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The McDonald's launch swing • Scotland's Top 10 • Gerry Ritchie Interview

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 operate profitably and successfully within the law and in a socially responsible manner. BIIAB Scotland has around 90 training centres in Scotland, to find your nearest centre visit or email


Award in Hospitality Business Management

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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 Heather Middleton on 0800 7839794.

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WELCOME There is nothing better than being out and about, and certainly last month there was plenty to see. That’s why in this issue we have an extended design focus – SimpsInns new Si! in Irvine looks amazing, Maclays Tullie Inn brings a taste of Cape Code to Loch Lomond while Swing is a decadent Art Deco bar in Glasgow. In fact Swing owners Craig and Emma McDonald feature on our cover toasting their new venture. My interview this month is with Gerry Ritchie who I first met 20 years ago. He is one of the characters of the licensed trade, and his life has certainly been colourful, but now he is a reformed man! Instead of carousing until the early hours he enjoys coffee mornings... honestly! Our feature is on Scotland’s Top 10 Brands and the best selling ones according to you. See the feature on page 13. We’ve also got a news feature on Tennent’s buying 50% equity in Wallaces. How has the news been received in the trade? See page 16. And finally our Roundup page features some of the competitors in the recent Belhaven Golf Challenge. I hope you are also checking out Susan Young Editor




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Tennent’s TOps

Jason Caddy reports on Scotland's Top 10 Brands.

news feature

What the trade thinks of Tennent's buying 50% equity in Wallace Express.

A real original

Gerry Ritchie is one of Edinburgh's original bon viveurs. Susan Young caught up with him.

Design Focus

Si!, Irvine : Swing, Glasgow : Tullie Inn, Balloch.

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


All the latest brand news.

Straight talking from our very own Editor.


Jon Eastwood


Edinburgh’s Melville Re-opens alcolm Gray and Jon Eastwood have invested £250K and re-opened The Melville Bar on William Street in Edinburgh, after taking a 15-year lease from London Town. The duo are part of the team behind the city’s Atholl Hotel. Malcom Gray said, “Jon and I have invested a significant sum in transforming The Melville through a comprehensive redesign and refurbishment with the aim of renewing its appeal to the professional, local and female clientele. Having noticed that there was nowhere to go to for a good quality traditional Sunday lunch in the New Town, we hope to make The Melville a true destination venue for families and locals alike.” Jon Eastwood added, “We want The Melville to be the kind of place where we want to frequent ourselves. We want to be able to come here, sit at the barstool, have a few pints, share a platter with some friends or bring the family for a Sunday lunch where our customers can be guaranteed decent quality food and drink in fresh, comfortable surroundings.”

Carluccio’s gets green light in Aberdeen

UK chain Carluccio’s is to open in Aberdeen’s Union Square in the summer after being granted a licence. The new restaurant of the upper floor of the shopping centre, will create 35 jobs, and will be the second Scottish restaurant for the group. The first opened in Glasgow in 2011. The new Aberdeen Carluccio’s will also feature a deli and shop. The group was originally founded by Antonio Carluccio of Two Greedy Italians fame. Simon Kossoff, chief executive of Carluccio’s which boasts 70 venues throughout the UK, comments, “We have been keen to open in Aberdeen for a number of years now and are delighted to have finally found the right site for us in bustling Union Square.”

Yates’s on West George Street, Glasgow has been transformed into the Merchant. It opened last month after a £300K transformation. The investment by the Stonegate Pub Company, the business that own and operate the Merchant, includes a completely new food offer, an enhanced cask ale range and the opening up of the first floor which was previously used for private functions, helping create an additional 60 covers in the pub. A new entrance has also been created as part of the refurbishment and is now situated at the crossroads of West George Street and Renfield Street. Says Paul Donaldson GM, “The name of the pub reflects the trading heritage of this fantastic city as does the decor inside.”

Dundee gets set to rock John MacLean has added 20 Rocks Dundee to his growing estate of Scottish rock bars. The 500-capacity rock venue is the third for the former DJ, who opened the Ward Street venue at the tail end of last month, on the back of Falkirk and Stirling. John told DRAM, “I ripped out the venue and started from scratch. It used to be the Doghouse, and we have re-branded it a 20 Rocks, which is very much my version of a Hard Rock Cafe. I’m very pleased with the memorabilia that we’ve acquired which includes a guitar from Paul Weller and a guitar from Slash of Guns ‘n’ Roses as well as a signed LP from Eric Clapton.” Despite the paint in the Dundee 20 Rocks being barely dry, John plans to open another Scottish Rocks as soon as he can. He said, “My plan is to expand over the next two years, although I haven’t quite yet worked out the geography of where we’ll open next.”

Have you heard? Tom Kitchin opened his new Edinburgh Stockbridge pub, the Scran and Scallie, late last month. Wife Michaela, Dominic Jack of the Castle Terrace Restaurant and business partner Philippe Nublat are also involved in the project. The 138-capacity pub on Comely Bank Road has been granted a 1am licence, and will also serve as a chef training school.

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NEWS n.b. bar & restaurant

The Ship On The Shore Sets Sail Edinburgh seafood restaurant, The Ship on the Shore, owned by Murray and Tracey Georgeson is set to benefit from a new extension and the complete refurbishment of its kitchens, following a new £60K finance agreement with bankers Santander. The Ship on the Shore is currently ranked as one of The Guardian’s “10 best restaurants in Edinburgh” and the Ship’s speciality dish, the ‘Smokehouse Platter’ which was included in The Times Magazine article titled “30 Things To Eat Before You Die” aims to satisfy even more diners particularly during busy times. Murray Georgeson said, “We’re really pleased to be carrying out this work on the restaurant and we’re pleased that our banking partner, Santander, has been able to support our plans. At the Ship, we have a simple approach; offer the finest ingredients, passionately prepared and expertly presented. Santander supports this vision and we look forward to a prosperous future working with them.” A new 91 - room Park Inn by Radisson opens in Glasgow this month. The former Pearl Assurance building on West George Street, which is listed, has been closed for the outfit which has taken 12 months to complete. GM Alastair Campbell told DRAM, “The spend has been significant on the building, that was supposed to be the original Missoni Hotel, but those plans were shelved, and the building then lay empty for seven years. The hotel design breaks with the standard four - block colour Park Inn interior design, and instead, we have gone down the contemporary road with lots of natural wood which we feel creates a home from home environment that is a lot more informal and unpretentious. This extends from the rooms to our 60 - cover restaurant and bar. The hotel also has two meeting rooms with conference facilities.”

A joint venture between Kirkcaldy publican George Mackay and Caldeonian Heritable Ltd, will see the old Nicol’s bar and former Mamma Mia’s Pizzeria, transformed with £500K being invested in the renovation. The venue, which has lain empty and fallen into disrepair over the past decade, will now open in the summer and George is confident it will soon garner a reputation as one of the town’s best pubs and eateries. George who ran the Top O’The Toun for 25 years and also has the Path Tavern and Novar Bar, has plenty of experience, but is planning on handing over the operational side of the new business to daughter Dallas who has already started working on the re-design. Marriott Hotels has teamed up with Ikea’s commercial property arm to launch a hotel chain called Moxy, aimed at travellers. The first in the European chain opens in Milan early next year, with 150 hotels opening in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden over the next ten years. The rooms will all feature flat-screen TVs, USB ports and floor-to-ceiling art representing the local city. Hot on the heels of Zizzi Glasgow comes a plan for its fourth Edinburgh outfit on Roxburgh Close. The Italian restaurant chain has agreed a 25year lease on the property in the city’s Advocate’s Close development, just off the Royal Mile. It will open ahead of this year’s Edinburgh Festival season. Erica Sawer, Operations Manager for Zizzi Scotland said, “Roxburgh Close is an exciting new location and Edinburgh an incredible place to be launching our 130th restaurant as our business continues to grow. We are delighted to be part of such a prestigious regeneration project on the Royal Mile and are looking forward to welcoming both local Edinburgh residents and visitors to the new Zizzi restaurant to enjoy the stunning views across the city.” APRIL 2013 DRAM 5

Pubs back 30 Days of IPA in April Following on from the enthusiasm received last year at the inaugural 30 Days of IPA, April’s festival promises even more venues, more events and more choice for aficionados of the famous pale ale. The 30 Days of IPA Festival will run from 1st – 30th April which concludes with a charity gala dinner on 2nd May. The charity the festival will be fundraising for throughout this year’s activities is the Scottish Veterans Residences, who supply accommodation and support to Scottish Veterans in Edinburgh and beyond. The venues taking part include: The Pear Tree, The Blind Poet, The Counting House, The Bailie Bar, Old Bell Inn, New Bell Restaurant, Tiles Bar, Theatre Royal, Ferry Tap, Ryan’s Bar, Bannerman’s and The City Cafe. Over 100 events including ‘The Great Edinburgh Beer Experiment’, dinners, quizzes, tasting nights, debates, live music and more will be held across the 13 different Edinburgh venues – all focused on one core passion: India Pale Ale.


For new customers to Heineken, please call 0844-5560109. For all existing customers, please speak to your Sales Advisor on your next call.

Over 18s Only

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he Lisini Pub Company is claiming damages of just under £1.8m from the Scottish Premier League, after they banned and fined the pub group, in 2006, for using a satellite that picked up fixtures on television signals meant for Poland. Although the pub group at the time agreed to desist, it has now taken punitive actions following the recent ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) with regard to Karen Murphy, a pub landlady in Portsmouth, who won the right to screen English Premier League football using pictures from a Greek company instead of subscribing to Sky. And now the Hood family, who own Lisini, have been given permission by Lord Woolman at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to go ahead with their claim, despite the SPL calling for it to be thrown out. In a written ruling, Lord Woolman said, “In my view the English Premier league case has an important bearing on the present action. The material facts are virtually identical. The European Court of Justice gave clear answers to the precise questions referred to it. Its decision means subscribers in member states are entitled to access broadcast signals from other member states. An EC citizen living in, say, Germany should not be prevented from obtaining a signal from Sky, BBC, RAI, Nova or Polsat. In my view the ECJ has held that the object of such agreements is to restrict competition. That is enough to provide Lisini with a prima facie case.” Father, former Celtic ace Harry Hood, and daughter Lisa Wishart (above) have been following the ECJ’s case for the past seven years, with Lisa now an expert on the in’s and out’s. She told DRAM, “This debacle has been going on since 2006. The SPL, in my opinion, targeted Lisini due to the connection we have with football - we were a headline target! They engaged in bully boy tactics, attempted to sue us and strongly recommended that we sign a letter of Blantyre company Dunns Food and Drinks has changed the name of its food service division, historically known as Duncans Food Service. It will now trade under the name Dunns Food and Drinks. Jim Rowan, Managing Director says, ‘We are an integrated business delivering food and drinks to the trade in Scotland and the one name says it all. Last month police used drug detection equipment and sniffer dogs in an effort to crackdown on drug abuse and antisocial behaviour in Aberdeen's pubs and clubs. In total 42 people were arrested and charged. The company made £30.2m up from £24m in 2011. The company's turnover rose by 6% to nearly £117m. The distiller is owned by the Bacardi group. While MacDonald Hotels has also seen a 3% rise in like-for-like profits. Figures show that revenues for the 12 months to the end of March were up 2% to £139.5m.

Lisini sue SPL for £1.8m

undertaking (interim interdict) that legally bound us to never being allowed to use the Polestat decoding system again (when the whole world was at that point).” She continues, “We lost an incredible amount of business, initially in the short term and then in the longer term. Consumers do eventually develop a habit of frequenting other places, eventually become part of the fabric of that pub and hey presto before we knew it, we had lost the customer for good, plus all of their friends. It was a challenging time for Lisini and we suffered huge losses. After we signed this illegal interdict (letter of undertaking), our competitors continued to have an advantage over us without any recourse. Essentially the SPL left them alone, but made an example of us. “I am quietly pleased that a small pub group stood up and took on Goliath. They were suing us for damages in 2007, and after the Karen Murphy case, I thought it appropriate that we would reverse the stance and apply to sue them for damages and lost revenues. But it has been a long, hard process, and a very costly one. I nearly threw in the towel on several occasions. “So this ruling essentially means that Lord Woolman has dismissed SPL’s claim against Lisini which they levied against us in 2007. He has ordered that Lisini’s counterclaim against SPL be allowed to continue and that the case will be listed for a further procedural hearing to give directions as to the steps to be taken by both sides to prepare for a final hearing of our counterclaim. We can only wait to see what develops from this.”

JD Wetherspoon has reported that revenues rose 10% to £626.4 million for the six months to 27 January, with same-floorspace sales up just under 7%. Underlying profits at the group fell 2.7% to £34.8m compared to £35.8m for the same period last ear. Operating profits fell £1m to £52.1m. The company said it was stepping up its pub-opening programme in the second half. In the first six months of its financial year it opened five pubs, but said it expected to open a total of 30 new outlets over the current financial year. JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin also asked for tax-parity between supermarkets and pubs saying, “The biggest danger to the pub industry is the VAT disparity between supermarkets and pubs and the continuing imposition of stealth taxes, such as the late-night levy, and the increase in fruit/slot machine taxes.”

Hot Off The Press Duddingston Leisure has spent around £100k refurbishing the former News Room on Edinburgh's Leith Street. It re-opened last month under new name, The Newsroom Bar & Eatery, and the GM is Harry Bennett. He said, “We have stepped up the food offering, with a strong emphasis on homemade and locally-sourced produce. He continued, “In terms of the interior design, the biggest talking points are the jam jars containing old fashioned lightbulbs, and we've got some scaffolding boards on the walls that have been treated and varnished. Witty slogans in illuminated red neon letters are also drawing lots of comments. The furniture is a mixture of white wood and black leather chesterfields.” APRIL 2013 DRAM 7

BRAND NEWS Premium Packaged


Cider NEW AD CAMPAIGN TAKES BULMERS BACK TO THE BEGINNING Bulmers launched its new ad last month to coincide with the introduction of two new 4% ABV premium flavoured bottled ciders. Bulmers Cider Bold Black Cherry and Bulmers Cider Pressed Red Grape. The new ad, the first TV ad to be launched under the new brand positioning, ‘In the Beginning’ builds on last year’s press and outdoor campaign which celebrated the founding of the HP Bulmer cider company in Hereford in 1887. The 60 second ad follows groups of twenty-somethings enjoying a summer night in the city. A twist is revealed as it becomes clear that the journeys and events are being played out in reverse. The ad ends at the beginning, with the first drink of the evening showing that a refreshing pint of Bulmers over ice is the perfect way to start great times with friends. Lawson Mountstevens, Managing Director-On Trade at Heineken comments, “The new advertising has a natural, authentic quality that reflects the times that Bulmers drinkers enjoy with friends.” The advertising is part of a multi-million pound marketing campaign for the brand and represents the biggest marketing investment in the equity to date. It encompasses a through-the line media campaign which as well as new TV advertising includes digital and social media and a multi-media partnership which will celebrate the beginning of the weekend for 10 weeks over the summer.


New Flavours for Crabbie’s wo new Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer flavours, Raspberry, and Strawberry and Lime, have just gone on sale in the on-trade. They’ll join existing flavours Original and Spiced Orange. The new variants, from Halewood, aim to develop the company’s presence across the 4% bottled beer/ale categories. Al Cross, Marketing Controller for Crabbie’s at Halewood International, said, “Consumer research has demonstrated there was an appetite for new flavours to be added to the range, to further drive brand and category growth. The flavours, which have taken twelve months to research and trial, provide an excellent platform to attract new consumers who may not have tried Crabbie’s before and who are looking for an alternative during nights in or out with friends.” The launch will be supported by TV advertising, new POS and a variety of innovative social media activity throughout the year.


Vodka of Smirnoff Espresso is set to attract a wider audience into the segment by offering new and existing Smirnoff consumers an inventive twist on their usual spirit and mixer combination. The new variant will also inspire consumers to try something different and experiment with flavours.” Recommended serve: For a quick and easy drink mix Espresso Smirnoff with cola and serve over ice.

mirnoff has expanded its range of flavoured vodka with the introduction of Espresso Smirnoff. Available nationwide within all channels from this month, the new variant aims to appeal to consumers looking for variety. Espresso Smirnoff is a blend of Smirnoff Red with the natural flavour of espresso coffee, which is extracted from real coffee beans. Karen O’Shea, Marketing Manager for Smirnoff Western Europe at Diageo, says, “In the UK, flavoured vodka is worth £88m in the on-trade and the launch

Lager Heineken has unveiled a stylish, new pint glass for its premium draught lager Kronenbourg 1664 to enhance the consumer drinking experience and build on the quality credentials of the brand. This is the first new glassware introduced to the brand in more than a decade. The distinctive shape is designed to maximise Kronenbourg 1664’s taste by funnelling its unique aroma towards the consumer. The brand’s distinguished heritage and Alsace’s famous Strisselspalt hops are also depicted on the glass to reinforce the beer’s superior taste reputation. The roll out of the new glassware coincides with the brand’s new ‘A Taste Suprême’ TV and outdoor campaign. 8 DRAM APRIL 201 3



remium Spanish wine brand, Campo Viejo, today unveiled plans for a major consumer marketing campaign which includes new packaging, new varietal, advertising and customer support throughout 2013. “Campo Viejo is thriving and driving real value into the Spanish wine market,” says Lucy Bearman, Head of Marketing for Wine, Pernod Ricard UK. “Our brand activity is focussed on keeping Campo Viejo front of mind for our existing consumers and drawing new consumers into the Spanish wine category. More so than ever, Campo Viejo is a must stock for both the on-and off-trade.” The new bottles will be available from the summer.

Campo Viejo takes the lead


BRAND NEWS Whisky John Walker & Sons Voyager is a glamorous 1920s-style yacht which will be traversing the four corners of the world this year. The yacht’s journey will re-create the epic ocean voyages that took Johnnie Walker from the four corners of Scotland to the four corners of the world. It will arrive in Europe this May to mark the launch of the new triple malt John Walker & Sons Odyssy. After completing the Asian leg of its journey, which retraced the original spice route, the yacht will begin its European voyage from the historic port of Genoa in early May. It will visit Cannes, Monaco, Athens, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Hamburg and Copenhagen before finally docking


Liquer in Edinburgh in August – returning to the brand home of Scotland. Alison Forrestal, General Manager of Diageo Reserve Western Europe, comments “John Walker & Sons Voyager will create an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate the vision of the Walker family who grew a small grocery store, founded in 1820, into the world’s number one Blended Scotch Whisky brand. John Walker & Sons Voyager will dock in London on 15th, 16th, 17th July and Edinburgh on 12th, 13th, 14th August 2013. Some of the most progressive individuals in the UK will be invited aboard over the three days the yacht is in each port.

John Walker & Sons Voyager Begins European Odyssey


New Bottle for BAILEYS

aileys, has announced the next stage of its global relaunch with the unveiling of a new bottle. The activity marks the second phase of the ambitious ‘Cream With Spirit’ campaign, and is supported with a £1m marketing investment. The new-look bottle, which is now available across all variants from March, has been heightened and slim-lined to give it a more stylish and elegant profile. The new feminine shape also allows it to conveniently fit inside a fridge door; increasing the brand’s relevance to the modern woman’s lifestyle. Chris Lock, Baileys Western European Category Marketing Director at Diageo, said, “Baileys is widely recognised for its unique bottle shape and our stylish new design stays true to Baileys iconic heritage, in a contemporary and stylish way. We are confident that this, coupled with the same great tasting liquid, will not only have more impact on shelf, but also affirm Baileys position as a modern drink for the modern woman.”


Beer SCHOOLHOUSE ORIGINS OF ORKNEY BREWERY CELEBRATED WITH NEW BEER The educational origins of the Orkney Brewery have been commemorated with a special new beer, christened 1878. The 5.5% brew, made with malted rye and USA hops, takes its name from the date the Quoyloo School – now site of the Orkney Brewery – was opened. A strong, full bodied auburn beer, 1878 is characterised by big fruit and spice hop flavours, which are balanced by a soft and sweet malt background. The newest addition to the award winning Orkney Brewery range, 1878 will be available in cask and bottle. Its launch follows the recent release of Orkney Brewery’s 4.4% Norseman Pale Ale, already proving hugely popular with drinkers. Norman Sinclair, managing director of the Orkney Brewery’s parent company, Sinclair Breweries Ltd, comments, “During its lifetime the Quoyloo School was an important part of the community in Sandwick and we’ve always been aware of the local history surrounding the buildings that are now part of the Orkney Brewery. Indeed, my late father was a pupil at Quoyloo, which makes the connection even stronger. We felt it was a fitting tribute to the school, and all those who attended it, to have a special beer brewed in its honour and we’re really delighted with the result.”

lobal Brands has launched Bourbon flavoured beer after the famous J.W. Buddy. Buddy’s Bourbon Flavoured Beer contains hints of real honey and bears a label with the strapline ‘Make Your Own Rules’. The unique recipe, licensed from Buddy’s Brewhouse in Michigan, USA comes in at 5.1% ABV. Says Simon Green, marketing director at Global Brands, “Today’s consumers are engaging with brands which look different, taste different and have a story to tell. Buddy’s Bourbon Flavoured Beer marks one of our most exiting brand launches to date.” He continues, “Traditional lager is struggling but Spirit Beers are experiencing over 90% growth in both the on - and off trade channels.”

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APRIL 2013 DRAM 11

GOOD BREWING MAKES GREAT BUSINESS. 12 DRAM APRIL 201 3 Tennent’s and the red T are registered trademarks of C&C Group.

scotlanD's Top ten BY JASON CADDY Some features never fail to get licensees talking, like our top ten brands. Compiling the list involves getting on the phone and talking to licensees and managers in order to get a feel for what’s happening in the Scottish market. We got 100 results in all by asking licensees for their three top-selling brands, and gave them an opportunity to feedback on any other trends. In a departure from previous years, we also requested a breakdown on the top sellers by category vodka, gin, whisky, rum, ale and cider. Here’s what they had to say.


t will come as no surprise that Tennent’s takes pole position, knocking reigning champ Smirnoff right off the top spot - and making it a double whammy for Scotland’s biggest lager brand on the back of topping last month’s DRAM customer suppliers survey. The lager was mentioned by nearly half of our licensees, testament to Tennent’s owner C&C’s continued support of the ontrade, coupled with the affection and loyalty customers have for the brand. Jeannie Kelly, manager at Glasgow’s Deoch an Dorus on Dumbarton Road which nominated Tennent’s, said, “Customers are guaranteed a good quality pint with Tennent’s, and it is widely recognised as this - and this bridges the generation gap. Customers know what they are getting, and this is reflected in our sales which are consistently high. There are no peaks and troughs like there are with some other lager sales. On days when football is on, our Tennent’s sales are nothing short of phenomenal.” James McIver, manager at Tally’s Bar, Dundee, added, “I think that the success of Tennent’s is simple. It’s Scottish, it’s reasonably priced, and all of this makes customers loyal to the brand. My customers are creatures of habit, and I can’t picture a day when Tennent’s isn’t the leading brand.” Smirnoff is now in a highly respectable second place, which is hardly surprising given that it’s the house pour in many Scottish pubs. In the category breakdown, Smirnoff was leagues ahead of its nearest rival, Absolut. So far this year Smirnoff has been fairly quiet on the marketing front, although it did run the Nocturnal Awakening ads in November 2012. Aaron Barrett, manager of Biddy Mulligans in Edinburgh, was one of the

people who nominated Smirnoff. He said, “In all the bars I have worked in, Smirnoff has always been the powerhouse vodka brand. This comes down to slick advertising and awareness campaigns, and it’s seen as both mainstream and cool at the same time, which is no mean feat. It also screams quality, it’s familiar, and is a safe option without being boring or predictable.” Brett Murray is manager at No. 1 Golf Place in St Andrews, which also counts Smironff as one of its top three brands. He said, “Customers are less likely to name check vodka, compared to other spirits, but when they do, Smirnoff is always the most popular choice apart from American tourists who are most likely to ask for Grey Goose. Smirnoff is stylish enough to appeal to younger drinkers, and it’s been around for long enough to also appeal to the more mature consumers. More people come into the bar now knowing what brands they want, and this applies right across the board, from locals, golf tourists, students and hospitality industry workers from the local area, many of whom drink in our bar.” One licensee even went as far as saying that the old double act of Tennent’s and Smirnoff could satisfy the majority of customer demands. Said Colin Adams of The George Bar in Hamilton, “I think a lot of pubs in this area could survive on Tennent’s and Smirnoff alone, as they are now so much a part of the fabric of Scottish pub life. If, for example, I was to try putting another vodka other than Smirnoff on the gantry, I’d have a riot on my hands. It’s a similar story with Tennent’s, which has a fiercely loyal fan base, although I’ve noticed more customers asking for the like of Carling and Stella in recent times. I can’t put it down to anything else other than APRIL 2013 DRAM 13

scotlanD's Top ten drinks suiting customers on their particular patch.” Guinness is in third place, up a tremendous five places on when we last took the poll. Brand owner Diageo’s advertising for the Guinness has always been stylish, a tradition that continues with its latest £5.5 million campaign called Made of More, featuring the ad called Clock that can be viewed at www.barandpub. tv. Guinness is a stalwart brand that managers and licensees are all very complimentary about. Last month’s ‘Paint the town Black’ 1. activity peaked around St Patrick’s 2. weekend. 3. Absolut vodka is up one place on 4. our last poll, and is the second of 5. three vodka brands to grace our top ten. Said Ellie Hatfield, manager at 1. Villager in Edinburgh, “Absolut has 2. been very supportive of us. About 3. a year ago the guys from Absolut 4. took some of the staff to Sweden to 5. visit the distillery, and gave us some really stylish robot murals to hang 1. in the bar as part of a promotion 2. that was really well executed. The 3. Absolut branding was very subtle, 4. but it still caused a buzz among bar 5. staff who were talking about it long afterwards, and this was passed on 1. to customers and translated into 2. sales.” 3. The biggest climber of the lot is 4. Belhaven Best, which also topped 5. the ale category list. Could it be that the launch of rival brand Caledonia 1. Best has mobilised the brand into 2. action? Belhaven’s ‘Tae a Pint’ 3. campaign was very well received, 4. according to lots of people that we 5. spoke to. Sharing fifth place with Belhaven 1. is Peroni, which has slipped two 2. places since our last poll. Peter 3. Wilson, a co-director at South 4. Queensferry’s Orocco Pier, said, 5. “We now sell a lot more Peroni

Top 5


Beer/ Lager

Whisky Cider Gin


than Stella. You also have to take into consideration that our clientele really is right across the board and people from all walks of life and age groups want quality. I was out last Friday in key venues in Edinburgh and they were heaving, and I believe that people still have money in their pockets, but they are now more selective than ever - and they’re more demanding of quality.” Foster’s has fallen to sixth position, losing two places, and behind it are three new entries in the shape of Carling, Scottish stalwart brand


McEwan’s and the only non-vodka spirit brand, Jack Daniel’s. Foster’s does continue to have a strong advertising presence with its Brad and Dan ads, and the its latest offering is Foster’s Born in 1888 - 125 Years of True Refreshment, emphasising the brand’s heritage. Jack Daniel’s is immensely popular among Scottish consumers who seem to prefer it over our own home-grown whisky brands. Despite slumbering a bit on the advertising/marketing front, Guinness McEwan’s still fared very well, Belhaven coming in at a close second in the McEwan’s ale category behind Belhaven. Caledonia Best Murray Ward, GM at Edinburgh Deuchars Rutland Hotel thinks that despite not shifting a lot of ale in volume Tennent’s terms, there is a general Peroni trend towards this category. Foster’s “I’ve noticed a lot more people Carling ordering ales at the Rutland. Heineken There’s also been a shift away from people ordering cocktails Famous Grouse Strongbow and wine. On the lager front, I Whyte & Mackay Magners think that Carling’s advertising Johnnie Walker Rekorderling to date has been far more Bell’s Kopparberg aspirational, and this is making Black Bottle Addleston it more of an accessible brand generally. I’ve also noticed a lot Gordon’s more female customers now Bombay Sapphire drinking Peroni.” Beefeater Finally, Stoli is in the tenth place, Tanqueray up three, a further indication of Hendrick’s the general shift towards more premium brands that’s been in Havana evidence for the past few years. Captain Morgan’s Spiced Orocco Pier’s Peter Wilson Bacardi added, “We haven’t witnessed OVD any less of an appetite for Angostura premium, despite the economic slump. We to continue sell lots Smirnoff of premium brands.” Absolut As for the rest of the categories, Stolichnaya Gordon’s was the top selling gin, Finlandia while Grouse topped the whisky Glens list. In terms of rum, Havana was first. Ellie Hatfeild at Edinburgh’s Villager, added, “I think Havana was at the forefront of the rum revolution about eight years ago, and that association has stuck. It was ahead of the pack then, and has now become a mainstream brand and a firm favourite among many of our customers.” Captain Morgan’s Spiced ran a close second. Strongbow was nominated as Scotland’s top-selling cider, followed by Magners. Please see the chart for the breakdown in full.

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Meet The New Buyer he music industry’s loss was Forth Wines’ gain when its new wine buyer Toby Sigouin had an epiphany. The Edinburghborn music graduate, who turns 37 this month, didn’t exactly fall out of love with music after his degree, but he was hit with the realisation that, of the two, wine was his greatest passion. Toby took up his current position as wine buyer for Forth Wines on the 1st March, but he’s been with the company for the past six years, as an account manager for the Lothian and Borders region. Toby is very keen to bring something new to the role and break with some of the more traditional wine buyer associations. He explains, “My role will focus on three main areas – list maintenance and sourcing new and exciting wines, a higher degree of sales force and customer interaction, and developing a Forth Wines’ specific training package, both internally and externally.” He continues, “Obviously, I still have to fulfil a large part of my remit around working with suppliers, while drilling down to the depths of the Forth Wines’ Portfolio to identify gaps and trends, and I’ll still have contact with key customers, while also supporting the sales force, and working with their customers. “It’s important for a buyer to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the market place and to get to know our customer base really well. It’s all very well reading up on the subject, but you just can’t beat that face-to-face connection.”

Wine Portfolio Launch Event In terms of Forth Wines’ product range, you may have seen DRAM editor Susan Young reporting from the company’s annual wine tasting on www. where she spoke to both Ian Cumming and George Thomson. Toby, meanwhile, is quick to underline the importance of customer feedback in informing new ranges. He explains, “Our 2013 portfolio launch at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh last month included100 new independent wines. In terms of market trends, some customers are looking more to Old World wines, so we have launched two new Bordeaux agencies, at the value for money end of the scale, after feedback from customers. Many of them, particularly the younger ones, had preconceptions of Old World wines being out of their price range. I think that this trend is likely to continue as Old World wines get their acts together and begin marketing their wines at a mid-level price. Now we are seeing customers cottoning on to the fact that they can get a good French wine at a reasonable price. “There’s also been an upsurge in matching wines with food, probably down to all the cookery-related programmes on TV. The wine trade and the licensed trade tend to see supermarkets as their arch-enemy, but in actual fact, we have them to thank for the growing number of people drinking wine.” If you’d like more information on Forth Wines or Toby Sigouin, please visit


A couple of examples of the dynamic quality wines from our new 2013 Portfolio La Poderosa MaLbec - In 1952 Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara ventured on a magical journey through the wilderness of South America on his precious Norton 500, which he nicknamed ‘La Poderosa’ – The Powerful One. The journey was immortalised by the film Motorcycle Diaries and the bike features on this hearty 100% Malbec from Chile. santiago ruiz aLbarino - this superb Albarino with its distinctive and iconic label demonstrating a wine region in a unique and memorable way was one of the stars at our tasting last week. We are very excited about this wine… it tastes as stunning as it looks.

Our Team Scotland Forth Wines is all about the quality of our people and we believe that our committed, knowledgeable and enthusiastic team are a match for anyone in the trade. They are there to provide 100% customer satisfaction and help you grow your business.

Tom Clarkson , Regional Sales Manager Scotland 07801 456255

Drew Renwick Fife / Central 07785 763036

Richard Collie Morayshire 07825 129391

John Robertson , Inverness / Islands 07801 456250

Marna Farrell Ayrshire / West Coast 07801 456260

John Murphy Glasgow / Lanarkshire 07747 844765

Ewen Lamont Aberdeen / Tayside 07801 456251

Euan Thomson Edinburgh/ Borders 07890 442480

Crawford Place | Milnathort | Kinross-shire KY13 9XF TELEPHONE: +44 (0) 1577 866000 | FACSIMILE: +44 (0) 1577 866025 EMAIL: | APRIL 2013 DRAM 15

Tennent's owner, C&C acquires 50% equity stake in Wallaces Express NEWS FEATURE The news that C&C Group plc, the company behind Tennent's Lager and Magners, has acquired a 50% stake in Wallaces Express, Scotland's biggest independent wholesaler, has been welcomed by licensees. The news which broke mid-March secures Tennent's position with Wallaces, and vice-versa. For a few years Tennent's has been Wallaces biggest customer, so if either company had struck a deal within Wallaces case another brewer, and in Tennent's case another wholesaler, it would have had a major impact. Therefore the new deal is a 'win win' for both companies. Kenny Neison, Group Chief Financial Officer of C&C Group, said, "We have a great relationship with the team at Wallaces Express and we are proud to partner with them. Whilst Wallaces Express will be run independently from our beer business, we will seek opportunities to take advantage of cross-selling for customers, particularly in wines and spirits. This partnership between two great drinks businesses will provide our customers with a one stop shop for all their alcoholic and soft drinks needs.” Other brewers were reluctant to comment on the move, no doubt digesting the business implications, and their own agreements with Wallaces Express, but it may open up opportunities for other wholesalers. While the feedback from licensees had definitely been favourable. Kenny Neison, Group Chief Paul Waterson, Chief Executive Financial Officer of C&C Group of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, which has as its President John Gilligan, MD of Tennent's, said, “This is good news for the trade. Since being taken over by C&C, Tennent's have continued to be a supporter of the licensed trade in Scotland. It's the biggest lager brand in Scotland, so they have a large stake in the market, but they have held the price which has helped Scottish pubs. The brewer's other initiatives have demonstrated its support, like backing the SLTA for instance, so Wallaces Express is in a safe pair of hands.” While Kenny Blair, co-Director of Ayrshire-based Buzzworks, commented, “We deal with Tennent's and Wallaces Express – and I think that this will prove to be a successful pairing. What we're seeing is consolidation in lots of businesses, and I can only see more of the same happening in the future in our industry. The synergy between the two companies will mean improved service, better prices and one delivery slot, and that will save time and money for licensees in itself.” In Peebles Alan Vannan of the Green Tree was pleased telling DRAM, “It's a welcome move if it means that Wallaces Express delivery team, who currently deliver for Tennent's in the Borders, are trained as draymen should be. I'm a Belhaven customer and, as it stands, I can fully trust their draymen to handle a 22 gallon keg, for example. I can't say the same about the Wallaces Express guys at the moment, so if this partnership remedies this, then it's a positive step for licensees out with the central belt where Tennent's don't directly delivery to. It could potentially make Tennent's more of an attractive proposition to more licensees in this part of the world.” While in Inverness the man behind Johnny Foxes, Don Lawson commented, “I've only been a Tennent's customer for two months, and I was previously with Belhaven, which has a good distribution network and technical department. I think that the agreement with Wallaces Express would be good for Tennent's customers in the Highlands, where it lacks a bit of infrastructure.” Michele Pagliocca of Heighrow based in Glasgow said, “I think that it's great news for the trade, and for both companies, in these difficult times. Tennent's used to own J.G. Thomson so, in a sense, they are back to what they were doing 30 years ago.” Malcolm Binnie of Town House Restaurants had his own view saying, “I don't have a problem with Tennent's acquiring a share in Wallaces Express, as there are plenty of big players left in Scotland to keep them on their toes. Matthew Clark is massive, and no one works harder than them for their business.” With the last word going to John Black of The Fort in Broughty Ferry. He told DRAM, “I deal with both companies – mainly Tennent's, with bits and pieces from Wallaces Express – and I think that they are well matched. I think that Tennent's is trying to get back to being the onestop-shop that it used to be. I'd like to be able to sit down on a Monday morning and know where I stand on price, so, like many licensees, this may make the ordering process less time consuming.” Brian Calder, Managing Director of Wallaces Express, said, “This is a major development for Wallaces Express and represents a great opportunity for all our staff and customers. In terms of strategic Brian Calder, Managing aims and culture, the two businesses Director of Wallaces Express are well aligned and I am confident that both businesses will continue to move forward to the benefit of the Scottish licensed trade."

"We have a great relationship with the team at Wallaces Express and we are proud to partner with them."

"This is a major development for Wallaces Express and represents a great opportunity for all our staff and customers."

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Awards ceremony 24th June 2013

MARCH 2013 DRAM 17

Benromach Award For Success Share the secret of your success with this year’s DRAM judges to pick up this accolade. Whether you’ve successfully continued your family business, successfully expanded over the past few years, adopted innovation to develop your business, or have grown your turnover, we would love to know what you think your secret is. This award is open to hoteliers, restaurateurs and licensees…share your secret with us. Enter now with details.

BII Scotland Customer Service Award 2013 Customer service is paramount when it comes to running a successful business. This year BII Scotland is on the lookout for a pub, restaurant or hotel which fully embraces the customer service ethos. Could this be your business? If so, you could be eligible for this award. Judges will look at the measures that you have in place to ensure your staff are well trained in customer service. Short listing will be done by Mystery Shoppers followed by interviews at a later date by a team of judges. If you want to win the award enter now.

Critics’ Choice Award This category will take the top four restaurants, as reviewed by Scotland’s top restaurant critics as at the end of April 2013, and an independent judging panel will visit the recommended eateries... and select the top one overall from the selection. No entries are invited for this award, but finalists will be invited to the awards ceremony. And scoring will be on the basis of quality and value, customer service and attention to detail.

Diageo Award for Social Responsibility Diageo are on the look-out for pubs, bars and people that embrace social responsibility. Have you developed good relationships with local police, community safety partnerships, community groups, licensing boards and/ or licensing forums to help minimise alcohol-related crime and disorder in your area? Are your staff trained to the extent that they are competent and confident in addressing difficult situations? Do you go the extra mile to promote responsible drinking; what do you do differently from other bars in your area? And do you actively promote social responsibility within your organisation? If so, you could be eligible for this award. Please enter now.

Dog Friendly Pub of the Year The DRAM is on the lookout for a pub that provides a welcome for pet dogs. Do you allow your customers to bring their friendly pooches inside. Do you provide a water bowl, and the occasional treat? If so you could be in the running for this accolade. Judges will be bringing their own dogs on mystery visits (volunteers are queing up!!) If you think your pub or hotel fits the bill enter now.

Passion For Wine Award Forth Wines are on the lookout for an outlet that has a real passion for wine. Is your outlet innovative? Do you invest in staff training to ensure your customers are well informed? Do you enthuse your staff about wine? It’s not about having the biggest wine list or the biggest bar, but it is about how you promote the wines that you stock to your customers. Whether you are a wine bar, a bar attached to a hotel, or a restaurant – the judges will be looking for an outlet that stands out from the crowd.

Kopparberg Independent Bar of the Year Kopparberg is on the lookout for Scotland’s top independent bar. The Kopparberg team is looking for a bar that has proved to be a success with customers – it doesn’t have to be the most stylish or the biggest, but owners should demonstrate creative forward-thinking and be inclined to think outside of the box when it comes to developing their business. It almost goes without saying but good customer service and an excellent range of products behind the bar is essential. Do you think you fit the bill?...if so enter now.

Kraken Black Spiced Rum Cocktail Bar of the Year Do you think that you have the best cocktail bar in Scotland? Are your bartenders well trained, imaginative and good with customers? The judges will be looking for expertly made cocktails, a willingness to experiment and a good knowledge of spirits, including rum. Tell us why you think you are the best cocktail bar and include a recipe for a cocktail featuring The Kraken Rum. How would you unleash the beast?

mixxit Bar Apprentice 2013 Maxxium UK’s training and education programme mixxit is now in its seventh year of looking for Scotland’s best new bartender. The mixxit Bar Apprentice competition will take 10 bartenders with experience of one 1 year or less on an intensive training programme which will cover all aspects of professional bartending, including mixology, drinks knowledge and service excellence.  In June the bar apprentices will face a panel of judges and the best performing bartender will win the accolade mixxit Bar Apprentice of the Year, which will be announced at the DRAM Awards. 18 DRAM APRIL 201 3

Molson Coors Champion Beer Pub of Scotland Molson Coors are on the lookout for a pub that really champions good beer. Do you pride yourself on being one of Scotland top beer pubs? Do you actively promote responsible beer consumption in your bar and regularly bring on new beers to tempt your customers? Do you have a wide selection and encourage your customers to try different varieties? Do you make beer recommendations to go with your menu? A good cellar and well trained staff are necessary to be eligible for this award.

New Bar of the Year Repertoire Magazine is on the look-out for Scotland’s best new bar. As long as you have opened in 2013 you could be eligible for this award, and entries are taken right up until the 30th May for this particular category. The judges will be looking for a bar that stands out, has excellent service, a good-looking environment and a super range of products.

Saltire Taverns Sales Rep of the Year Saltire Taverns, one of Scotland’s foremost pub companies, is on the lookout for Scotland’s best sales reps. This company recognises the role that sales reps have to play in the success of the on-trade. Do you have a good knowledge of your own brands and how they fit with your customers offering? Are you innovative, and able to come up with ideas for your customers? Do you go above and beyond the call of duty when looking after them? If so enter now.

Strongbow Manager of the Year Strongbow, Scotland’s biggest selling draught cider, is on the lookout for Scotland’s top manager. Do you put the ‘hard graft’ in to ensure that your bar or pub is a success, or do you now someone who does? Strongbow will give the honour to the manager who has the strongest work ethic, and who can demonstrate the difference that he, or she, has made to the business. If you think you, or someone you know, deserves the award, please enter now.

Sunday Mail Pub of the Year Scotland’s leading Sunday newspaper is looking for the best pub in the country. Do you have a welcoming atmosphere? Do your customers come back, and come back again? Get your customers to fill in the entry form when it appears in the Sunday Mail and tell us why you think you are eligible for ‘Pub of the Year’.

Sunday Mail Centenary Fund Family Pub of the Year In 2014, the Sunday Mail will have been telling Scotland’s story for 100 years and to commemorate its 100th year it has set up the Sunday Mail Centenary Fund to benefit deserving Scottish charities. To promote this it is looking for Scotland’s Family Pub of the Year. It is looking for a family owned pub or pub group, that also welcomes families, and which supports local charities either by organising fund raising events, or by getting staff involved in fund raising activities. Do you think you fit the bill? If so enter now. Proceeds from this year’s DRAM awards raffle will also go to the Centenary Fund.

Tennent’s Quality Award A dedication to quality has helped to make Tennent’s the No 1 Scottish Lager brand - and Tennent’s is looking for a pub that shows a similar commitment to quality. Excellent customer service, great beer, a good range of products behind the bar, fine food and a great ambience are all part of the quality experience. If you think you deserve this accolade, enter now.

Independent Hotel of the Year Scotland’s hotel industry is gearing up for two mammoth events … The Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, and this year ,for the first time, the DRAM has a new category...Independent Hotel of the Year sponsored by Vicast Ltd, the online video platform for business. The judges will be looking for a hotel, or hotel group, that is independently owned ,and that has continued to invest in, and grow their business. A company that is forward thinking and cares about customer service. Either fill in the form attached or send us a video telling us why you think you deserved the accolade.

Wee DRAM Whisky Bar of the Year The judges will be looking for licensees that go to extraordinary lengths to promote Scotch whisky within their own establishment. An excellent range of whisky on the back bar is a necessity and staff should also be well trained and enthusiastic when it comes to recommending whisky to their customers. A good Scottish welcome is also important. Do you think that your bar deserves the accolade? If so enter now.

APRIL 2013 DRAM 19

Entry Form Please tick your category of choice

g g g g g g g g

Benromach Award For Success BII Scotland Customer Service Award 2013 Critics’ Choice Award

Diageo Award for Social Responsibility Dog Friendly Pub of the Year Passion For Wine Award Kopparberg Independent Bar of the Year Kraken Black Spiced Rum Cocktail Bar of the Year of Scotland

g g g g g

New Bar of the Year Saltire Taverns Sales Rep of the Year Strongbow Manager of the Year Sunday Mail Pub of the Year

Sunday Mail Centenary Fund Family Pub of the Year

g Tennent’s Quality Award g Independent Hotel of the Year g Wee DRAM Whisky Bar of the Year

g Molson Coors Champion Beer Pub

Establishment Name: Licensee’s Name: Address:



Relevant Info. Please attach a separate sheet and tell us why you deserve an accolade or send us a video. Deadline for entries 10th May 2013.

Finnieston House, 1 The Stables Yard, 1103 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8ND and send videos directly to

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Buy any two of these three great whiskies and get 12 glasses and tent cards Scotch Whisky is booming in Scotland! Premium Blended whisky is growing value 50 percentage points ahead of Standard Blends. Single Malts are growing value over 10 percentage points ahead of the Category.

Our range of consumer-friendly, internationally famous whiskies in this promotion: aBerlour is a classic Speyside single Malt, matured in a combination of traditional oak and sherry casks for a minimum of 10 years. The Biggest Single Malt in France, the Biggest Single Malt Market. Known as ‘the single malt that started it all’ - the glenlivet was the first licensed distillery in the parish of Glenlivet, established in 1824 and, in turn, defined the Speyside style of whisky which became the heartland of Scotch malt whisky production. The Glenlivet The Single Malt that Started it All. The world’s 2nd biggest Single Malt. chivas 12 year old is one of the world’s leading deluxe Scotch whiskies and is a speyside dominated blend with Strathisla single malt at its heart, coming from the oldest working distillery in the highlands.

Enjoy our whiskies responsibly

APRIL 2013 DRAM 21



first met Gerry Ritchie around 20 years ago, when he was a mover and shaker in Edinburgh’s club land. He is probably one of Edinburgh’s longest standing ‘bon viveur’s. Then it was all about the music and indeed he was the man behind the likes of Berlin, Noa and Ego. Today he is ensconced at the Blue Goose in Edinburgh’s upmarket Colinton and, instead of a lady on his arm, he introduces me to his chocolate lab Rocco. Gerry is a man of many talents... he is fluent in Swedish and Spanish, has a keen interest in cooking and can also rhyme off the UK’s top DJs without a problem. He has also developed a fine eye for a bargain in Edinburgh’s auction rooms. We sat down for lunch in the dining room of the Blue Goose, and he threw me right away by recommending the Gravelax marinated with beetroot, a dish he had put on the menu and in fact made. He explains, “I like to spend time in the kitchen with my chefs and this recipe comes from Sweden, where I used to live. In fact the name Blue Goose comes from a place in Sweden we used to eat in.” He has certainly had a varied career. He started off by teaching English, Biology and PE in Spain in the early 70’s, and while over there started selling tickets to beach parties. Says Gerry, “That’s when I met the likes of Mark Woodhouse and Colin Barr. In fact Mark worked for me in Majorca. It was a great time to be there – it was mad!” In 1976 he returned to Edinburgh and went to work at Madogs as head waiter. Before heading over to Sweden in 1976. I asked him what took him there. “A lady of course – I’d met a Swedish girl, in fact a former Miss Sweden, in Majorca, and we went back to Stockholm together and I returned to teaching. It was good money as we got £10 an hour.” But the lure of Spain was too great and he returned there before coming back to Edinburgh in 1983 and resuming his employment at Madogs as a Cocktail bartender. He then went to work for Norman Springford who had a property in the westend called Blakes. Gerry was able to get involved with the design of the opening of the venue. Says Gerry, “Norman didn’t keep it long and sold it on and I went back to Spain in 1987 and I started my own company with a friend selling Orthopaedic beds, Terry, my business partner, is still doing it and doing very well, but after two years I once again returned to Edinburgh and worked at The Ship on the Shore for the Wests and then 22 DRAM APRIL 201 3

at Harry’s Bar.” It was at this juncture in his life Tom Findlay approached him and asked if he was interested in going into business with him and in 1993 their venture The Lane opened in South Queensferry Lane. This was the start of Gerry’s love-affair with this part of Edinburgh. You could call it his ‘spiritual home’. Over the years it has had various different incarnations under the banner of State Side Leisure – Noa, Berlin the Berlin Bierhaus. But he didn’t just run clubs in 1993 he founded the Discotheques Owners Association and invited folk like Rab Orr on board. He says, “We needed a level playing field. Pubs were beginning to shut at 2am, 3am... clubs had no chance of earning, and when the curfew of 1am was introduced it became impossible. We managed to get the licensing board to differentiate between pubs and clubs – pubs now close in Edinburgh at 1am and clubs at 3am. Clubs have to have a dance floor. The association is still going strong and

BY SUSAN YOUNG Shandwick Place, (we then sold the freehold to our landlord), my view was that we would have a bigger capacity – we went from a capacity of 300 to 600 - and make more money, and to begin with, it worked. But by 2008 the demise of clubs had started for everyone. The average spend had gone down to £5/6 per head, and more and more folk were staying put and there wasn’t the same enjoyment of the music scene. Promoters really suffered too. They couldn’t afford to keep putting on club nights that didn’t make money.” He says the big club was first to go. Gerry explained, “The straw that broke the camels back was when a promoter brought in fireworks for a New Year’s event at Ego (without our permission) and the roof caught fire. The loss of business was more than we could sustain.” But he kept going with Berlin. Says Gerry, “We tried to make it work, but it was an uphill struggle. Eventually I moved on, and found a new tenant for the landlord.” And two years after moving on from the club he opened the Blue Goose in Colinton, a pub that he had been familiar with for years. “A mate of mine, Jimmy Proudfoot, had run it in the 70s so I was familiar with it, and with the area – its got a great catchment. I took it over from Punch a couple of years ago with a view to acquiring it in the future but this time I wanted to build a sustainable business. Clubs needed refurbished every three years, but I now wanted something that was timeless. And I think we have achieved that here. It’s got the feel of a country pub, and we have a good menu and an interesting wine and beer range.” He continues, “Before buying the Blue Goose I had never been to an auction, and now I am a very familiar face there.” For those who haven’t been, the Blue Goose has a colonial feel – leather chesterfields, chinese chests, traditional dining tables and sideboards, and lots of interesting chinese-inspired items from tea caddies to interesting framed pictures, antique mirrors and big rugs. In the winter there is also a roaring fire – and of course dogs are welcome.” He continues, “We have an older clientele here. We definitely look after the grey pound. They also feel comfortable here. It’s a home from home, but we are definitely a destination venue.” His menu has nods to his past – there are lots of traditional Spanish dishes and some nods to Swedish cuisine too. Says Gerry, “I have spent the last year or so building the business up, and now I have a new General Manager who is taking on much of the responsibility and the marketing. But I still have plans and, with the pub sitting in an acre and a half of land, I would love to have some special musical events outside.” It’s obvious his love of music hasn’t abated, though he does tell me that he and his mates are now to be seen enjoying a Tuesday coffee morning at the Blue Goose rather than a night on the sauce! APRIL 2013 DRAM 23

Rab is leading it.” In 1996 he opened the Outhouse just off Broughton Street. Says Gerry, “I went to look at the front of the building and saw this wee building at the back. We stripped it back to the bones, and it had a great beer garden, which wasn’t licensed. This allowed us to have live music outside and we did some amazing BBQs – we used to have 500 folk attending the first Bank Holiday in May BBQ!” Two years later in 1998 he opened Club Ego in Picardy Place. Gerry comments, “I had that for 12 years. It was the home of dance – all the big DJs played there from Judge Jules to Master Rock. It was the home of Vegas and in fact it ran for 10 years there.” He continues, “When clubbing was at its height we used to have 700 people a night coming through the club spending on average £15/16 per head, and folk queuing down the street to get in.” And in a classic case of mis-timing, he took the decision to extend Berlin in 2007. Says Gerry, “I had cellars at Berlin for years, but in 2007 I spent £700K knocking through to

RDK - NOV 255_Layout 1 03/11/2011 16:02 Page 1

We don’t just build good We don’t just build buildings for good good buildings for good businesses, we also build businesses, we also nice homes for good build nice homes. business people. Billy and Robert Kirkwood wish Malcolm and Karen the greatest of success with their new bar Established 1992. and restaurant, The Waterside. This completes the first stage with a new Banqueting and Hotel Development to follow as phase two. This undoubtedly transforms this part of the North Ayrshire Coast, as well as creating new local employment and business opportunities. Once again Billy and Robert Kirkwood congratulate Malcolm and Karen on the opening of SimpsInns latest addition Si! This new build project provides for a modern contemporary exterior with a very sophisticated interior over two floors. As the Main Contractor it was as ever a great challenge in providing the finished project to the high standards that are now synonymous with the SimpsInns brand. Billy and Robert would also like to thank their sub contractors and dedicated team of employees, whom have once again demonstrated their ability in delivering and raising the standards of commercial development in North Ayrshire.

The Waterside, Seamill, North Ayrshire

Design and Build from Vision to Reality. All Trades and Disciplines Directed, Managed and Supplied as required. For an informal chance to meet and discuss your Design and Build from your Vision topassionate Reality. All Trades and Disciplines Directed, next project with a builder contact: Managed and Supplied as required. For an informal chance to meet and discuss your next project Billy Kirkwood on 07831 159 305 or e-mail: with a Passionate Builder contact: Billy Kirkwood on 07831 159 305 or e-mail: 2 Sharphill Estate, Saltcoats, North Ayrshire KA21 6NH 2 Sharphill Estate, Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, KA21 6NH. Tel 365 Tel01294 01294 468 472966

A selection selection of ofsome somenew new homes recently homes recentlycompleted completed in North North Ayrshire. in Ayrshire.

24 DRAM APRIL 201 3



NORRIE TOCH STUDIOS LTD. Norrie Toch Studios Ltd is an award winning architectural services provider, specialising in hospitality and housing projects. Norrie Toch Studios Ltd have designed for SimpsInns the new Si! Café in Irvine, creating a unique and attractive building, naturally set within the landscaped gardens, adding an inspired landmark in support of the continuous effort directed by the owners of SimpsInns towards the development of Ayrshire hospitality infrastructure. We would like to take this opportunity and congratulate Malcolm and Karen Simpson for successfully completing Si! Café, with best wishes for all their imaginative business ventures.


83 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2ER, Scotland, UK Tel: 0044 (0) 131 652 2119 Fax: 0044 (0) 131 661 1592 E-mail:

ver the course of the last few years I have seen all manner of new bars and re-designs. But it is not often that I would say out aloud ‘Wow!’ That was certainly the case when I went to see SimpsInns new venue Si! This £2m new bar and restaurant is located on Kilwinning Road in Irvine, on the site of the former Golf Hotel. On our first visit we went at night. I was worried that we wouldn’t see it. No fear. The two-storey glass building was floodlit and stood out a mile. Our first impression was of glass and more glass. It was like a ocean going liner, with lots of clean lines and windows. From the outside the building stretches out in front of you and as your eye wanders along the building it comes to the curved part of the building which creates even more interest. Architectural designers, Norrie Toch, have certainly done an amazing job. Appetite fully whetted we ventured inside through the glass doors – into a large open plan area – with lots of mediterranean style tiling. The tiles cover the floor and clad the bar and are grey, black and white in that typical mediterranean style. There is a bit of a nautical feel with the fixed seating in the middle of the restaurant resembling a ships funnel, the brass trimmed tables and the wine bottle storage feature beside the bar when empty looks like lots of tiny portholes. The main theme of the bar however is mediterranean. There is a bright array of framed pictures which fully cover one wall, while another features rustic wood panelling. There is also a permanent screen which shows a film of a lovely beach. It certainly gives an over riding impression of sunnier climes. The furniture is a mix of different colours and styles of chairs and dark, rosewood tables with different bases. To the far right there is an area which you step up to, which boasts cream leather fixed seating, and teal, stripped and mustard coloured chairs, which sit on a vibrant carpet of chocolate, teal, orange and yellow. The tables are all dark wood. As you step off the carpet you find yourself crossing the floor APRIL 2013 DRAM 25

Si! Kilwinning Road, Irvine

which is a mix of light and dark wood, while at the opposite end of the room you find rectangular posing tables and fixed seating which is at stool height. This area has been designed so that in the evening it easily converts from dining to a late-night venue, and it has a lighting rig to support that. In fact this is the first time that SimpsInns have created a multi-functional venue – the downstairs restaurant après 10pm takes on more of a bar and late night venue vibe. The bar which is the focal point and which sits slap bang in the middle of the room, is clad in the same black and white tiles as the floor, and the back bar looks clean but busy. It’s a striking bar with with low-backed leather bar stools, lots of hanging glassware, and bespoke lighting. Malcolm Simpson comments, “This area allows us to offer entertainment, and although we will be serving food until 9pm, afterwards there will be a live DJ and the lighting will change to reflect this. We wanted to offer something different and we didn’t want to cannibalise from our other venues.” He continues, “When I briefed my interior designers Thr3 Design I said I wanted something with nods to All Bar One and Jamie Oliver’s.” The tiles theme is continued on the floor and wall which leads you through to upstairs – on the far left, and the restaurant 26 DRAM APRIL 201 3

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has its own entrance if you would prefer not to enter through the bar. The tiles are a mix of black and white but also have coloured tiles in various tones of terracotta Even the attention to detail in the stairwell – an Italian mural on one side, and a wall of oblong mirrored shapes on the other, scream ‘no expense spared.’ Upstairs, the fine dining Italian restaurant is stunning. The renaissance style mural on the back wall is a work of art, while the lighting is worth a whole article itself – from angle poised lamps with black lampshades that light up the tables, to the crystal-style balls that hang above the bar, and the wooden lampshades that feature above the waltzer dining booths, as well as various modern glass chandeliers, many sourced from Italy, which add the finishing touches. The furniture itself is similar to downstairs – rosewood tables trimmed with brass with a bolt detail, while the booths feature soft leather upholstery, and the fixed seating is draped in striking striped material. The walls beside the open kitchen and small serving bar, have a ripple effect wall paper adorning them – gold and chocolate in colour. You have to put your hand on it to see that it is not painted corrugated iron. Upstairs leads out to a massive terrace with the doors opening out - in the summer this will be fabulous especially since by then it will overlook a sunken garden. Norrie Toch were the Edinburgh based architects who were responsible for the design while Thr3 Design did the interior. Mark Reilly, Co-director Thr3 Design, said, “The challenge was to produce two designs that tied in with each other. The brief for the ground floor was a Mediterranean all-day dining space that was able to turn into a late night venue at night. This was quite tricky, although I think that we achieved this with the rustic and highlypatterned interior. It looks eclectic and there is a bit of everything, but each item was drawn up and pondered over. Upstairs, the look is more refined, and more obvious with the Italian influences from the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s God giving life to Adam mural, reflecting the high end, finer dining Italian experience.”

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Defying Laws of Gravity! Will Rudd Davidson are particularly proud of their achievement in their design of Si!’s structure. It was very challenging, but nevertheless enjoyable working to realise the aesthetic vision without compromising it. This is exemplary of Will Rudd Davidson’s inbred design ethos successfully used with many other hotel and leisure Clients such as ABode, Holiday Inn, Marriot, Barcelo and Motel One. To find out more of their full range of service, check out their website, or give them a call! Will Rudd Davidson are delighted at SimpsInns continued loyalty as a valued customer and wish Si! great success in the future.

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he hedonism of the 1920s and 30s is legendary, and Swing on Glasgow’s Hope Street harks back to this former age. Its art deco interior, tailored to nightly entertainment, is the brainchild of owners Craig and Emma McDonald who have invested £400k buying and transforming this modest basement space into what the owners hope will become one of Glasgow’s ‘mustgo-to’ live music venues. It’s the couple’s first crack at the licensed trade whip. Emma’s background is advertising and marketing, and Craig is a quantity surveyor in construction. “I was able to utilise a lot of my expertise and experience as the property had been vacant for about four years and in that time things had deteriorated,” he said. “There was water pouring in through a light well, so a lot of remedial work was needed like damp proofing and rock works. We also totally reconfigured the layout.” And what a transformation. Once through the door at ground level you descend the stairs into the main area with a jazz-venue-meets-supper club (although canapés is as far as the food offering goes), with the bar to your right and the

stage area on the left hand-side. It has a sizeable stage and equally generously proportioned back of house facilities for artists to prepare. It is split level, with the bar and majority of seating on the upper section, with the stage and a smattering of chairs and tables on the lower part. The bar is the centrepiece of the design, however, with its raised illuminated gantry and art deco-mirrored back wall displaying the bar’s branding. The veined marble bar top is equally as eye-catching, as are the glass droplets that hang from the ceiling immediately in front of the bar. Hanging the droplets was a task undertaken painstakingly by Craig, with a little help from some relatives. He explained, “There are 1000 droplets in all, that my sister-in-law and three nieces all hung up. It’s this attention to detail that we wanted the interior design to be known for.” Then there are the freezes by local artist Ivan Coghill and they take up the majority of room on both walls at the bar end of the space, and depict some flora and fauna, which look lovely and are slightly reminiscent of Glasgow’s Rogano restaurant. Another standout feature are the tulip lampshades, one above the APRIL 2013 DRAM 31

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stairs at the entrance as you descend into the bar, and the other in the far right hand corner next to the bar, hanging above a corner booth, and these were sourced by the architect on behalf of the McDonalds, and originally belonged to an English country house. The furniture is a mixture of banquettes and leather upholstered stools and chairs in a champagne colour, and there’s also a crushed velvet material in a similar colour running down the back of the biggest banquette in the far right corner. The flooring is a mixture of tiling and wood, and the ceiling is painted white. As entertainment is an integral part of the operation, the facilities back of house were a chief consideration, and they certainly haven’t stinted on this area. Directly behind the stage, which is a relatively simple construction all in black with a black curtain backdrop, are not one but two areas for performing artists, that includes Swing’s resident chanteuse, Hannah Jackson. The first is a changing area complete with wardrobes for costumes, many of which are vintage. Leading off from this is a separate area for hair and make-up complete with a large dressing room mirror, and a toilet leading off it. Equally, sound was a major consideration, as Craig explained. “Our sound man Rory Watson came up with a spec for the sound equipment that would amplify at the level that was discreet enough to allow conversation among our clientele, yet loud enough to amplify the acts, which also includes live bands. It’s not as if we are a young person’s venue so moderating the sound was essential.” The final mention must go to the toilets which are out of this world - particularly the female toilets. Individual cubicles complete with their own sinks and art deco mirrors have been finished to a superb standard, and there’s also some interesting pictures hanging in there, too. Said Craig, “Emma and I were at the Edinburgh Food Festival and we came across Ayala champagne, which was popular in the 20s and 30s, so we thought it would be a really good fit with what we are doing here. Inverarity-Morton kindly dug about in their vaults to find some Ayala brand imagery which we have hanging in the toilets.” Swing is currently only open from 5pm Thursday through Sunday, but Craig and Emma are also thinking about opening the venue for corporate functions during the week.

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TULLIE INN Balloch Road, Balloch


f you’re thinking there’s something familiar about Maclay Inns’ £700k, four-month, renovation of Balloch’s Tullie Inn you’d be on to something. There are more than a few nods to a certain waterfront bar and restaurant that opened in West Kilbride last year. Maclay Inns’ MD Steve Mallon has been quite open about how impressed he was by what SimpsInns did at The Waterside. He said, “Malcolm Simpson and his team did a fantastic job and The Waterside is a fantastic venue, and it has inspired me in a way that is evident in what we have done here. The Tullie Inn was a big investment and the renovation has ironed out a few wrinkles in the old building. As well as a complete internal refurbishment, we’ve also added a new glasshouse to the front, and customers have been blown away by what we have done.” On the day of my visit, The Tullie Inn, which also has 13 guest bedrooms, was a hive of activity. As well as the impressive glass frontage, there’s also a new all-glass entrance to the left of the main part of the building. But as it was a listed building there were some considerations to be taken into account. Says architect Lawrie Orr, “It’s a C listed building so we had to work closely with the planners at Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. What 34 DRAM APRIL 201 3

Tullie Inn, Balloch

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we came up with was accepted by the planners right from day one, with just a few negotiations over some minor details, but all in all a straightforward process. That is the hallmark of a good design.� The layout basically comprises three main areas. As soon as you come in you’re confronted with the first of them. This houses the bar and a large seating area, including a corner snug with a realeffect fire that, for some reason, has been installed at torso-height above the original fireplace, in which there are some decorative chopped logs. One of the biggest changes to this area was the fact that the floor has been levelled out, previously it had been a split level area, and was quite dark and walls have been knocked down to create a more open and spacious feel across the bar and restaurant and new windows create a much brighter feel too. The seating area beside the windows boast a mix of couches and

Tullie inn

APRIL 2013 DRAM 35

wicker chairs in eclectic fabrics – stripes, tweed, modern tartan, all of which feature bright bursts of colour, and square coffee tables made from drift wood and glass which compliments the clapperboard wall, that runs the full length of the room. The dominant colour is ‘boathouse blue’ with splashes of white in what is an over-arching nautical/Cape Cod theme. As well as the various blues, creams and white make up the rest of the colour palate. This area is divided from the bar by several posing tables, which sit in front of the bar, which is a piece of art itself. The stainless steel bar top is matched by the back bar, which allows plenty of space to promote products, and there’s also a library-style metal ladder for any hard to reach bottles. Design Build Deliver did all the interior design and company MD Michael Dunn is delighted with the result. He said, “The challenge was to put The Tullie Inn back on the map. It’s a flagship outlet in the Maclay stable, so we had to create a world-class offering, and to achieve that, it was completely stripped back. “For six months of the year Balloch, as gateway to the Highlands, is a tourist destination, with visitors coming from all over the world. The design we’ve delivered reflects its global footprint, with a map of the world and the collection of wall clocks set to a variety of timezones. It is also welcoming, exciting, innovative and fun. The glass extension has allowed for lots more light, and despite the 45 fabrics and coverings being used, including plaids and leathers, there’s a harmony to it all.” To the right of the bar area is the heart of the building which accommodates most of the covers, and this leads into the main seating area, divided by a central partition. This is presided over by a coffee and cake station, a brand new addition, and hanging above the station are two quirky lampshades – one is a tea cup and the other a teapot. This area is where most people choose to sit, according to the staff. Perhaps this is because it’s the most brightly lit section thanks to a wall of original windows, plus natural light also streams in through the new glasshouse at the front. Chandeliers hang in one half of this area, which is separated by a central unit constructed from shelves and a line of banquettes. Flashes of orange and red in the textiles and accessories add bright bursts of colour, and the booths have been upholstered in stylish leather and tartan textiles, and all of this is contrasted with a collection of whitewashed and wicker furniture. The darker 36 DRAM APRIL 201 3

side of this area, on account of it not benefitting from as much natural light, has some higher tables and some cosier corners, lit by lantern candles, but the nautical theme continues with sailing boat models and port-hole style mirrors. The far end of this area leads out on to the glasshouse at the front of the building, where the design is pretty simple, as it’s wall-towall glass, apart from what was once the outside wall, which now displays some silver wall lights and black and white photographs. It also has wicker furniture with bleached wooden tables. There are also lots of little details to discover, like an area featuring a striking statement stag printed wallpaper and the map of the local lochs hand painted on a part of the ceiling, of which Michael Dunn is particularly proud. He explained, “The map on the ceiling depicts the six clans that used to live around Loch Lomond 500 years ago, and we’ve also implanted an image of The Tullie Inn, well how it looked when it opened in 1901, on to it.” Apart from the glass conservatory on the outside, it doesn’t look all that different in 2013, testament to a sympathetic design that’s brought a listed building bang up-to-date. While the interior design has brought something to the banks of Loch Lomond that is certainly bonnie.

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Robert Kerr, chairman of French Duncan Chartered Accountants, is Accountant of the Year.

THE BLOG SPOT Down with the escalator and supermarket alcohol prices Whilst fully supportive of the fresh calls from brewers for the Chancellor to scrap the alcohol duty escalator in next month’s budget, there is more than a whiff of hypocrisy in their assertion that it is the annual tax on beer at 2% above the rate of inflation that represents the primary threat to the survival of the British pub. In fact brewers themselves could do much more to help publicans, many of whom have suffered a notable downturn in business as the combination of the recession and government interference (from the introduction of the smoking ban, to a ban on various drinks promotions and a hike in license fees) has taken its toll on profits, cashflow and, ultimately, jobs. I’ve worked for a number of clients in the licensed trade over the years and know of many cases of publicans struggling to survive at a tied house who received no help from the brewer who continued to increase their rental fees. And brewers have been pricing independent publicans out of the market through their offering of significant beer discounts to the major national operators. So whilst brewers are right to call for the alcohol duty escalator to be scrapped, if they are genuine in their concerns for the survival of the institution that is the great British pub, they themselves could do no more to help publicans survive the current economic climate. Discouragingly, in its response to the brewers’ call for the escalator to be scrapped, the Westminster government states that the revenues from alcohol duty make an important contribution to tackling Britain’s debt crisis. Maybe so, but the Treasury is mistaken if it thinks that retaining the escalator will help the government address the national deficit because it will only serve to place a further squeeze on the margins of many licensed trade premises and swell the ranks of the unemployed so that the government would recoup less National Insurance and less tax revenue. Consequently, the escalator could have the reverse effect too that intended by the Treasury and actually fuel Britain’s debt crisis further. Perhaps in a buoyant economy the escalator makes economic sense,



but in the present economic climate with widespread redundancies and public sector pay freezes, many people simply have less money in their pocket to afford buying a round of drinks in the pub, particularly when they can still buy multipack cans of beer at a fraction of the price in any supermarket. Indeed, it could be argued that, rather than the escalator being the primary threat to the survival of the British pub; it is in fact the ready availability of heavily discounted alcohol in our supermarkets that represents the main danger. With beer on the off trade selling for as cheap as 50p a pint, the escalator effectively encourages consumers to buy cheaper alcohol from off licences and supermarkets. That’s why I’m fully supportive of the Scottish government’s plans to introduce a minimum price on alcohol sold in supermarkets; it’s cheap supermarket alcohol that is putting much of the licensed trade out of business. But if the Scottish government really wants to help the licensed trade, it should address the imbalance that exists between property rates imposed on public houses in Scotland compared to elsewhere in the UK. At present, the business rates imposed on Scottish pubs are a third more expensive than those in England. And these rates were set in 2007, just before the onset of recession, so that, since then, the turnover and value of most public houses have fallen whilst the rates have stayed at the same, artificially high levels. As if the government was not already doing enough to make earning a living difficult for publicans, the impending introduction of new pension regulations will soon impose a further administrative obstacle in their path to survival. Despite the fact that many jobs in the licensed trade are casual, part-time and filled by a higher than average proportion of foreign staff, publicans and hoteliers will still be required to go through the time-consuming administrative rigmarole of putting all employees into a pension scheme, the majority of whom will invariably request to be removed from the scheme a month or so later. If independent publicans are to survive the current economic downturn, then they need help from the government rather than being hindered by unnecessary administrative burdens and the imposition of an outdated escalator conceived for a different economic climate entirely. That’s why the government should increase the price of alcohol in the off-trade as soon as practicably possible and scrap the escalator to stem the flow of pub closures and encourage employment, thereby helping cut our national deficit.

38 DRAM APRIL 201 3

sue sa ys There has been so much going on this month I don’t know where to start... well actually I do. Si! in Irvine, I loved it. It is stunning. Not only that but I first visited it in the evening, and went back the following week on a Tuesday for lunch... it was mobbed. In fact it would have been busier than any city centre restaurant. It has obviously hit a chord with Irvine and residents from the surrounding areas – recession, what recession! Well done to Malcolm and Karen Simpson and everyone involved. In fact it wasn’t the only WOW! moment this month. Maclays latest refurbishment is great too. The Tullie Inn, Balloch has been transformed – the design is bright and cheerful, and the staff are too. While Swing in Glasgow, may be a small space, no expense has been spared in turning it into an homage to Art Deco. Who says no-one is investing in the licensed trade in Scotland? They are, and they are taking refurbishment to a whole new level, and that commitment is putting Scottish bars and restaurants up there with the best in the world. I headed to Dunbar at the start of the month having promised Shelagh Bryce that I would play a few holes of golf during their annual Golf Challenge. No, I didn’t take part in the actual challenge but we did play six holes, and it was certainly worth the trip to see the hardy golfers battling the elements. Not least Harry Hood, who looked very dapper as he fished his ball out of the water! However his latest fishing expedition to the Court of Session in Edinburgh has paid dividends. He has been given permission by Lord Woolman to counterclaim the SPL for just under £1.8m despite the SPL seeking to throw the claim out. See the news story on page 7 for full details. Needless to say it has been a long and protracted battle and there is no doubt about it, their business has been adversely affected. This story is going to run and run, but it could have ramifications for every licensee showing sport in the country! One of my former staff members phoned me the other day disgusted by the fact that one of Glasgow’s West End bars had served someone she was with, a pint containing six shots of spirit topped with a mixer. The original offer had been for a jug, so obviously it was meant for sharing, but when he asked for it to be served in a pint instead of a jug, the member of bar staff asked a nearby manager who then gave it the goahead. Everyone is trying their best to promote pubs and bars as safe and regulated places to drink... obviously not at this Ember Inn! This is not illegal... just irresponsible! The Sunday Mail celebrates 100 years next year and to commemorate the occasion it has launched the Sunday Mail Centenary Fund which aims to raise £1m for deserving Scottish charities. These include Breast Cancer Care Scotland, Borderline, Calum’s Cabin, Darlindas, CHAS, Children 1st, Childline, Erskine, Kilbryde Hospice, Marina Dalglish Appeal, Mary’s Meals, The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, RNIB Scotland, Shelter Scotland and the Thistle Foundation. The Sunday Mail is close to my heart because my father worked for the paper for more than 30 years rising to the position of Editor and then Managing Editor. So this year at the DRAM Awards the cash raised on the night will go towards this deserving charity. The Sunday Mail Centenary Fund has also agreed to back an awards category - it is looking for family-owned pubs that also do their bit to raise cash for charity. See our awards section. Congratulations to Grahame Harris who is celebrating 40 years as licensee at The Original Rosslyn Hotel in Roslin and his son has not let the occasion go without a celebration. Richard has organised a series of events which began last month. Richard told DRAM, “These began last month, and will culminate with a party on the 20th April. All last month we invited brides and grooms who were married at the hotel in the past 40 years back for a complimentary bottle of wine. All they needed to bring along was a photograph of them taken in the hotel. We also ran the menu that my dad first put on when he started out, namely prawn cocktail, steak chasseur, followed by black forest gateaux.” Grahame would have been happy not to have made a fuss, according to Richard, who is now responsible for the day-today running of the business, with Grahame overseeing things. He said, “I don’t think that my dad would have marked the occasion if it had been up to him, but he’s really getting into the spirit of it all, and customers and sales reps alike have said that it’s been great to see something positive happening in the trade in these tough times.” Meanwhile Star Pubs & Bars’ lessee, Max Houliston, has just celebrated 50 years as lessee of the Hole in the Wa’ in Dumfries. According to Max, things were very different in 1963 when his brother encouraged him to take on the Hole in the Wa’s lease. “We had one choice of beer, a pale ale, which we sold at 5p per a pint, whisky was 10p for a half measure, very few ladies frequented Scottish pubs and the pub served no food and had no entertainment,” recalls Max. How things have changed. The pub now serves breakfast from 9.30am as well as traditional pub lunches, and trade is 50/50 men and women. Max’s son Alan now manages the pub. Says Max, “It’s a good life and very entertaining, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve loved meeting all the different customers and staff and if I was 25 I’d do it all again.” Ken McGown, Star Pubs & Bars Operations & Sales Director for Scotland, says “It’s a fantastic achievement by an outstanding publican.” It emerged last month that Tennent’s owner C&C has bought 50% equity in Wallaces Express. It came out of the blue, and the news has been well received by the trade. Although most admit it will be interesting to see how it actually pans out, but they are hoping for even better pricing, better delivery and better draymen and one invoice. And certainly the licensees in the North of Scotland who are Tennent’s customers are cock a hoop – they are hoping a better infrastructure will mean more support. It looks like its going to be a busy month for these guys! The cold weather has not helped trade. Far from it, and the rumour is it is going to last all the way through April. More reason than ever to back Scottish Pub Month in June! APRIL 2013 DRAM 39

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Round up belhaven annual golf challenge A great day of golf was had at the recent Belhaven annual Golf Challenge at Dunbar. The top 18 golfers get to go to Portugal for the final match in the challenge. On the day Chris Westland got the top score but Chris was exempt because he had automatically got his place on the plane to Portugal due to the fact he was runner up in the final last year in Portugal. The first place to actually qualify at this year’s qualifier was therefore Peter Hilley. Peter Hilley is pictured on the right.  

ela & Sh ung o Y Sue

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Peter Hilley Gar ry S tewa rt & Bar bara

Ritc hie

Robert Armstrong & Chris Westland

Peter Hilley & M ark Hannah

vid Fulton iazza, Da Joe La P ouglas & John D

Ian Fisher & Jimmy Scott

zier an Cro Brend m Baird ha & Gra

Alan Sandison

e 'Rourk nce O e r w a L d ry Hoo & Har

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. web. Editor: Susan Young • Chairman: Noel Young New Business Manager: Lynn Kelly • Advertising Manager: Martin Cassidy • Editorial: Jason Caddy • Administration: Cheryl Cook • Production: Jill Donald 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. 42 DRAM APRIL 201 3

APRIL 2013 DRAM 43

The Hazeldene Hotel seeks a star lessee. The Hazeldene Hotel sits in the heart of Gretna Green, the wedding capital of the UK. This magnificent stand-alone property with private parking for 25 cars has an excellent reputation for good quality lagers, ciders and dining. The hotel features a public bar, lounge bar, small meeting rooms and a restaurant with seating for up to 45 guests served by a well-equipped catering kitchen. With added revenue from eight en-suite letting bedrooms, this popular destination is the perfect venue for weddings, functions, overnight stays, an evening meal or a few drinks at the bar. Private accommodation consists of a three-bedroom apartment. This is a significant business opportunity expected to generate £40,000 annual profit for the lessee* and would be ideal for an experienced operator to take on and develop. Minimum capital required £15,000.

KEY FEATURES • • • Stand-alone property with private parking Public and lounge bar Multiple income streams • • • Eight bedroom hotel all en-suite Excellent working kitchen Three bedroom private flat

To find out more, visit or call 0500 94 95 96

* Based on Star Pubs & Bars FMT rent model.

DRAM April 2013  

April issue of Scotland's only dedicated trade magazine, DRAM

DRAM April 2013  

April issue of Scotland's only dedicated trade magazine, DRAM