scottish Employer of the Year accolade at the recent Scottish Business Diversity Awards. The company, run by MD Lee Murray, now operates 2 hotels and a number of bars in Scotland from its Leven HQ. Its success follows on from picking up the Fife Employer of the Year and a haul of no fewer than 5 awards at the recent Best Bar None. The Scottish Business Diversity Awards recognise businesses, organisations and individuals who excel in promoting the employment of people with disabilities and health issues and people from diverse backgrounds. Says Lee, “We were thrilled when we won the Fife Employer of the Year but I have to admit I was a little stunned when we found out we had picked up the Scottish title as well.” He continued, “In our line of business, the quality of our people is everything and we work extremely hard to find the right type of person to inject a bit of personality into our operation. We are always looking to give people with the right attitude, irrelevant of background and qualification, the opportunity to develop a career they enjoy.”

Aberdeenshire Hotel Wins European Hotel of The Year Accolade Aberdeen’s Holiday Inn Westhill, a member of the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association, which is owned and operated by Aberdeen based EDC hotels, has beaten competition from 290 other Holiday Inn hotels in Europe, to scoop the title of European Holiday Inn Hotel of the Year. EDC, which has two local Aberdeen entrepeneurs at the helm – Ivor Finnie and Finlay Cran, opened in 2006. Stephen Gow, Chairman of the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association says of the accolade, “Prestigious accolades like this recognise the hard work which goes into achieving outstanding customer service, excellent guest experiences and maintaining the highest of standards throughout all areas of operation. Aberdeen has a very dynamic and buoyant hotel sector and the Holiday Inn Westhill scooping this best in Europe title shows that the city and shire delivers a world class product and exemplary service. You only have to look at the comments which guests leave on Trip Advisor about the Holiday Inn Westhill to see why its customer retention is so high.” Hotel manager Bill Burnett comments, “We all strive to be the best of the best at all times and this award recognises this. The award is tremendous recognition by IHG for the way that we operate the Holiday Inn brand successfully, with passion and pride in Aberdeen. It recognises our hotel as being the best from over 290 Holiday Inn hotels across Europe, and to bring this award to Aberdeen, when it is contested across all of any Europe’s Holiday Inns, is a great achievement for the team here reflecting their care and hard work for our guests.” JANUARY 13 DRAM 5

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NEWS n.b. news

Diageo plc, has been named ‘Britain’s Most Admired Company’ in a peer review of corporate reputation run by UK business magazine, Management Today. In addition to winning the overall award, Diageo is ranked as the top company in the Beverages sector. Commenting on the award, Paul Walsh said, “This award is testament to the efforts of everyone in Diageo in delivering strong holistic performance in these most uncertain economic times. It is truly one of the most prestigious corporate awards and it is a huge honour to be recognised by our peers in this way.” Matthew Gwyther, editor of Management Today, said: “Diageo’s win is a victory which proves that in the 21st century, the laurels go to those who reach way beyond traditional export markets, to all corners of the globe. Its impressive growth in emerging markets, some 15% per annum, and continuing success is a trajectory that many British firms would dearly love to emulate.” Wine distributor Enotria has partnered with the Company of Wine People in a bid to grow its South African category in the UK. One of South Africa’s top wine exporters, its core brands include one of the UK’s top 20 wine brands Arniston Bay, as well as Kumkani, Welmoed and Versus. Alison Levett, Enotria CEO, comments: “Enotria has a long association with South Africa, and we are proud to have several award-winning family wineries in our portfolio, particularly suited to the On Trade and more specialist retail. We’ve been seeking an additional partner to enable us to work in a broader spread of channels and so are delighted to announce this partnership.”

Euan Venters

Venters leaves Belhaven In the same week that Greene King, the pub operator and brewer best known in Scotland for Belhaven Best, posted a resilient jump in half-time sales and profits the news that Euan Venters, Managing Director of Brewing and Brands was leaving the company came as a surprise. Euan replaced former Belhaven boss Stuart Ross in 2008, when he joined the company as managing director of Belhaven. Last year he took on the role of Managing Director of Brewing & Brands for Greene King. Said a spokesperson for Greene King, “We can confirm that Euan Venters, Managing Director of Brewing & Brands, will be leaving Greene King at the end of December 2012. We’d like to thank Euan for the great contribution he has made to Greene King, and also specifically to Belhaven, over the last four years and he leaves with our best wishes. We will make an announcement about his successor in due Stephen McGown, one of Scotland’s leading and most high-profile licensing lawyers, has left Lindsays and joined TLT as partner and Head of Licensing (Scotland). Stephen says, “I’m delighted to join TLT, helping to develop the firm’s genuine licensing expertise and presence across England, Scotland and Wales. TLT acts for some key names in the leisure sector and I look forward to working with those clients as well as building our presence north of the border with local Scottish operator s.” TLT ’s licensing team acts for a number of leading blue chip licensing clients who have a significant cr oss-jurisdictional presence. These include Punch Taverns Plc, Spirit Pub Company Plc, Greene King Pub Partners and Belhaven Pubs (both part of Greene King Plc).

Claire Blackler

course.” Euan told DRAM, “It has been an honour and a privilege to lead the Belhaven and Greene King Brewing and Brands teams and I am very proud of what we have achieved together over the last four years. My current role required me to be away from home for most of the week and this became unfair on the family and unmanageable. I will be looking for a new challenge and wish the Belhaven and GK teams continued success.” Greene King, which now runs about 2,300 pubs, restaurants and hotels, reported a 4.3% rise in likefor-like sales in the 24 weeks to 14 October. With total group revenues growing 7.3% to more than £566m and a 7% rise in pre-tax profits to £82.7m, The group’s brewing and brands division saw its core own-brewed volumes fall 0.9% against a UK ale market down 3%.

Claire McL achlan

Inverarity Morton makes two appointments to team Inverarity Morton (IM), has strengthened its wine team with the appointment of Claire McLachlan as Area Sales Manager for Edinburgh and Claire Blackler as Wine Buyer. Claire McLachlan moves to IM from Bellevue’s Drinks Direct division where she worked for over six years as Business Development Executive driving sales of wines, spirits and beers into the on-trade. While Claire Blackler will assist Colin Forgie in developing IM’s wine portfolio and negotiating distribution contracts. She will continue to train alongside Mike Cottam at IM’s renowned Wine School, which this month registered its 1,000th candidate. Managing Director, Stephen Russell, said, “With Claire McLachlan in place, we have an experienced sales force that covers every corner of Scotland, and all of them know their corners like the backs of their hand. Claire Blackler has an encyclopaedic knowledge of wine and a huge passion for the subject. She will be an invaluable addition to the wine buying team as we look to further improve our portfolio.”


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David Gandy is Johnnie Walker’s new Brand Ambassador Iconic male model, David Gandy, has been appointed as JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL’s™ new brand ambassador. A trailblazer in the men’s fashion industry, the partnership with David celebrates JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL’s™ new ‘Game Changer in the World of Whisky’ brand campaign – a commitment to recognising true game changers, those who achieve progress for themselves and the world around them. As one of the world’s most iconic male models, David rose to fame as the face of Dolce and Gabbana’s Light Blue fragrance in 2006, changing the landscape for male models in a female-dominated fashion industry. David has gone on to shoot with some of the most sought after international photographers, boasts an enviable portfolio of editorial work, launched two of his own Apps, filmed a short movie and has his own coffee table book. He has authored several magazine articles on men’s fashion, blogs for and has achieved international recognition in the process. He continues to forge new paths and sits on the committee of the London Men’s Collections, and was the only male supermodel to appear in the London 2012 Olympics. Now David changes the game once again, as a Brand Ambassador for JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™. Speaking of the partnership, David Gandy says, “It’s a great privilege to work with JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL ™ - it’s a modern classic. The blend of its British heritage, international style and craftsmanship demonstrates a sense of progress and achievement that I value in today’s luxury brands.” Alison Forrestal, General Manager Diageo Reserve Brands, Western Europe, says, “David is the definitive modern gentleman and the ultimate ambassador for JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™.”

Auchentoshan unveils three new expressions Auchentoshan, the only triple distilled Single Malt Scotch Whisky, has released three new limited edition expressions: Auchentoshan 1966 and Auchentoshan 1979, and the second small batch release of Valinch 2012. Auchentoshan 1966 has been matured in North American ex-Bourbon Hogshead casks for just over 44 years. Only 257 bottles of the Auchentoshan 1966 were laid to rest following distillation on 21 February 1966. Encased in a handcrafted aluminium and oak outer case that are each individually numbered, the Auchentoshan 1966 comes partnered with a booklet charting the history of this rare expression. Kirsteen Beeston, Head of Brands at Morrison Bowmore Distillers, comments: “This is a stunning example of the care, craft and investment we put into our whiskies, that means it can withstand the test of time. Thanks to careful tending of the North American In a “first” for GlenDronach, the Aberdeenshire distillery has produced a new cask strength expression. Personally selected by Billy Walker and designed to supplement the core range of 12, 15, 18 and 21 YO vintages, the GlenDronach

white oak hogshead casks, Auchentoshan 1966 Year Old has matured beautifully over 44 years. It has aged with a complex character – but keeps its youthful vitality.” This bottle costs £4,500. While Auchentoshan 1979 – Oloroso Sherry Matured, is the latest from the series of vintage releases from the late 1970s. Only 1,000 bottles are in existence worldwide, with each bottle individually numbered. It costs £350.00 and comes in a stylish and understated premium black box. And last but not least the Valinch 2012, a non chill-filtered Single Malt Scotch Whisky matured in first-fill North American ex-Bourbon oak casks, the Valinch is a cask strength edition of the acclaimed Classic. Named after the metal pipette used to draw whisky straight from the cask, this light and refreshing whisky has all the depth of taste, flavour and full body associated with sampling whisky at source. Cask Strength has been matured in a combination of the finest Spanish Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry casks. The first batch comprises some 12,000 bottles. For more information contact

Rum Captain Morgan® sells 10m cases globally Captain Morgan ®, has revealed that it has sold 10 million cases globally, up half a million cases from the prior 12-month period, and becoming only the 6th premium spirit to sell 10 million cases globally. Andy Fennell, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo Plc said, “Captain Morgan plays a critical role for Diageo and our customers by recruiting beer drinkers into the spirits category – the Captain’s crew just keeps growing every year!” Russell Jones, Global Brand Director, Diageo Plc says the brand only has one direction to go and that’s up. He says, “We’re incredibly excited to reach this milestone of 10 million cases and want to thank all of our fans who have enjoyed their own legendary adventures with us along the way. The next 12 months will be an exciting year for the brand as we dive further into the real history behind the legendary Captain Henry Morgan through a series of campaigns bringing to life his escapades.” Central to Captain Morgan’s success is the strong personality and irreverent communication platforms the brand has come to be known for, which are aimed at males who are legal purchasing age (LPA)-24 and make up an incredibly loyal fan base.


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Molson Coors is investing over £5m in a new font for Carling, to strengthen its position as Britain’s favourite lager and enhance its prominence on the bar. The unique shape of the new font celebrates the pint as Carling delivers a modern and attractive design for licensees and their customers. The new font will be made available to pubs, bars and clubs across the country. Alisdair Hamilton, ontrade director at Molson Coors Scotland, said: “We are championing lager and invigorating the beer category, having invested in both new fonts and glassware this year. Carling is the UK’s bestselling lager, a position it has maintained for over three decades, and we’re committed to working with publicans and bar staff to ensure their customers get the perfect serve every time.”

Heineken’s Social Media Challenge Heineken initiated a social media challenge last month called ‘Meet the World in One City’ campaign, which saw two men from the UK and two from the Netherlands, rise to the challenge of meeting people from 194 nationalities on the Streets of Amsterdam over a two week period. People were also able to contact the pair, Barnaby and Mick, through a dedicated website in order to achieve their challenge. The campaign which was also filmed, with content being posted daily on the Heineken Facebook page. Paul Smailes, global digital

manager for Heineken, said: “With the right open-mind and a sense of adventure - we believe it is possible to have new experiences, meet new people and cultures all in the backyard of your own city, and Meet the World in One City, was the ultimate challenge of this belief. He continued, “We want to continue engaging with our adult consumers in surprising and impactful ways and this challenge is a great example of how Heineken leverages its innovative and worldly character in the social media space.”

Federer and Moët & Chandon a perfect match Moët & Chandon has revealed that Roger Federer as the House’s new brand ambassador. He takes over from Scarlett Johansson. The company say that ”Like Moët & Chandon, the worldwide sports and lifestyle icon Roger Federer radiates boldness, elegance and generosity, from the tennis court to the red carpet to giving back to the world community. Both Moët & Chandon and Roger Federer share the values of doing what they do with excellence.”

To celebrate a legendary partnership between two living legends, Moët & Chandon teamed with a third living legend: renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier chosen for his signature style. In his new role as brand ambassador, Federer will take centre stage in the House’s upcoming advertising campaign, certain to generate lots of buzz when it is revealed in March 2013. See what Roger has to say at

Caledonia Best has been unveiled as the official beer of Scottish Rugby with the signing of a three-year deal, the biggest of its kind in Scotitsh Rugby, which sees Caledonia Best become partner to the national team, Edinburgh Rugby, Glasgow Warriors and the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s. The sponsorship deal has also means that Tennent’s Lager, Tennent’s Original Export and Magners Golden Draught will be poured at Murrayfield and Scotstoun stadiums. Paul Condron, marketing director at Tennent Caledonian says, ‘We are delighted to announce the new partnership with Scottish Rugby. Caledonia Best is truly an ale for Scotland and we see Scottish Rugby as a perfect fi t for the brand.”

Liqueur The Alcohol Standards Authority (ASA) banned an online ad by Sourz last month, saying that “ the campaign breached ad rules that state people in alcohol advertising have to appear to be over the age of 25.” Despite Maxxium providing proof that all but one of the girls was over 25, and the other was over 25 before the ad was released, it still received the ban. The complaint was made to the ASA by Alcohol Concern. The online campaign, created by Scots ad company, The Leith Agency, featured a blog entry entitled “raspberry heat wave” and referenced ‘The X Factor’ stars Cheryl Cole, Nicole Scherzinger and Leona Lewis.


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mixxit_DRAM_advert_210x265_Layout 1 14/12/2012 15:20 Page 1

Take three very high quality individuals, shake them into one and what do you have? The new

team from Maxxium UK

After months of interviewing, soul searching and cocktail tasting, I am delighted to introduce our new line up… AMANDA HUMPHREY



Having worked in some of the best bars in the UK and joining us from one of London’s top establishments is Amanda Humphrey who brings a wealth of relevant up-to-the-minute knowledge.

Another ‘newbie’ is David Miles who has been working in our sales force for the last seven years in the London area.

Last, but definitely not least, is Wayne Collins who created our training initiative ten years ago and is still going strong, spreading the mixxit message around the world.

So now that you know the team, please give us a call or drop us a note if you need training delivered at the very highest level - we’re raring to go!

Jim Grierson, On-Trade Sales Director, Maxxium UK

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Tel. 01786 430500

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Whether in Australia or here at home James Mortimer has always got his DRAM handy. In fact I popped into Rogano recently and he was there with wife Rena, and promptly brought out the DRAM from his briefcase. Now that was impressive. What’s also impressive are our viewing figures for barandpub.TV. This year we are really concentrating on it.


This must go to the sponsors of Scotland’s inaugural Pub Month – Belhaven, Diageo, Heineken, McEwan’s, Molson Coors and Tennent’s. They backed this media initiative along with the publishers of the Daily Record and the positive coverage that Scotland’s pubs received in local newspapers across the country was tremendous.

DRA GON M G S 201 3

Ever y her N year th e Qu ew Y ee Edito e r Su ar honou n announ san Y c r gong oung s, but D es s to R p g AM e i v op es he have r ow made le and ev n ents an im who pr Here goes ession. …


There is nothing that annoys me more than a brand manager that fails to recognise that the licensed trade is all about people and relationships. I spoke to a brand manager recently who obviously didn’t have as a KPI (key performance indicator) ... relationships with the trade press. She likes hard facts so she told me, here’s one ... I won’t be writing about any of her brands in the forseeable future!


Paul Miller left behind corporate life to go out on a limb and open his own brewery. His enthusiasm for Eden Brewery’s beer is infectious, and it appears to be going down a storm, particulary in St Andrews where the brewery is situated.


Inverarity-Morton bought Scott Gemmell’s LA Wholesale Group at the tail end of the year. He must be as pleased as punch. Let’s just say he must have thought all his Christmasses had come at once!


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There’s no doubt that he major shock of the year was the demise of Waverley TBS. No matter that some folk saw it coming, the speed that it went into liquidation, following administration, must be a record.



Andy Gemmell of Dewar’s is hiding his light under a bushel … he’s a great singer. He royally entertained the customers in the Kenmore Hotel recently after a trade visit to Dewar’s World of Whisky. It really was a great evening with the guests the next day saying it was the best night they had had in Scotland... and of course they were all ordering whisky at the bar!


M Last year at this time John Gilligan got the ‘Surprise of the Year’ gong having joined Tennent’s as Sales Director. This year it’s the ‘Onwards and Upwards’ gong, as he took on the role of Managing Director of Tennent’s a few months ago. It’s definitely a challenging role, particularly in this climate, but John appears to be relishing it.


Euan Bain has another talent to add to his repertoire – that of Agony Aunt. He is an expert at dishing out relationship advice particularly to my colleague Miss Kelly, and I can vouch for that... I have it on video! That aside he has also become a father for the first time. Jock Bain was born at the beginning of the summer, so no doubt his fatherly talents have kicked in too.


David Urquhart of Gordon & MacPhail retired in October and to celebrate he hosted a dinner with friends, colleagues and customers. Never one to do things by half, he also organised a tour of Lossiemouth RAF base for some guests – needless to say he has now taken off for sunnier climes with he and wife Sheila heading to Tenerife for a well earned break.

A night out with Colin Beattie invariably leads to some discussion about lighting - the pros and cons of dim and dimmer. He’s not alone in this habit as most licensees I know fiddle constantly with the lighting... or the level of music. But this year’s it’s Colin that picks the award up.


It’s not often that I feel like a fish out of water, but on the set of the new Drambuie ad watching prop men stick ice cubes to glasses, so that they wouldn’t fall out when the alcohol was poured over with the glass upside down... was definitely surreal as was the bloke with gauze over his face texting... The latter didn’t appear in the ad, but if it had he probably wouldn’t have been out of place!


I thought it was a great idea have podiums for our award winners at this year’s DRAM Awards. However maybe I should have considered a) more than one person would want to get on the podium.. and b) the quantity of alcohol consumed! My heart was in my mouth... you can see why! JANUARY 13 DRAM 13

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o that’s it, eh? You’ve swept up the debris – human and clumsily seasoned with too much dried mulling spices or cherry otherwise – from the Hogmanay bash, the Christmas juice in a feeble nod to wassail or gluhbier, but for the most part crackers have been tucked away for next year, your family Christmas real ales are just a bunch of sow’s ears. At least, is beginning to moan about turkey and trimmings for dinner however, the attempt is being made to generate some seasonal every night and you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to excitement, and that’s what we’re talking about here, a way to make payroll for the next three months. Sounds like it’s winter in get the punters off their settees and into your establishment Scotland again. this winter. Yes, it’s dark, cold and rainy. Your customers have slipped into Just as winter doesn’t begin until the end of the year, winter a credit-card-debt-induced hibernation in front of Strictly (is it beers don’t really make sense until after Hogmanay. Now is your really on six nights a week? SLTA needs to lobby against unfair opportunity to bring a bit of excitement to the dullest months competition!). The only lights on the horizon are loss-leaders like in the Scottish licensed trade. As a group, authentic winter Burns Night and Valentine’s Day. But one sector of our business beers tend to be more-ish. Not in the sense of “one good pint is enjoying its most exciting time of the year. You guessed it, deserves seven more”, but by their nature of having more malt, beer. more flavour, more alcohol – beers that invite contemplation, Whilst some drinks see increased sales at certain times of the conversation and hanging about the pub instead of moving on or year – champagne, Baileys, Tia Maria and Babycham come to going fetal in front of the TV. mind (okay, maybe that’s one too many) -- they In terms of style, look for Stout to become Imperial Stout, IPA to can’t really be thought of become Double or Black IPA. German as seasonal drinks. Spirits TODAY, A BREWER CAN MAKE Eisbock or Weizendoppelbock is are year ‘round items, ANY BEER HE LIKES USING about, as are strange and wonderful as are virtually all wines INGREDIENTS FROM ANYWHERE winter hybrid beers from American except Beaujolais Nouveau breweries. This is the IN THE WORLD AT ANY TIME and May Wine (and nobody drinks them OF THE YEAR. IT’S ONLY SOME season during which anyway). The beer that most people BREWERY’S SOFT SPOT many Belgian breweries FOR drink is also available throughout the TRADITION release their vintageTHAT MAKES year, but only because in the 19th JANUARY dated grand cru, as AND FEBRUARY Century, German beer missionaries STAND OUT FROM THE OTHER do established UK and refrigeration technology teamed MONTHS. breweries like Fullers, Adnams and up to hypnotise the planet’s drinkers J.W. Lee’s. Your local microbrewery is into thinking that all beer is yellow, fizzy and incredibly cheap to likely to offer something special in the winter, as small breweries produce. are perfectly suited to small batches of seasonal beer. Some But it wasn’t always this way. As I’ve droned on about before, the of these beers will be available in cask or keg, but their higher flavour of any given beer was -- for thousands of years – reflective alcohol content means that any bottles left over from this season of its terroir. Bitter beers from southern Englandshire, malty will age gracefully into next year. ones from hop-poor Scotland. They also mirrored the agricultural The increased complexity of these beers also makes them a much calendar. Session-strength, “working” beers could be made in the more interesting match to food than Yellow Beer, and a novel spring and summer quickly before the yeast got a chance to go seasonal alternative to red wine, particularly when customers’ wild. Stores of it would gather complexity and strength over the winter taste runs to rich comfort food like steak pies and roast summer to be enjoyed at autumn harvest time. And barley that meats. had been kilned to prevent spoilage would result in dark, brooding I’ve just returned from a trip to Denmark (purely for research, beers of winter. mind you), and took the opportunity to treat the family to Today, a brewer can make any beer he likes using ingredients a gourmet meal at a top country house restaurant. On offer from anywhere in the world at any time of the year. It’s only was the Julebordet, a traditional Danish Christmas buffet of some brewery’s soft spot for tradition that makes January and staggering proportion. Whilst the roasted pork and duck, the February stand out from the other months. boiled eggs and pan-fried rollmops, the piquant cabbage and I know what you’re thinking (the three of you who are still reading crisp black pudding, smoked salmon and fresh rye bread served this) – what about all those Christmas real ales we still have with bacon fat were undeniably first-rate, the crowning moment in our cellar? Well, with few exceptions, those beers are ones of the meal came at the very start: when the hostess arrived at pulled from normal production and re-named with 1) a horrible, our table carrying not a wine list, but an old, wooden crate full of embarrassing Christmas pun such as Help Your ‘Elves (just made Danish winter beers for us to choose from. And choose we did. that one up – any takers?); 2) an inappropriate, crude genital reference such as Rudolph’s Red Bollocks or 3) some promise of leglessness such as Old Nick’s Nuke, belied by an alcohol content Jim Anderson is co-owner of The Anderson in Fortrose, and of somewhere around 4.0%. True, some Christmas beers are wishes he could drink winter beers all year long. 14 DRAM JANUARY 13

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o live and work with your loved one would test anyone’s mettle, let alone quitting your established careers to work together in an industry in which you’ve no experience, and relocating over 400 miles into the bargain. Husbandand-wife team Alan and Lorna Vannan pulled off exactly that back in 2005, when they bought the Green Tree Hotel in Peebles. The couple turned their backs on successful careers in sales and HR, and their Berkshire home. Alan explains, ““Lorna and I had no previous hospitality experience, apart from being on the other side of the bar, but the way we looked at it, a business is a business with the same expenses, margins and profits.” He continues, “We bought The Green Tree in June 2005 in a private sale which we financed ourselves, as the previous owner wanted to emigrate to New Zealand. Lorna was the HR Manager for Pentax UK and I worked in sales and marketing for a Telecoms company, and we were both based in Maidenhead before we decided to sell up and move to Scotland. We have friends in Peebles, and Lorna’s parents are originally from Edinburgh, so we knew the area and saw its potential as a vibrant wee town, and we were looking to do something completely different, so we decided to take the plunge into the hospitality sector. It was a bit of a gamble.” A gamble that paid off. They increased the turnover by 60% in the first three years, by upping the food offering from 30% of the overall business to 50%, which was the first challenge they set out in their business plan. Says Alan, “The business is still doing well so we definitely went down the right road making the hotel more food-driven, but I’d say that things have flattened out. It’s still a lot healthier than when we first took over. I think that the trading conditions are going to be tough 16 DRAM JANUARY 13

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for the next few years, as customers are definitely spending less per head. You need to be creative, and recognise what customers want, and adapt to your market accordingly. We are not a three Rosette hotel business. We’re all about excellent, quality food and drink in comfortable surroundings at a reasonable price, with no pretentions.” The three of us chatted in the restaurant of the 8-bedroom historic hotel, which also boasts a traditional bar. This is the brightest part of the building, thanks to the addition of the atrium ceiling – one of the few changes the couple made. They were advised against being overzealous in making too many drastic alterations early on. Says Lorna, “This is a traditional hotel, and the best advice we were given before taking over was not to make major changes for the first six months. The regulars here are very protective of the hotel, but we did arrive with notions of ‘we must do this’ and ‘we must do that’, but as it turned out, our attention was always diverted elsewhere by something more pressing anyway. We eventually made a few ‘sympathetic’ changes to the place and the locals have been with us all the way.” A core part of the hotel’s trade comes from different types of tourism to the historic market town, as Alan explains. “A large part of our business comes from coach parties in the summer, organisations like the SWRI, who are looking for exactly what the Green Tree Provides - good traditional food with homemade scones and cakes provided with excellent service. That side of the business has held up. Tourist numbers as a whole are down in the town, however, and I don’t know whether that is down to the miserable summers that we’ve been having or the economic downturn. We also get ‘Freedom of the Fairways’ golf parties, and these groups of guys are always a pleasure to cater for too, as they’re always very well behaved, plus they usually eat and drink in the hotel.” Packing up your life and moving more than halfway across the country to start an unfamiliar business was made JANUARY 13 DRAM 17

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slightly easier because of the business support the couple received from Belhaven. Says Alan, “Belhaven has always been excellent to deal with – from the receptionist, to the sales staff and delivery men – in fact, right throughout the entire company. We know everyone by name and this makes the service a lot more personal, and there’s a tremendous value for us in all of this.” But the tough economic climate, which really started to bite fairly soon into the life of their young business, did bring some significant challenges. Says Alan, “Before 2008, banks would provide an excellent level of support for existing customers, but since then bank service levels have dropped, so a major challenge was coping with this and the extra bank charges. That’s certainly been our experience.” He continues, “We’ve also been a bit overwhelmed by legislation since we took over, if it wasn’t the licensing act, it was fire regulations, smoking regulations, environmental health etc. The way I see it, a very small number of operators create problems in terms of how they run their business, and instead of using existing laws to deal with them, it seems to me that they introduce a raf t of new legislation instead.” All that aside, they do consider themselves blessed in terms of their most valuable assets, as Lorna explains. “Our staff are excellent. The restaurant manager is Andy Lees, and we’d happily go away and leave him in charge, and he and I share the main operational duties on the food side, while Alan’s domain is the bar, as we’re both incredibly hands-on. “We also have two great chefs – Roddy Morrison and Alastair Lawrie. We heard lots of horror stories before we began recruiting, about how difficult it would be for us to find trustworthy, reliable and talented staff, but we managed it fine all in all.” Alan adds, “It’s very important to look after your staff,

particularly in hard times. The best teams are ones which have members with contrasting skills, but with a collective vision and standards. Golf provides a welcome distraction for both Alan and Lorna, who met while working for the electrical engineering company Ferranti many years ago, and they were once members of the same golf club, but no longer. Lorna explains, “We belong to different clubs, which is good on a number of levels, as it means that we can get time away from the business and each other. Alan also likes popping out for a pint in the town, but he’s noticed that the times they are a changing. He says, “Whenever I fancied a quick pint, I’d pop to a local pub that was run by a fantastic licensee, but it’s now been taken over by a chain that has installed a manager. This has totally changed the dynamic of the place, as there’s no substitute for ownership – to the manager it’s just a job, but as an owner the commitment level is naturally that much higher. He’s also witnessed lots of other changes to the business landscape of the town, which is now home to managed, tenanted and chain pubs. “There are still plenty of great outlets in Peebles, and we even have a JD Wetherspoon – well, nearly. They bought the Cross Keys Hotel in the town over a year ago, but they haven’t begun working on it yet. This is an obvious concern to us as there’s only so much cake to go round, and we all want a piece of it. Although, I do think that we cater for a different market, so I don’t think that we’ll be the hardest hit once they do get around to opening it. Plus it’s better to have as many diverse operational businesses as possible, over empty premises, as it makes the town more attractive to visitors.” As for the future, and although they both managed to turn their baptism of fire into a success story, they currently have no plans to open outlet Number Two, for now.


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t might be the bleak midwinter, but there’s no reason your January sales should be miserable. This is the month when Scotland celebrates its most famous son, Rabbie Burns. The hype around St Andrew may have inflated in recent years, but our Patron Saint is a long way off eclipsing our Bard. So Friday 25th January is the perfect opportunity to bring some post-Christmas cheer to your customers, and, yes, Burns Night even falls on a Friday this year. Sarah MacFarlane organises events for Glasgow’s Oran Mor, and she’s noticed an upward swing in this year’s Burns Night interest compared to previous years. She said, “We

only opened the bookings for Burns Night last week and we have been inundated. There’s definitely more interest at this stage than other years. I don’t know whether this is due to the fact that we went a little off piste and put on a play last year, and that this year we’re back to the more conventional celebration. Or it could simply be down to the fact this year Burns Night falls on a Friday.” It’s a similar story over in the east, leastways for Edinburgh’s WHISKI Bar and restaurant on High Street which is hosting its annual Burns Supper. Deputy Manager Ryan Jaffray said, “There’s definitely been a quicker uptake this year, as we are up on bookings on the same time last year. In fact, one of the two sittings is practically fully booked. There just seems to be more awareness around the night this time around.” And what more fitting brand than Robert Burns Single Malt? Isle of Arran Distillers last year re-launched its Robert Burns Single Malt range, a multi-vintage edition of The Arran Malt named af ter Scotland’s most famous son. The whole range has been endorsed by the World Burns Federation Euan Mitchell, Managing Director of Isle of Arran Distilleries, said, “As a Patron of the Robert Burns World Federation we wanted to create something special and with the end result we have achieved liquid poetry. Both Burns and whisky are global Scottish icons and we aim to promote this new bottling around the world”. Then there’s the run up to 2014. What better time to hop on to the bandwagon celebrating all things Caledonian? The fervour will be gathering momentum over the next 18 months as it hurtles towards a bumper year for Scotland, with both the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, garnering a global focus on our country. According to export figures, Scottish brands are also shining brighter generally on the global stage. The latest IWSR Top 50 International Brands report 2012 puts home grown brand Johnnie Walker at number 3. It sells more than 1m cases in three countries and more than 100,000 cases in 29 countries. Although it is not a big seller here, but this might change due to the influx of visitors expected in 2014. It’s just a pity that our national drink doesn’t carry the same aspirational connotations and cool credentials over here as it obviously enjoys overseas, particularly with the youth market. Perhaps the next few years, and a swelling in national pride and patriotism, will tip the scales in Scotch whisky’s favour in the domestic market? JANUARY 13 DRAM 21

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There is nevertheless some good news about malt whisky sales in Scotland. A Market Report from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association last year said that the volume of malt whisky sold in the UK on-trade rose by 31% in the year to the end of April 2012, suggesting that the sales are beginning to reflect the success of the export market, albeit slowly. Perhaps the predicted decline of £300m in UK malt whisky sales highlighted in Mintel’s Dark Spirits Report the previous year was a little premature? On an individual brand level, there’s also cause for optimism. Gordon & MacPhail also announced a hike in profits on account of sales at both home and abroad, of its single malt, Benromach, which was up 17% in the UK, in the year to 29th February 2012. Isle of Skye whisky owner Ian Macleod Distillers also unveiled a brand new look for its entire Isle of Skye blended range last year. Arguably the most iconic Scottish brand is also going great guns. Tennent’s owners, the C&C Group, may have reported a drop in operating profit in the first half of 2012, down 2.7% to £53.3m, but the company also added that the success of Tennent’s did help limit losses. C&C has also shown strong international growth, which is excellent news for the iconic Scottish brand, with its parent company recently finalising a deal to acquire the Vermont Hard Cider Company in the US. Its sister brand Caledonia Best has also just launched its very first TV advertising campaign, called Caledonia, which also features the song of the same name by Dougie MacLean. Since its launch in October 2011, is has achieved more than 10% distribution in the Scottish on-trade across 1,300 Scottish outlets, leading the market for share growth, says owner Tennent Caledonian. The company’s Marketing Director Paul Condron, said, “As we set out to create our first TV ad for Caledonia Best, we wanted to capture the role of the local pub in the social lives of so many Scots.” Belhaven Best happens to be enjoying healthy sales too, in an otherwise declining Scottish beer market. Owner Greene King reported record profits last year, with sales volumes of the Scottish beer growing by 3.7%.Belhaven Best’s ‘Tae a Pint’ ads also draw on the poetic skills of Rabbie Burns to highlight the authenticity of Best, as well as raising awareness of new stout, Belhaven Black. The campaign features Scots taking a moment to pay tribute to the honeycoloured beer in the style of Burns. So whether it’s a pint or a dram, there’s something for all your customers to raise a glass with in honour of the man himself later this month.


ou have to excuse our indulgence this month with regard to the front cover - we had two handsome men to choose from Roger Federer and David Gandy. The former is the new brand ambassador for Moet & Chandon, while David is the brand ambassador for Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Eye candy indeed. And of course I’m sure his ambassadorship will encourage both men and women to try the amber liquid! I caught up with Eddie Tobin recently. Despite the fact that he is always telling me that he is retiring... the reason for our quick bite to eat was that he has opened his own place... the New York Kitchen. So he won’t be retiring any time soon! And I can vouch for the fact that the burgers are good... in fact they could be giving Neighbourhood (our current favourite burger joint) a run for its money. As normal at this time of year we go to print before the festivities are over, so it’s difficult to gauge how successful the Christmas period has been, but I am really hoping that 2013 gives the trade a real lift. We are not the only industry that is feeling the pinch, but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel with the news that the number of people out of work fell 19,000 to 204,000 in the three months between August and October. It is the largest drop in Scottish unemployment for more than four years. Hopefully this will herald the start of an upturn in business for Scottish licensees. You would think that an awards ceremony which was devised to celebrate Glasgow’s best eating establishments would mean a fabulous meal. Not so. The recent Glasgow Restaurateurs Association Awards took place at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and guests were only treated to a canape or two, and drinks. That would be like the DRAM Awards taking place with no drink! Add to that the lack of food became very apparent as the alcohol took effect. When HIT Scotland run their events not only do chefs attend, but chefs are honoured to be invited to showcase a course... maybe the GRA should rethink their awards format and make it a real celebration of great Glasgow cuisine! A study claims that drinkers who favour red wine earn a higher wage and are more confident than white wine fans. However, white wine drinkers are more practical and happier. Just as well I like both red and white wine then!


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Multi Trade Contractor specialising in: Gas | Plumbing | Heating Joinery | General Building & Roofing

Alistair & Kevin would like to wish all at

THe HanGinG BaT best wishes for a prosperous future. 64 Orchard Drive, Edinburgh, EH4 2DZ Telephone: 0131 332 6466 www.hamilton&

he Hanging Bat Beer Cafe on Edinburgh’s Lothian Road opened at the end of last year and its interior is as quirky as its name. The former Mr Modos, now jointly owned by Gavin Ferguson and Chris Mair, also brews its own beer, and this was a major design consideration in the £100k spend. Gavin Ferguson said, “Yes we are about the beer, but we wanted to create a great bar, and one that was timeless, and I think that we’ve achieved this through the industrial elements, the exposed stone and reclaimed wood. There are some quirky nods to beer, like the beer pump taps in the toilets.” Gavin and Craig were greatly influenced by beer bars in New York City, and as well as the design, they also imported the American BBQ theme for the food offering. The credit for what is an unusual name lies with Chris, as Gavin explains, “Chris visited a brewery in Cumbria that was housed in an old barn, and there were hanging bats, and after that he always wanted to use the name for a bar.” Responsible for implementing the design was Kerr Blyth of KBA+D, but Gavin and Chris were both very hands-on also. Said Kerr, “The design is fairly elemental, and Gavin and Chris had very strong ideas on how they wanted it to look, so it was just a question of assisting them. “The idea was to reflect the craft beer element, and therefore it wasn’t to look like a typical pub. I’d say that the overall finish is rustic, and as you often find in reimagining an existing bar space, it gets layer upon layer added over the years, and when you strip this back completely, as we did here, you can almost feel it breathing a sigh of relief. The rustic design also reflects the raw ingredients of the brewing process.” So how successful was the finished result? The first thing that struck me is its uniqueness. The exterior with its twinkling lights and unusual signage, the raft of reclaimed wood inside and a bit of an unconventional layout all conspire to make this an outlet to remember. As soon as you make your way through the door, you’re confronted by a large bar across the left hand-side back far corner of the space. To the right is a split-level seating area –


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BY JASON CADDY one slightly raised, almost like a mezzanine which benefits from natural light through the window, and the other subterranean with lots of exposed stone and nooks and crannies for candles. There are also two recesses, one containing the brewing kit just beyond the bar on the way to the toilets at the very back, and the other looking in to the beer cellar where the kegs are settling in the basement seating area. Both are behind glass and illuminated by fibre optic lights. It certainly is the reclaimed wood that arrests your attention, as it’s not only been used to construct the bar itself, but also as cladding on the wall of the back bar. And the sheer volume of reclaimed wood needed is what posed the biggest headache for the contractor, Edinburgh-based Hamilton and Blackhall. Co-director Alistair Blackhall said, “The biggest challenge this project presented was sourcing the reclaimed materials and timber that are unique to the bar, but that aside, the rest of the outfit was fairly straightforward.” With wood dominating, the design of the bar is non-fussy with a strong emphasis on the practical, like a simple shelf for spirits and a tall fridge. Elsewhere the stripping back of the bar is in evidence in the exposed stone walls, which do look particularly good. There are new-looking wooden floorboards on the ground floor which are set off by the bright twinkling lighting hanging from the ceiling, and the mezzanine shares the newness of the ground floor space, with newer furniture. The basement space is lit more softly in candlelight, and its floorboards have more of a distressed quality, as does the furniture which is a bit more old school. The walls have been painted in a pistachio colour, there are some interesting framed pictures, and a chalk board displaying the details of the current brew. Opposite the brewing kit recess is also a noticeboard, made from strips of wood, with everything from alarm clocks, wine glasses and beer bottles hanging from it. On paper this bar perhaps shouldn’t work, but in practice, it all hangs together rather well. JANUARY 13 DRAM 25

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Commercial and Industrial Installations Undertaken WE WoULd LIKE To WISh REnATo And AngELA EvERy SUCCESS In ThE FUTURE WITh CIAo BELLA

We carry out the following works: Commercial Installations Industrial Installations Domestic Installations All Data & I.T. Works Fire Alarms Emergency Lighting Electrical Installation Conditioning Reporting Electrical Testing and Certification 3 Saltfield Lane, Ayr, Ayrshire KA8 8BW Tel: 01292 269 734 Fax: 01292 618 383 Email:


ish and chip shop proprietors Renato and Angela Delvecchio now have bigger fish to fry with their first restaurant business, the £670k Ciao Bella, in Glasgow’s Burnside area. The Stonelaw Road eatery opened recently, just down the road from the chip shop business, Dello’s, that they’ve owned for some 30 years. Renato and Angela had owned the former hairdressers for some time before the builders went in to bring Ciao Bella (‘Hello, beautiful’) to life. Says Renato, “I bought the premises 18 months ago for £300k, but sat on it for a while so that we could plan what we wanted to deliver. I spent a further £370k on the outfit and refurbishment by CM Design Consultants, which took around six months to complete in total, as they were so professional. I think that this job would have taken other companies a lot longer. As for the design, my wife and Angela and I are quite ‘blingy’ so this has come across in the design which is opulent with lots of gold, and we insisted on a high quality finish.”


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CM DESIGN - DRAM 269_Layout 1 14/12/2012 15:57 Page 1

Wishing Renato & Angela every success with Ciao Bella Contact Mark Brunjes: 0141 341 0343 or




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the market’s product most reliable systems. Here’s the The spend is evident in the finished with its high end science bit…Touchpoint embedded Windows CE till systems are solid state, with no fans or hard look and feel, and there are some superb finishes, plus quality drives. There’s no need for a server and you won’t fabrics and materials in evidence throughout the ortwo-storey need to connect Touchpoint to the internet the back office PC (unless you want to combine building, with the restaurant on the with ground kitchen so there are and fewer TouchPoint TouchOffice), floor, to go wrong. and toilets in the basement. things There’s a bi-folding door that If the power fails, at least you’ll be able to count forms the frontage of the restaurant that can befruitfully opened on TouchPoint. When the tills (and the come back on you’ll find you haven’t in the summer for continental machines) drinking and dining underneath lost any data. an awning. The system is robust and rugged and it doesn’t crash, which means you don’t lose a sale. In order to arrive at all of this there were some structural changes required. Mark Brunjes, MD at CM Design Consultants, who delivered both the architecture and the design, said, “We’ve had a lot of experience designing in the Italian restaurant sector, and Renato liked what we had done to date. He brought the name ‘Ciao Bella’ to the table as a reference to the film La Dolce Vita, and there are nods to this all around the interior. “He also needed to maximise the space to accommodate 60 covers to make it a viable business, so we had to excavate what was a limited basement and add a double-height extension to the rear. This now accommodates the staircase, the kitchens and the toilets, to allow more room on the ground floor.” Antique gold has been used in the light shades, and the leather upholstery on the seating and there’s a gold tinge on account of the up-lighting behind the smoky mirrors running parallel across the top of the banquettes on both walls. Up-lighting has also been used in the coffers in the ceiling, which reflect off the gold wallpaper and house more gold-shaded pendent lights. The standout feature, however, has to be the illuminated glass

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frontage on the bar at the back left hand corner of the restaurant that casts a warm golden glow across the room, and looks a bit like molten lava. Says Renato of this addition, “This is one of my favourite pieces and it was installed by a company based down south called Translucent Creations that also did something similar for Billy Lowe at Le Monde in Edinburgh.” Other notable features are the black granite bar and table tops, a lovely intricately designed mirror that hangs above the service hoist just to the right of the bar, and this entire area has been covered in stainless steel for both low maintenance and a neater finish. What I also liked very much was the fact that the couple’s personalities are evident in the design, like the mural of the Spanish steps in Rome, from the film La Dolce Vita, and tying in neatly with their Italian heritage at the same time, of course. On a more personal note, Renato’s two greatest passions are also represented - football and cars. He explains, “I’m an avid AC Milan fan and I have a picture of two of their greatest players, Paolo Maldini and Fillipo Inzaghi, as well as a picture of a million pound car from Ralph Lauren’s private collection.” Also displayed on the wall are pictures from the couple’s private collection, including a wedding photograph and some pictures of Renato’s parents and grandparents. Next to these are some pictures stills from the film La Dolce Vita, all black and white, and in a mixture of silver and black frames. The Delvecchios were also keen to bring the same mark of quality to the food offering. Explains Renato, “There’s no point investing this kind of money on the look of the place only to neglect other areas. That’s why I’ve also invested heavily in both the kitchen equipment and the chefs. I head hunted Thomas Watt of Italian Kitchen, Glasgow, fame, and as so often happens, he bought with him his long-time associate Boyd Danny, formerly of The Old Course Restaurant, St Andrews. I think that in Scotland there are always 1000 restaurants competing for 100 good chefs.” On the day of my visit, a stream of customers were popping their heads in to book tables and to have a look at the restaurant, and one summed up the general feeling in the local area by telling Renato that they were the ‘talk of the steamie’, which seemed to please him immensely.



irque is the new £500k outfit from Hyde Leisure, the company behind Independent, the bar next door to the new club on Glasgow’s Queen Street. Operations Manager, Mark Loney, showed me around the two-storey space, formerly Yang, shortly before the official opening last year. It spans a ground floor and basement, containing three main areas, and a VIP Room. He said, “This is our first major investment after Independent, and it has taken six months to complete, as it lay derelict for about four years. The ground floor looked like the Marie Celeste - there were empty beer bottles lying all around the place, and pint glasses left where the final customers were sitting. Down in the basement, there was about four feet of water so that took a lot more work, and we had to renew practically everything down there.” As the name suggests, the design is based around a circus theme, and the company enlisted the help of Glasgow-born designer Angela Mulvey, who’s now based in LA, but she agreed to take on the project on a trip home last year. Said Mark, “I’d say that Angela came up with 90% of the concept from a brief that stated that we were planning on a lot of performance acts working in the club, and so this was reflected in the nods to the circus. And the dominant colour scheme as you’d probably expect, is red, gold and black.” The main Queen Street entrance takes you into the first area, complete with sizable bar, dance floor and some booths for larger parties, underneath a mural. Let’s begin with the bar, which has a black bar top, an ornate gantry in a kind of silver honeycomb idea, gold shiny frontage and some interesting spiral pendent lighting. Bird cages suspended above the bar contain bottles of champagne, and there’s a naked mannequin at one end of the bar, painted white. There are also patches of red on the walls either side of the bar. Opposite the bar is wall-mounted bench seating and table, with the seats upholstered in a shiny gold material that have been countersunk into the wall. The gold theme continued in the booths that are situated further into the space, below the mural. The dance floor is surrounded by mirrored walls, and the DJ booth is segued off using some illuminated bars. The highlight of this area has to be the mural which depicts everything from a spaceman, a DJ with an iguana’s head and a clown or


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two. The circus theme is continued in around the wall lighting with hoola hoops adapted to frame the wall lights. Off this area also is an opulent little room with two big red couches, a marquee style ceiling decoration and lighting, plus another mannequin in the corner with a lampshade on its head. There’s also some patterned shiny gold and black wallpaper, and shiny gold cushions. This area can be hired, and there will be table service throughout the venue. The stairs down to the basement level are lit by an enormous chandelier, and the wall covering depicts a red theatre curtain, which looks quite realistic. There are gold shiny scales attached to the wall also, above the curtain-effect wallpaper which will eventually billow and shimmer downwind of a fan. The halfway landing floor has looks like a ‘Connect 4’ game, with the holes lit from underneath in red. Then you’re in the basement space which has its own bar, leading into a sunken well dance floor. There are smaller booths in this area, partitioned off with silver beaded curtains, and the seating here is black. Further in and round a corner and you’re into the bar area, which is incredibly striking on account of the LED lights. The design is fairly simple with white Perspex and black shelving along the back bar, opposite this is a Venetian blind type of affair in white, which is also made more of by the LED lighting. Further on still is the sunken dance floor, which is all quite dark, apart from the graffiti, which includes a big jester’s face. It’s all overlooked by a DJ box. At the other end of the bar there’s a curtained entrance leading into the VIP area via a red carpet photo opportunity area. This area has an amazing wall of crystal-encrusted skulls that used to be telephones. But they were stuck together in rows, and the overall effect is quite something. The black booths are again quite spacious, and there are some smaller chandeliers in here, as well as a VIP area, within a VIP area, that is perhaps reserved for VIVIPs. The bar is more of hatch with a large mirror hanging on the back wall, and again this benefits from the old LEDs. One of the walls contains a painted picture of burlesque performer Dita Von Teese, and a personal signed endorsement wishing the venue the best of luck. I’m sure that Peter Latta and Chris Sharpe of Hyde Leisure won’t need any luck, and on the strength of the design at least, the customers will roll up, and roll up.





EVERY SUCCESS FOR THE FUTURE We were delighted to work with Barry, Mark and the team on their latest exciting project. Congratulations! 539 Lawmoor Street, Dixon Blazes, Glasgow G5 0TT 0141 429 3334 •


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ROUND UP BEST BAR NONE DUNDEE CELEBRATE Dundee licensees really let their hair down at this year’s Best Bar None Awards. A good night was had by all. For the pictures of the winners see

The Oran Mor Whisky Awards took place last month. Jim Irvine of Gordon & MacPhail pictured 2nd left to publisher Susan Young, picked up the Sales Rep of the Year Award, while winning whiskies included Spiced King - the Critics’ Choice Award and Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or which won the People’s Choice Award. For all the pictures see

DRAM DRINKS RETAILING AND MARKETING PUBLISHED BY MEDIA WORLD LIMITED UPPER FLOOR / FINNIESTON HOUSE / 1 THE STABLES YARD / 1103 ARGYLE STREET / GLASGOW / G3 8ND t. 0141 221 6965 e. w. Editor: Susan Young • Chairman: Noel Young • Production: Jenny Kelly Advertising Manager • Lynn Kelly, Advertising Executives: Martin Cassidy • Editorial: Jason Caddy • Administration: Cheryl Cooke Published by Media World Ltd. Subscriptions: DRAM is available by subscription for all other qualified persons involved in the Scottish Licensed Trade at the rate of £52 per annum including the DRAM Yearbook. The publishers, authors and printers cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. Any transparencies or artwork will be accepted at owner’s risk. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the copyright holder and publisher, application for which should be made to the publisher. Articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. © Media World Limited 2013. Printed by Meigle Colour Printers Ltd. 30 DRAM JANUARY 13

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BIIAB Scotland

can help and support you in every step of your career path. BIIAB Scotland is committed to supporting the licensed retail trade by offering market-leading qualifications and awards equipping licensees and staff with the skills and knowledge to BIIAB operate profitably and successfully within the law HBM and in a socially responsible manner. Award in BIIAB Scotland has around 90 training centres Hospitality Business in Scotland, to find your nearest centre visit Management or email


Award in Licensed Hospitality Operations



Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders

Scottish Certificate for Licensed Premises Staff


Scottish Award in Customer Service Excellence (Licensed Hospitality)

Professional Barperson Qualification consists of the BIIAB SCLPS and BIIAB Scottish Award in Customers and Drinks Service (Licensed Hospitality)

BIIAB Scotland is part of BII, the professional body for the licensed retail sector. BII Scotland members improve their business compliance through dedicated licensing, employment and legal helplines and boost their bottom line by using our trade specific member benefits. Find out more about BII membership, visit or contact HeatherMiddleton on 0800 7839794.

BIIAB, Wessex House, 80 Park Street, Camberley, Surrey, GU15 3PT. T: 01276 684449

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DRAM January 2013  

January issue of Scotland's only dedicated licensed trade monthly magazine, DRAM

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