DRINKS RETAILING AND MARKETING
DRAM MAGAZINE August 2017 ISSN 1470-241X
DRAM AWARDS 2017
OUR DOGGY JUDGE WALTER TAKES A RESPITE WITH OWNER LAUREN
ALL THE 2017 AWARDS FINALISTS DRAM AUGUST 2017
DRINKS RETAILING AND MARKETING
ell I’ve certainly travelled the length and breadth of Scotland over the last few weeks and thoroughly enjoyable it has been too. As a result this month’s magazine features all our 2017 Award Finalists. Obviously some will be announced on the night incuding the Sunday Mail Pub of the Year – which will go to the pub deemed the very best out of the relevant finalists. This month we have a feature on Ullapool’s Ceilidh Place by contributor Jenny McBain. Find out what changes have taken place there on page 14 while Scott Fleming was out and about seeing lots of new places including Buzzworks latest venue The Coach House in Bridge of Weir, The Brae in Dreghorn and Monty’s in Glasgow’s West End. He’s been busy. Our drinks feature takes a look at lager, and in roundup we have some pictures of the latest rum extravaganza. Next month we will be featuring all our award winners but for this month it’s our doggie judges who are the real stars. Judge Walter and owner Lauren Hollinshead are pictured on the cover. Susan Young Editor firstname.lastname@example.org dramscotland.co.uk
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Scott Fleming has some interesting facts to share.
CHANGE AT THE TOP
Jenny McBain finds out what has been happening at the Ceilidh Place.
THE 2017 AWARD FINALISTS
Find out who has made the shortlist.
DESIGN: THE COACH HOUSE, THE BRAE & MONTY’S
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All the news on pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels.
All the latest brand news.
Straight talking from our very own Editor. DRAM AUGUST 2017 3
£15M SPEND ON QUEENSFERRY HOTEL The Shore Grill & Fish House has been unveiled as part of a £15 million investment at The Queensferry Hotel. The Shore, an open-plan bar and restaurant offers customers striking views looking out on the Forth and the new Queensferry Crossing. Internal highlights include brass details paying homage to the Forth road and rail bridges and a carved wooden ceiling with a nautical theme. Sixty-four new bedrooms and a function suite have also been added at the hotel, which will reopen as The DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Queensferry Crossing this autumn. The Cairn Hotel Group, who operate 33 hotels and 28 bars across the UK, will retain ownership and management of the property. General Manager Stuart Douglas said, “We are really excited about The Shore and our launch is well timed to capitalise on the huge influx of visitors that the opening of the Queensferry Crossing will attract. “The new restaurant and the hotel’s rebrand as a DoubleTree by Hilton in the next few months will be hugely positive for the local area and the substantial investment reflects our belief in the potential of the hotel.”
TAMBURRINI LINKS UP WITH MACDONALD HOTELS Paul Tamburrini, one of Scotland’s most respected chefs, is to open his first venue in collaboration with Macdonald Hotels & Resorts. Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini is scheduled to open at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh this autumn following a £250,000 investment. The 80-cover venue will feature Tamburrini’s trademark - French cuisine made from the finest Scottish ingredients. Glaswegian Tamburrini has nearly 30 years’ experience in the industry and has worked at Rogano, Cameron House, Restaurant Martin Wishart in Leith, Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens and The Honours Brasserie. He said, “This is a once in 4
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a lifetime opportunity. The management at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts approached me with a really exciting proposal to combine their position as the UK’s largest independent hotel group with my ambition to open a restaurant in my name. Being part of a hotel environment is second nature to me and I’m very proud to be taking this next step in my career.” It’s the latest step forward by Macdonald Hotels in their drive to bolster the quality of their food and drink offering, having appointed other respected chefs Tony Borthwick and James McCulloch Thomson at Macdonald Rusacks Hotel and Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa respectively.
NO HYDING ON GEORGE STREET Hyde & Son Coffee Bar and Lounge has opened up within Eden Locke aparthotel in Edinburgh’s New Town Aparthotel guests and locals alike are welcome at the George Street venue, which serves both artisan, ‘third wave’ coffee along with carefully curated selection of spirits and whiskies, plus craft beers laid on by local supplier Harviestoun. Hyde & Son was designed by the same architects that were behind Eden Locke itself, New York firm Grzywinski+Pons. 2017 Global Barista Champion James Wise is Hyde & Son’s
Head of Coffee. Eden Locke opened in June and is Locke Hotels’ second venture, the first being Leman Locke in Whitechapel, London.
Have you Heard? Crerar Hotels have been sold to a Thai conglomerate Fico Corporation. The company has bought 12 hotels in total which brings its total estate to 19 in Scotland. The estate includes the Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa, the Oban Bay Hotel and its GoGlasgow hotel. The price has not been revealed but it has been estimated at around £40m with around 50% of the net process to go to the Crerar Trust Charity.
NEWS Agenda 87 bar on Kilmarnock Road, Glasgow has been bought over and will reopen as Hickory Steakhouse Shawlands. The sale was facilitated by Christie & Co and the new owner is Iain McGregor. The 80-cover outlet’s big selling point will be steaks cooked on a hickory wood grill but there will also be a cocktail bar on the mezzanine.
REVAMP FOR HUTCHESONS Rusk & Rusk have revamped and reopened their Merchant City venue Hutchesons and introduced Hutchesons The City Grill. First opened in 2014, Hutchesons was renowned for its quality Scottish steak and seafood and the opulent interiors of the Grade A-listed building on Glasgow’s Ingram Street. The refresh has seen the interior of the striking double height dining room transformed while the ground level bar has become a boutique speakeasy known as 158 Club Lounge. Rusk & Rusk co-founders James and Louise Rusk felt it was important to make the changes so that they didn’t stand still as a business. Said Louise, “It’s all about making sure we never rest on our laurels. We’re passionate about architecture and design, and want to push the boundaries within our industry. With Hutchesons, it’s so important to us to make sure that we are giving this venue an identity that enhances it’s architectural footprint.” The changes continue on the menu, where every cut of steak is now dryaged on the bone for 35 days. James explained, “Steak is what we do. It always has been. What we’ve done here is give ourselves an opportunity to further explore great beef and bring it to the people of Glasgow.” Rusk & Rusk’s other successful Glasgow venues include The Spanish Butcher, on Miller Street, and The Butchershop Bar & Grill on Sauchiehall Street.
DAVID RAMSDEN OPENS THE FAT PONY Bread Street, Edinburgh is now home to The Fat Pony wine bar, David Ramsden’s latest project. The wine list focuses on the Old World but also features a popular orange wine offering, while the menu includes Scottish/Asian fare created by former Devil’s Advocate chef Scott Wyse. The Fat Pony is described as a sibling to The Dogs, another successful outlet owned by Ramsden in the Capital, and the premises have an interesting past life to say the least having once been a sex shop! Standout design features include fluorescent bar stools, exposed floorboards and equine ornaments.
DUG ‘N’ DUCK FOR MILLERSTON The Dug ‘n’ Duck, a new venture between Punch and local couple Ian and Irene Knotts, has taken the place of The New Inn in Millerston, north Glasgow. The pub, renovated at a cost of £262,000, is indeed dug-friendly and also has a newfound emphasis on food and live music. Ian, who previously worked in casinos including the Genting on Sauchiehall Street, told DRAM, “We spoke about it for five years, having a pub is something I always wanted to do. It was an old man’s pub with quite a dark colour scheme and we’ve given it a new lease of life. We’d like a good mix in, and we’ve already had some German tourists in!” Punch had favoured the name The Dog and Duck but Ian insisted on ‘Dug’ rather than ‘Dog’ to give it some Glaswegian flavour, and the duck part of it is also significant seeing as the pub is located just a short walk from Hogganfield Loch! Ian added, “We’ve got five different cask ales and things like Innis & Gunn and St Mungo on tap that help us stand out. There’s not many options for food round here so that was something I always wanted to do. I’m not going to do the wee bar meal where you sit at the bar and have pie and beans, I want it to be next level.”
Monadh Kitchen is a new Scottish-style restaurant which has opened in Bearsden. The Kirk Street restaurant, owned by Martin Thliveros and Sharlene Harvey, has been getting great reviews since opening. The restaurant, on the site of the former Brasserie 19, offers say the owners ‘seasonal produce cooked with care and served with heart’. Renovation work is well underway on the Fishers Hotel in Pitlochry. The hotel, which was damaged in a fire at New Year, is now undergoing a £2m renovation and repair process with Select Contract Furniture providing all the new bedroom furniture for the hotel which is increasing its room numbers by 30 to 140. Jeff Taylor, Sales & Marketing Director of Select, said, “Fishers Hotel has been in business for nearly 200 years and we are delighted to be working with such an important contributor to Scotland’s tourism industry.” The renovation also includes the creation of a new 150-cover restaurant. Burger business Five Guys opened two new restaurants in Edinburgh last month. They included one in Frederick Street and one in Fountain Park branch. It is now the fastest growing restaurant chain in the UK. DRAM AUGUST 2017 5
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ALL THE L ATEST BRAND NEWS
LIMITED EDITION FOR TOMATIN
PICKERING’S GIN & EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE LAUNCH EXCLUSIVE BOTTLING
Tomatin has revealed its limited edition single malt from its Warehouse 6 Collection, the 1972 edition. The distillery has now released the 1972 Warehouse 6 Collection to the market, following the launch of the 1971 edition last year The 1972 Warehouse 6 Collection is bottled at 42.1% ABV and has a limited run of only 380 bottles. It has been aged in three sherry hogshead casks (23404, 23405 and 23406), laid low on antique wooden rails, above cool earthen floor, in the very heart of the Tomatin Distillery grounds. Stephen Bremner, Sales Director, said, “It is very exciting to finally launch the 1972 Warehouse 6 Collectionmalt, which has been sitting patiently in some of our most treasured casks, maturing and growing in flavour; just as the Tomatin brand itself has grown throughout the years. We wanted to create a range of whiskies that truly capture the heart of the distillery. This we achieved initially with the 1971, and now with the 1972.” The 1972 will retail at £2,000 and will be available from mid-August.
DOUGLAS McGIBBON REBRAND Douglas McGibbon & Co has rebranded its Clan Denny Single Malt and Single Grain Scotch Whisky range. The new-look packaging for Clan Denny now carries two distinct themes; time and origins. Fred Laing, the firm’s Managing Director and second generation in the Douglas McGibbon family business, says, “We believe Whiskies and people are similar in many ways, and that both time and our surroundings have a huge impact on character. This is a fascinating theme explored in our Clan Denny Single Cask collection, encouraging consumers to reflect on the journey their Scotch Whisky has travelled, and the people who have influenced its character along the way.” Douglas McGibbon’s Clan Denny range is home to Single Cask Single Malt and Single Grain Scotch Whiskies from a variety of Distilleries across Scotland. Bottled at a wide range of ages, and without colouring or chill-filtration, these Scotch Whiskies present the finest expressions from the Douglas McGibbon family reserves. The new branding launches in the 70th year of Douglas McGibbon & Co.
Pickering’s Gin has launched an exclusive bottling with Edinburgh Festival Fringe, marking the 70th anniversary of its original Bombay gin recipe and the birth of the fringe festival concept 70 years ago in Edinburgh. Seventy years ago the distiller scribbled down a nine botanical gin recipe at Mount Mary, Bombay and that fragment of paper, bestowed to Marcus Pickering by a friend of his late father in 2013, has become the gin company’s raison d’être. In the years since, the small central Edinburgh distillery has brought Bombay-style gin back to life by modernising, tinkering, ageing, distilling, bottling, labelling and waxing a range of gins by hand. All from the former kennels of the former Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, now one of Europe’s biggest independent arts centres, Summerhall. Crafted in partnership with the Fringe another Edinburgh oldie celebrating its 70th anniversary, the one-off run of 650 bottles has been distilled precisely to the old recipe exactly 70 years on from its creation.
KOKORO GIN LAUNCHES MINIATURE BOTTLE Koko Kokomo Gin is now available in a miniature bottle, similar to its signature 70cl bottle. The miniatures are being marketed to the on-trade through specialist spirits agency, Mangrove. The new 5cl bottles will also allow Kokoro to tap into the hotel and catering industries, expanding its reach across the UK and meeting high volume demand. Kokoro was launched in September 2016and has at its core sansho berries, are hand-picked and imported to the UK from the Afan Woodland, a sustainable forest in the Nagano region of Japan. Used extensively in Japanese cuisine, sansho berries have a distinctive pepper flavour with a citrus aftertaste. Combined with eight other botanicals, the sansho berries give Kokoro Gin its unique flavour.
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BRAND NEWS Cocktails
MARIE BRIZARD REACHES NUMBER ONE
HEVERLEE DEBUTS PACKAGED PRODUCT
Marie Brizard, the liqueur range from distillers Marie Brizard Wines and Spirits, is now the biggest volume cocktail liqueur range (and the number two overall liqueur range by volume) in the UK, according to the IWST 2017 report. Distributed in the UK by Catalyst PLB the Marie Brizard liqueurs range features over twenty-five flavours, including traditional French liqueurs such as Anisette and Parfait Amour. In just five years Marie Brizard liqueur volumes in the UK have grown five-fold to over 24,000 9 litre cases in 2016, making the UK the best performing market for Marie Brizard. Martin Elliott, Senior Spirits Brand Manager for Catalyst PLB said, “We are pleased to see that the on-trade has taken Marie Brizard to their hearts (and bars) over the last few years. When you consider that Marie Brizard is currently not on sale in the offtrade these volume figures are really impressive. Last Autumn Marie Brizard launched a new, more slimline shaped bottle, which makes it easier to hold for bartenders while reflecting the distinctive Marie Brizard Art Deco diamond motive in multiple facets in the glass. Elliott added, “The rebrand at the end of last year has undoubtedly added to the growth trajectory as this year we are currently tracking 18% growth YOY.” Anyone interested in stocking Marie Brizard can contact PLB.
If you were in Edinburgh over the weekend of the 21st July you may have seen the transformation by Heverlee of the disused New Waverley arches into a Belgium themed micro festival. It boasted the summer beer garden lifestyle of the brand’s home country. Heverlee at New Waverley followed on from the Heverlee at Tontine pop-up Belgian beer café which ran during Glasgow’s Merchant City festival in 2015. The brand also showcased its new 330ml cans of Heverlee pils, the very first time Heverlee has been available in cans and bottles. The 330ml can will roll out widely across the on and off trade later in the year, with a 660ml bottle also set to be available soon.
COCKTAIL WEEKEND PROVES POPULAR The number of bars participating in the inaugural Edinburgh Cocktail Weekend (ECW) this October has soared to over 50. The event, which was announced in June and takes place from the 6th to the 8th of October, will now feature Whistle Stop Barber Shop, Brewhemia, WestRoom, The Villager and Usquabae Bar. Each of the bars taking part will contribute a signature cocktail, available at a price of £4 to ECW wristband holders. Organisers have also announced the first of the pop-up spaces – the SKYbar on the top floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre, which offers spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle and the city’s skyline. Organiser Gary Anderson is thrilled by the new additions. 8
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TENNENT’S TO SERVE UP SUMMER SALVATION Tennent’s Lager has launched “Here to Serve”, a marketing camapign which sees the brand act like a public utility to make life easier for drinkers wherever and whenever possible, and at the same time raising a smile. Look out for the ‘Here To Serve’ message on large scale outdoor advertising, social media and so on. But in Scotland’s pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants, Tennent’s Lager will bring to life “Here to Serve” by offering salvation to punters lacking scorching summer plans with prizes, including holidays to top destinations via their ‘Give us a Break’ promotion. Running until 30.09.17, ‘Give us a Break’ will provide in-bar activity to punters purchasing a pint of Tennent’s. They will receive a scratch card to reveal a unique code, which they then enter into the Tennent’s website to reveal if they are a lucky winner. of a holiday. Ten holidays to far flung locations like Thailand and Jamaica, as well as 1000s of other prizes. In addition, there will also be a prize winning holiday passport photo booth touring Scotland, visiting a number of pubs from Ayr to Aberdeen, Paisley to Dundee. Drinkers just need to purchase a pint of Tennent’s and make their way to the “Give us a Break” booth for an opportunity to strike a pose and be in with the chance of winning a prize. Fi Leonard, Customer Marketing Manager at Tennent’s said, “By partnering with Lastminute.com, 16 fabulous holidays are up for grabs, across the scratch card and photo booth activations. As well as holidays to top destinations, consumers have multiple opportunities to win limited edition Tennent’s summer accessories – this summers must have items!”
WM GRANT PUBLISH ANNUAL REPORT Wm Grant & Sons published their 2017 Annual Report last month and revealed it to members of the trade at a special event at the Blythswood Hotel. The report which highlights consumer and trade trends and takes account of current economic and political impacts on the drinks industry and the licensed trade, revealed trends which included the fact that consumers are changing how they choose to interact with brands. With health and wellbeing continuing to dominate consumer consciousness, and ondemand, authentic experiences taking priority over products. It appears that trends such as ‘Hyper Personalisation’, ‘Collective Escapism’ and ‘Kidult Experiences’ have emerged and in the ontrade, venues are responding to consumers’ shift in taste, moving towards a greater range of more natural flavours; as well as the industry rallying together to champion a zero-waste policy. The report revealed that in the on-trade and off-trade the second largest sector is spirits, worth £10.0bn, up +2.5%, which is seeing strong value growth across both channels. The on-trade is driving the majority of the spirits sector’s performance, up +3.1%. Total premium spirits are now worth over £1.2bn, up +9.9% accounting for 11.7% of the spirits market. Premiumisation remains a key driver for the spirits market with premium brands accounting for £105m of incremental and growth in the spirits sector is being driven by gin, flavoured/spiced rum, non-cream liqueurs, and malt whisky. Gary Keogh, Marketing Director of William Grant & Sons UK, comments, “Consumer behaviour and habits have continued to evolve in this time of uncertainty, but still there remains an element of consistency with the trends identified in our previous Reports, as the consumer trends and resulting behaviours have adapted to this new normal. More than ever, brands need to have a point of view, share their values, and reach heightening expectations to meet consumer needs. The brands that succeed will be those that can balance these often conflicting needs and offer inclusive, collective experiences, a playful sense of purpose, and meet on-demand consumer expectations without compromising on quality.” Rita Greenwood, Managing Director of William Grant & Sons UK and Ireland, adds, “William Grant and Sons is a family owned business and has been for 130 years. This report is our objective view of what is happening in the UK drinks industry. Every word is written internally by our colleagues and it demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that all of our business partners are informed about what is happening now, and how we expect consumers and categories to evolve in the future. The report shows that it is more essential, now than ever before, for businesses and brands to adapt if they are to remain relevant with today’s consumers.”
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Many sportsmen have had a fondness for lager over the years, too many to mention in fact, but none have took it to quite the same incredible heights that snooker player Bill Werbeniuk did. Werbeniuk, a Canadian who died in 2003 aged 56, drank to combat an tremor in his arm, and once infamously sank 76 cans of lager during a single game in the 1970s. ‘Big Bill’ was even able to claim a tax allowance on his intake at one point!
Social class can apparently be a major factor when UK drinkers make their lager choices. A 2015 study by YouGov showed that 50% of Peroni drinkers identified themselves as belonging to the A or B social class grades. Heineken and Kronenbourg were second and third on the list with 45% and 39% respectively. The lager with the lowest proportion of middle class customers was Carlsberg, with 31%.
re mo h e d e r f ul t f o an on O n e an d w u r o p e a b l e E rk d r ma t he r in wei o n t h e r e S up e lk s d a s ’ n s t r e e n e i nn e n t n t o w n i c o e s T e m r f or la g e a r i t y o un c o m o d s t i d g e r l f u ot ho pop It’s n hbour entire T is . g y i n r l e e a p It a an s e e i t! S u s t r o n g i n t o an d o s t a a , d e Rom dicate t wic nent’s n n a e de h T r e t gula r A B V mo n re a s w i t h a %. of 9
Only available in the ontrade, 4% Czech lager Pravha is growing in prominence and described as ‘unexpectedly light, crisp and refreshing’.
LAGER Lager comes from the German word ‘lagern’ meaning ‘to store’.
The difference between lager and ale, you ask? Lager is fermented slowly, from the bottom up, whereas ales are fermented quickly from the top down. And whilst lager is fermented at a low temperature, ale is produced in a warm environment for a sweeter taste. We knew that all along of course...
Tennent’s Lager remains Scotland’s favourite beer. Stocked in more than eight out of ten pubs across the nation, it sells more than three times as much as the next biggest draught brand. As the larger sector continues to grow, Tennent’s is a sure-fire sales driver.
One increasingly popular form of lager is pilsner, a pale lager first created in the city of Plzen in the Czech Republic. Bavarian Josef Groll was the brains behind the new brew, having been brought in after the citizens of Plzen dumped 36 casks of the local beer in protest at its poor quality! Pilsners tend to be lighter in colour and more hoppy than your average lager, but don’t risk offending your local beer snob - it IS still a lager, not an IPA! DRAM AUGUST 2017 11
The most famous fictional lager is surely Duff Beer, beloved by Homer Simpson. It might have been made-up to start with, but after a slew of unlicensed real life versions popped up in South America, 21st Century Fox, distributor of The Simpsons, went ahead and made a real version! Other fictional lagers include Dharma Beer (Lost), Lobrau (Futurama) and Butterbeer from the Harry Potter books and films, which also has a real life version that can be sampled at Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
According to American lager brand Samuel Adams, lager didn’t appear on the scene until the 16th century, in Bavaria. Prior to that it was ale that ruled the roost for 7,000 years! Ancient Mesopotamia has been pinpointed as the possible birthplace of beer, archaeologists having found residue in ceramic containers dating back to 3400BC. Those Ancient Mesopotamian hipsters drank the brew, which had a porridge-like consistency.
Coors Light has surged in popularity in the Scottish on-trade, going from the 16th biggest lager brand to the eighth over the last two years. Billed as ‘the world’s most refreshing beer’, Coors is appreciated by health-conscious drinkers for its low calorie count and has also won fans via its comedic ad campaigns starring martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme. The brand has been active in Scotland lately, putting on an Ice Cave Rave - a party in an ice cave bar down by the Clyde where drinkers were issued with a thermal cape to cope with the subzero temperatures. 12
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The world’s best-selling lager is one you’re unlikely to have even heard of - Snow Beer. Brewed and sold exclusively in China - with the exception of some speciality retailers in the US - sales of Snow have climbed an astonishing 573% over the past decade, despite it being described as ‘watery’ and receiving a ‘poor’ rating on the Beer Advocate review site!
Belgian brand Heverlee has grown to become the number five premium draught lager in the Scottish on-trade. Described as ‘an original rediscovered’, Heverlee was created by master brewer Joris Brams based on descriptions of a lager brewed by monks in medieval times at the Park Abbey in the town of Heverlee, just south of Leuven.
Most of the bestknown lagers have been around since the 1800s but one new addition to the market is Guinness’ Hop House 13, launched in 2015. Some might have considered it sacrilege for the famous Dublin purveyors of stout to branch out into lager, but the product, made from Guinness yeast and Irish barley is now widely available across Scotland and the rest of the UK. ‘Double-hopped’ with hints of apricot and peach, Hop House 13 takes its name from a storage building at Guinness’ St James’s Gate HQ.
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BY JENNY MCBAIN
AFTER MORE THAN 47 YEARS IN HOSPITALITY JEAN URQUHART IS HANDING OVER THE REINS OF ULLAPOOL’S CEILIDH PLACE TO DAUGHTER REBECCA. JENNY MCBAIN REPORTS.
reating a catering business from scratch on a shoestring budget is tough. Factor in a rural, Highland location at the end of single track road and it is evident that the odds were stacked against the late actor Robert Urquhart and wife Jean, founded Ullapool’s Ceilidh Place back in 1970. However, forty seven years on, the road has been upgraded and the Ceilidh Place is not only a thriving hotel-cum arts centre and award winning music venue; it is a Scottish cultural institution that enjoys widespread notoriety as a place for good food, engaging cultural events and chance encounters. Now, Jean who has been a major driving force behind the business since its early days- is facing a major challenge. She is managing the transition of the enterprise to the next generation of the family – her daughter Rebecca and son-in-law Gary. She says, “Some years ago an Edinburgh retailer told me that if you can successfully pass a business onto the second generation then it has a good chance of surviving to the fifth. Athough nothing can be taken for granted.” Rebecca and husband, Gary Craig returned to Ullapool in 2009 and this was the start of an ongoing process to take over the business. Their presence allowed Jean the freedom to pursue a career in politics that took her to the Scottish Parliament via the Highland Council as member of the SNP and then as an independent representative. Now Jean is based in Shetland where she is immersed in painting and where she intends to create a written account of the history of the Ceilidh Place. However, she still visits Ullapool regularly and is on hand to provide business support and guidance to her daughter and son-in-law. Before returning to Ullapool, Rebecca was manager of Glasgow’s Gandolphi Fish restaurant and Gary managed rehearsal studios for bands. Asked what inspired them to make the move to back to the Highlands Rebecca says, “ I think Ullapool is a great spot and there are some really cool people in and around the area. Also, it was our wish to have a family and it is a good place for that. The Ceilidh Place being a family business, it was an opportunity to step in there. It was really at the point where it would be sold.” Contained with in a row of converted croft houses, the Ceilidh Place has 13 bedrooms in the main hotel and another 11 in the more modest and affordable bunkhouse. There is a bar and a coffee shop which leads through to an extension known as the green room. The walls of these spaces accommodate an ever changing series of art exhibitions and at night the coffee shop becomes a restaurant, performance space or ceilidh venue, depending on what is on the events calendar. (There is a further performance space in the bunkhouse.) The bookshop keeps the same hours as the bar and it relies on customer integrity because it is not always staffed, so people often have to track down a receptionist or waiter, in order make a purchase. Upstairs there is a residents’ lounge which has a small
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CHANGE AT THE TOP
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CONTINUED is now being looked at “It needs to kitchen adjoining it where guests have a bit of a buzz about it so it is can help themselves to tea or being constantly updated whether coffee and buy drinks from an it’s letting people know about gigs, honesty bar. exhibitions or menu changes and One of the founding principles other events.” of the Ceildih Place was that it Gary, meanwhile works behind the would, in the words of Robert, bar and often fulfils a role as sound become a place where, “not just engineer for live performances. postcards but life histories would However, a great deal of his be written.” time is taken up with practical, Jean says that in an industry maintenance tasks. This is a that is very much concerned good thing according to Jean. with constantly raising the game She says, “You need somebody and improving things, they did around knowing that there’re are not set out to be top hoteliers things to be done. Gary seems or to create a gold standard. to be very happy looking after the “We don’t really fit into the guide Gary & Rebecca buildings and anyone who has books and we do not appeal to run a hotel will know that there is everyone, but Robert and I would always say that people would not remember the bed or the bedroom never an hour when you are not needed to go and fix a tap, mend a but they would remember if they were kept up all night by a really fuse or repair a lampshade or piece of kitchen equipment.” Gary and Rebecca now have two young children who they are bringing up good political debate or a wonderful discussion with musicians.” Loyal Ceilidh Place customers need not worry too much about how with the help of au pairs, at the same time as working together full time in the business is being taken forward. Gary and Rebecca whilst the business. Things were different when Rebecca and her older brother acknowledging that the business can’t stand still, do not intend to make Jonathan were children because Robert’s film and theatre career took any fundamental alterations to the way it is run. Rebecca says, “I am him away from Ullapool and Jean was on her own for around two thirds aware of all the hard work that was put into the business from day one of the year. There were, by all accounts, some comical scenarios. Jean so that is the base of it really and we have to be careful that something says, “ I used to alternate between reading the bedtime story and taking orders in the dining room. I was of that is always present. That sure that one day I would present can be quite difficult. I haven’t customers with a copy of ‘Peter made any grand sweeping ROBERT ALWAYS COMPARED Rabbit’ instead of the menu!” changes and I don’t think I ever THE INDUSTRY TO THEATRE. However there were advantages to would. There is plenty that we what was undoubtedly a challenging can do in modernising it without WHEN THE DINNER GONG WENT situation. Jean says, “ By and destroying the original ethos and AT SEVEN O’CLOCK OR THE large, I got a lot of things my own brand.” DINING ROOM DOOR OPENED, way. Once you have more than one Jean contends that, if a small hotel IT WAS THE EQUIVALENT person driving a hotel it in terms of is to be viable over the longterm, how things are going to be, I think then the way it is run must reflect OF THE CURTAIN GOING UP. it gets complicated and people can the true personalities of those THE WAITING STAFF WOULD fall out about the silliest things.” running it. The Ceilidh Place is PERFORM AND THE WHOLE Nowadays, when Jean returns to a venture founded on a sense THING WAS AN EVENT. Ullapool she cannot help but cast of fun and a fascination with the a critical eye around the hotel. “It arts. Jean says, “Robert always Jean Urquhar t is very easy getting caught up in compared the industry to theatre. When the dinner gong went at seven o’clock or the dining room door one aspect of your business and you actually stop seeing things but it opened, it was the equivalent of the curtain going up. The waiting staff always makes it annoying when I come back and point out things that need to be done, which are already on the list.” would perform and the whole thing was an event.” Since returning to Ullapool Rebecca has focused her energies on As well as hoping that the business will be passed down through the improving staff training and on upping the standards of food provision. family for generations to come, Jean hopes that Gary and Rebecca She says “I think what’s important is getting a sort of infrastructure will have as much fun running the business as she has. She is under in place that keeps the business modern and keeps it up to date no illusions, though, about how hard a task it is to keep on top of from a technological side. The next big thing at the moment is online things in the catering industry. “You know what they say, you are only bookings and people being able to access it that way. The website as good as your last hard scone.” n 16
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Happy to be part of the success of The Ceildh Place
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DRAM AWARDS 2017
fiNalists This issue we reveal all the finalists of the Scottish Bar & Pub Awards 2017 and there are finalists from Isley of Islay to Galashiels. Voters nominated their favourite pubs online and our mystery shoppers went surprisingly enough ‘mystery shopping’, before our judges had their say. When it came to voting for your favourite wholesalers, we called some 500 pubs across Scotland. So a big thank you to everyone who kindly answered our questions. Here are all the finalists, with the Flow Entrepreneur of the Year being revealed on the evening alongside our Lifetime Achievement recipient. This year for the first time the Sunday Mail Pub of the Year will go to the ‘Best pub overall, selected from the winners. So good luck everyone.
22 Years of celebratiNg excelleNce iN the Scottish LiceNsed Trade
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DRAM AWARDS 2017
Customer Service Award
The Atlantic Bar & Brasserie Glasgow
The Boudingait Cupar
Buzzworks Life Ayrshire
The Corner House Kilwinning
Glen Lusset Clydebank
CouNTRY PUB OF THE YEAR
social media award
social respoNsibilty & commuNity Award
The Glen Hotel Newtonmore
Leadburn Inn West Linton
The Clovenfords Hotel Galashiels
The Old Mill Inn Pitlochry
Uplawmoor Hotel Uplawmoor
The Waggon Inn Kelso
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Specialist Fit-Out Custom Joinery Steel Fabrication General Building Maintenance Design & Build
DRAM AWARDS 2017
We wish The Angel the best of luck as an Award Finalist.
Cocktail bar of the year
Blue Dog Glasgow
The Bon Vivant Edinburgh
0141 420 1666
Visit our new website www.hughstirling.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
Panda & Sons Edinburgh
dog frieNdly pub of the year
The 13th Note Glasgow
The Forth Inn Aberfoyle
The Lord of the Isles Lochgilphead
St Lukeâ€™s Glasgow
builders and shopfitting contractors
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DRAM AWARDS 2017
ENTREPRENEUR of the year
We wish all the staff at the Swan the best of luck in SB&P Award Finals
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award for success
Costley & Costley Troon
RAD Hotel Group New Cumnock
Seamill Hydro Seamill
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bar appreNtice of the year
Loredana Calin Crieff Hydro Jordan Comrie Gleneagles Hotel Ewan Doyle Lido Callum Henderson The Pot Still Sam Oxley Akva James Merchant-Wink Rabble
Lewis Marshall Anchorline Vera Mauricimo Scran & Scallie Shaun McQullan Boclair House Hotel Jamie Thomson Jute Sam Raynor Blackbird
DRAM AWARDS 2017
wiNe by the glass award
iNdepeNdeNt bar of the year
Buccleuch Arms Melrose
Bag O’Nails Glasgow
Seamill Hydro Seamill
Vroni’s Wine Bar Glasgow
The Parlour Glasgow
The Whistle Stop Barber Shop Edinburgh
New bar of the year
craft Beer bar of the year
Chelsea Market Glasgow
Empress of Broughton Street Edinburgh
Badger & Co Edinburgh
Voyage of Buck Edinburgh
Bier Halle Glasgow
The Strathmore Glasgow DRAM AUGUST 2017 23
DRAM AWARDS 2017
Casual diNiNg award
The Anchor Broughty Ferry
The Birds & the Bees Stirling
The Fox & Hounds Houston
The Mill House Stewarton
The Swan Inn Eaglesham
The Ship Inn North Berwick
The West Port St Andrews
reNovation of the year DRAM AWARDS 2017
the pub spy award
teNNeNt’s quality award
The Fort Hotel Broughty Ferry
The Grove Lenzie
Maggie Mays Glasgow
St Luke’s Glasgow
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DRAM AWARDS 2017
pub of the year
whisky bar of the year
The Ballygrant Isle of Islay
The Cave, Meldrum House Hotel Oldmeldrum
The Keys St. Andrews
The Pot Still Glasgow
beer braNd owNer / distrubutor of the year
driNks wholesaler of the year
Gordon & MacPhail
food wholesaler of the year
spirit braNd owNer / distributor of the year
Gordon & McPhail
William Grants DRAM AUGUST 2017 25
Meet the 2017 bAR appreNtices Loredana Calin Crieff Hydro, Crieff Loredana, or ‘Lory’, originally hails from Constanta on Romania’s Black Sea coast and learned her trade as a waitress and bartender on cruise ships before settling in the slightly more dreich surroundings of Perthshire! Crieff Hydro’s Meikle Bar is flush with expert bartenders and Lory’s speciality is cocktails - she can make over 50 and describes watching customer reactions to the more exotic ones as her favourite part of the job! Favourite Drink: An Old Fashioned
Lewis Marshall The Anchor Line, Glasgow 21-year-old Lewis from Erskine fell into the industry after not getting onto the university course he’d targeted, but has proved an apt pupil in the school of bartending, making swift progress in his short career to date. Starting out close to home in Bishopton, Lewis has since made Glasgow city centre his base, serving cocktails in Browns before moving to current employers The Anchor Line. Favourite Drink: Whatever’s cheapest!
Sam Oxley AKVA, Edinburgh
Sam worked in a private police bar when he was a teenager - his father was a policeman at the time - so it’s been quite a transition from no-nonsense bartending in the north of England to the trendy Edinburgh scene 120 miles north! The 24-year-old Geordie came to the Capital to study business but is now considering a career in the industry having recently been made bar manager. Favourite Drink: A good pilsner, or red wine but never without food. “There’s no drink I don’t enjoy!”
Sam Rayner The Blackbird, Edinburgh
Edinburgh is just the latest stop in a year-and-a-half long journey round the world for 22-year-old Sam, who’s also swung by Thailand, Vietnam, New York and London. The Sydney native will surely be tempted to linger longer in Scotland if he continues to be such a success though, having been put forward for the William Grant & Sons Bar Apprentice programme after just three months’ service at The Blackbird. He says, “I’ve learned so much at Blackbird, it’s the first place I’ve been that’s really given back to me as a staff member.” Favourite Drink: Tequila with sliced orange or an Old Fashioned.
Shaun McQuillan Boclair House Hotel, Glasgow
26-year-old Glaswegian Shaun has been working in hotels, bars and restaurants ever since he was 18, his tour of duty taking him everywhere from the basement bars of Bath Street to whisky-centric ‘old man pubs’. Shaun is looking forward to every part of the Bar Apprentice process but is particularly keen to expand his knowledge of cocktails, which he’ll have the chance to do during the two-day segment at The Record Factory in Glasgow. Favourite Drink: Amaretto Sour
Jordan Comrie Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire
26-year-old Jordan worked at Tesco before diving into the bar trade two years ago. He’s enjoyed learning about all the different aspects of the trade and dealing with a wide variety of customer in his time at the five-star, world-renowed Gleneagles Hotel. Favourite drink: An Old Fashioned. 26
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Jamie Thomson Jute, Dundee
Born in Edinburgh but now living and working in Dundee, Jamie had two years of experience in other areas of the Fuller Thomson business before moving behind the bar when he turned 18 recently. A keen football fan and player, Jamie has had to temporarily hang up his boots to focus on the day job, and is most interested in learning in the whisky component of the Bar Apprentice programme, so that he can pass on his newfound knowledge to customers. Favourite Drink: “Mostly vodka. I can’t stand beer!”
Vera Mauricio Scran and Scallie, Edinburgh
Vera has blossomed as a bartender since moving to Scran and Scallie in Stockbridge, having learned about beers, wines and cocktails in much more depth there than she ever did before in 11 years’ industry service across the UK and her native Portugal. The 29-year-old had good fun meeting her fellow apprentices and is excited by the idea of competing for a prize for the first time in her career. Favourite drink: “It depends on my mood, and whether the bartender is good. If not, G&T!”
Ewan Doyle Lido, Troon
Bartending was a part-time job for Ewan until he was bitten by the bug and fell in love with it, working firstly at the Lido in Prestwick - or Dome as it was known then - then at Buzzworks’ other Lido outlet in Troon. He describes his time in Troon, where he’s had to deal with massive events such as The 2016 Open golf tournament taking place nearby, as ‘a proving ground and a really good experience’. His favourite part of the Bar Apprentice programme has been meeting the experts and visiting big cities Edinburgh and Glasgow - a change from Troon. Favourite Drink: A classic daiquiri or a pint of Tennent’s!
Callum Henderson The Pot Still, Glasgow
Callum found it hard to pick one part of the Bar Apprentice programme he enjoyed most but his self-confessed bias for whisky led him to pinpoint the Glenfiddich Distillery visit, in particular getting to see and taste from the solera vat, an experience he described as ‘pretty fantastic’. The first four days of the scheme focused on wine, champagne, gin and rum, a refreshing change of focus for Callum, who had little previous experience of those products.
James Merchant-Wink Rabble, Edinburgh
James’ bar career, which kicked off when he applied for a job at one of his favourite haunts, has taken an exciting new direction this summer when he was asked by Montpeliers to move over to Rabble, the sleek bar/hotel that’s taken on the mantle of Rick’s on Edinburgh’s Frederick Street. Like several of his fellow Bar Apprentices, the 22-year-old especially appreciated the Glenfiddich Distillery visit and says it’s given him a whole new perspective on whisky, which he wasn’t especially fond of previously! Favourite Drink: A beer with a bourbon on the side.
DRAM JULY 2017
Mark Thomson, Glenfiddich’s Brand Ambassador
his time of year it is all about the awards … and over the course of the last few weeks I have driven 1,000’s of miles. But I have loved every minute. It’s great seeing and experiencing new places and this year it has definitely been all been about the experience. It used to be that we were judging on quality of the drink, service, and welcome, toilets etc, but today so many bars do all the aforementioned and what it comes down in many instances is the whole experience. So a big thank you to all our mystery shoppers, our doggie judges and most of all to you guys who make it all worthwhile. Roll on the 15th August! During the course of the last month I met the new 2017 Bar Apprentices who, this year for the first time, came under the tutelage of Wm Grant & Sons who have taken over the sponsorship of this category. What a great job they made of their inaugural course. And the feedback from the apprentices who came from all over Scotland and from establishments which ranged from Gleneagles Hotel to the Pot Still. Apprentices also came from AKVA, Boclair House, Lido, Scran & Scallie, Rabble, Crieff Hydro, Jute, Anchorline and Boda. I joined them for dinner at the Dowans Hotel in Aberlour and they were all in great form, as was Mark Thomson, Glenfiddich’s Brand Ambassador – who managed to blind taste/smell some 12 malt whiskies and nearly got a 100% score! No wonder he looks delighted.
next year’s event. The PR was certainly a far cry from last year’s reportage on T in the Park. Progress indeed. Well done. Talking of festivals I can’t keep up with all the drinks ones on the go from Cocktail weekends, to Drinks Festivals, Gin Festivals and Whisky Festivals... it’s all about educating consumers and of course bar staff too. The Giovanazzi family have sold their West End Restaurant La Parmigiana after 39 years. My family have had many special occasions there over the years not least and my brother celebrated his engagement there. Sandra has retired and his son decided to move onto other ventures. Now La Lanterna will open in its place... an end of an era, the beginning of a new one. And finally.. Sebastian Stanczyk of the Spiritualist who couldn’t get a visa to New York to enjoy his Brockman’s prize... is going after all thanks to a timely intervention from The Sun newspaper. Hallelujah.
Glasgow City Council have been trialling a new waste pick-up scheme which they say has been well-received by everyone they have surveyed. They have obviously not spoken to the same people I have! While licensees support the idea of not having bins at the front of premises, or in lanes, all day – the timings of pick up between 7am and 9am is simply not working. I work in Finnieston and I have never seen so much rubbish distributed all around the place. They say they have consulted businesses, well I’ve not been consulted and I don’t know anyone that has been consulted. If you are in Glasgow and have please get in touch. I get a FOI request coming up. Duncan Frew from Badaboom, as all who know him will attest, is not exactly a shy and retiring person. But even he blushed when he and his team took part in the Red Bull Soapbox event at Alexandra Palace in London last month. The charity event saw them come in 43 out of 69, but it was the final crash that did it for the team. Duncan, wearing a kilt, crashed and he tumbled over – legs askance! You can guest the rest. Duncan said, “I nearly fainted...” So did the poor ladies on the receiving end! TRNSMT Festival at Glasgow Green proved to be a great success. Could this partly be due to the fact that the organisers weren’t shy about issuing festival goers, beforehand, plenty of guidance about what was allowed, and what was not allowed! It was very clearn that there was a total Zero tolerance to drugs! As a result it seemed to go very smoothly. They have already announced DRAM AUGUST 2017 29
We would like to wish everyone at Monty’s continued success Proud to supply Monty’s Congratulations to all of the team
DRAM AUGUST 2017
9 Radnor Street, Glasgow G3 7UA
MONTY’S DESIGN FOCUS
nterconnecting Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street in Glasgow’s West End, the somewhat less famous Radnor Street can be traversed in about 30 seconds. Since the opening of Monty’s Bar & Restaurant, however, visitors have a reason to linger a lot longer. Small as it is, Radnor Street is prime real estate given its location in between the uber-cool Finnieston strip and the tourist traps that are Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Kelvingrove Park and the Kelvin Hall, and the Monty’s team - led by manager Ryan Dexter and assistant manager Ross Beattie - feel they have what it takes to keep both of those very distinct demographics happy. In fact, tourists only have to look up to be made welcome, as one of the headline design features is a enormous map of the world stretched across the ceiling! Monty’s previous incarnation was Montgomery’s Cafe, which operated out of Radnor Street for 13 years, but the new owners haven’t just refurbished and rebranded the premises - they’ve expanded them. A mezzanine has been added and the wall has been partially knocked through to create a door to the new bar, which was formerly a self-contained takeaway section. Marc Hardy of Space ID was the architect and the work was carried out by Frank Adams Contracts. The main room has high chairs looking out onto the outdoor area and the street beyond, and a counter at the rear of the space which offers a glimpse of the activity in the kitchen - not to mention a tantalising selection of cakes. On the left of the room, below the stairs leading up to the mezzanine, a large mirror that looks more like a bay window is mounted on the wall and flanked by two bottles of Perrier-Jouet on each side. The mezzanine itself is slightly more moodily lit for that intimate
BY SCOTT FLEMING feel, with walls that are divided half and half between plaster and exposed brickwork and decorated with elegant oval mirrors. Down in the bar the brickwork takes on a sandy tone in sharp contrast to the crimson shades of the main room, and there are boxed whiskies in wall-mounted cases below a striking black light fitting that fans out like the legs of a spider. Drinkers that take their sessions seriously can also clock on – or at least pretend to – at a vintage clocking in station originally used by tram drivers, a fascinating remnant from the days when there was a tram terminus on Radnor Street. The outside area is pleasantly sun-kissed with comfortable seating and Eden Mill windbreakers. The premium gin brand have also teamed up with Monty’s to offer a special range of gin cocktails to coincide with the Summer Nights series of gigs at the nearby Kelvingrove Bandstand. Monty’s is the latest enterprise undertaken by the younger arm of a real Glasgow food and drink dynasty – the Dexter family. Ryan’s parents Alan and Joanne own Cafe Bombon, Cranachan, Obu Pan Asian, NY American Grill and Barca Tapas, and it was in those Princes Square establishments that Ross and Ryan learnt their trade. They then struck out on their own by launching Cubanthemed bar and restaurant Poco Havana on West Regent Street, before selling up to focus on the opportunity at Monty’s. Ryan, Ross, silent partner Angus Watson and Ryan’s sister, Danielle, are all co-owners, but Ryan assured DRAM it’s not as confusing as it seems! He said, “It sounds really complicated, but it works perfectly well! My sister Danielle is Area Manager of the group. Myself, Ross and Gus are separate entities. Ross and myself handle the day-to-day running and Danielle and my mum and dad will come in and say, DRAM AUGUST 2017 31
DESIGN FOCUS: CONT ‘Let’s try this’ or ‘How are things going?’, but then we’re left to run the place. It works well, we’re all used to working together. We’ve got an executive chef as well, Richard Wilson, who’s in charge of the kitchens at Princes Square and here.” He continued, “We felt the scope was much bigger here. I’m a customer who goes to the Finnieston area, and people are willing to spend their money. They are looking for quality. As long as you deliver that, they’re happy, which is quite different to the city centre. It’s not a deal-led place, whereas the city centre is more deal-led - Itison, Groupon, 5pm etc. “Here, it’s nice knowing that people come in and spend their money on good quality products and are happy to pay for it. Since we’ve opened we’ve been busy with lots of Americans staying in hotels nearby, lots of people who have been to the park, and we let people in with dogs until six. The Scottish feel goes down particularly well with tourists.” Ryan’s years of experience at Princes Square mean that he’s well acquainted with almost any cuisine you could care to name, from Spanish to Japanese. He said, “I started at the age of 17 in Barca and did three years there, then later returned to be a bar supervisor. That was about a year into Cranachan being open, so I went there for a year as an assistant manager and then went on to manage that. So I had a good six years of learning the trade before I became a manager. Then I went on to manage NY American Grill, then Obu. So I’ve learnt a lot about food over the last few years, for sure! But I think once you’ve been in the trade for a while, you can adapt. Service is service at the end of the day.” The offering at Monty’s is more about inventive versions of weelkent Scottish classics. Ryan continued, “We’ve tried to be quite all-encompassing at Monty’s. Breakfast is everything from French toast to pancakes, full breakfasts, avocado, granolas. Lunch is quite similar to what we do in Cranachan, nice homemade soups every day, Cullen skink is a staple. We’ve got a really good chef that we worked 32
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with in Poco Havana, Stuart McPherson, he’s really creative and he’s come up with a nice dinner menu, lots of seafood, venison, steaks, but we’ve still got curries - a lot of things that are basic but done really well. The Full Monty Burger is served with a rarebit cheese. The whole feel was to be Scottish-led, so all our suppliers, as much as possible, are really local. But we’re not scared to do things like Lebanese dishes.” It seems inevitable that Ryan, Ross and co will go on to bigger things, but for now Monty’s is a nice showcase of what they can do, and very much worth a visit. n
THE BRAE 26 Townfood, Dreghorn, Irvine KA11 4EG
ake a quaint Ayrshire village with a shortage of eating out options, a boarded up pub with bags of of potential and an enthusiastic, dog-loving couple, and what do you get? The Brae, a new pub/restaurant opened by husband and wife team Emma and Iain Mason in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, and quite possibly THE most dog-friendly hostelry in the territory. Iain and Emma don’t just have a rich history in the hospitality industry, you see, they’re also professional dog walkers, doing an impressive job of juggling that business (Ayrshire Dog Walking) with the pub and looking after their two-year-old son. Emma told DRAM, “The pub is very dog-friendly. When you’ve got your own dog-walking business you definitely can’t say no to them! We’ve got a helper with the dog business, but we still give him a hand on the really busy days. We always make sure we’re finished by four o’clock though, so we can attend to the pub.” The Brae is divided into two main areas, a larger one mainly designed for dining on the left and a smaller pub section on the right. The dining area blends dark patterned carpets with gleaming wooden floors. The bar running along the right wall faces towards booths with turquoise leather seating on the left wall, with blocks of tables for four or two diners sat in between and a centrepiece consisting of a faux fireplace sat on a little podium, replete with charred logs. Two chunks of brickwork act almost like gates ushering you into a further large section through the back that looks out towards the beer garden. Here the walls are painted cream, purple and blue and dotted with charming black and white photos of local landmarks – instead of the framed football tops that once adorned them. It’s one of many marked changes from the days when the premises were
BY SCOTT FLEMING
home to The Annick Tavern, changes overseen by Interior Designer Gillian Morris of DBP Architects and company partner Alan Baxter. Gillian told DRAM, “It was really a case of working with what we had, nothing has been left untouched. Previously the walls were mock stone and it was very dated inside. The beer garden is also new, we had to strip out the previous one out and add new decking. There’s a bigger kitchen now – that’s probably what people don’t see but there’s been a lot of money spent on back of house. The two bars used to be completely separate but now there’s a passage so you can walk between them.” Those in need of a functioning fireplace on cold days can find one through in the main bar, where tartan carpets and some vintage sports-themed artwork enhance the cosy feel. Large chalkboards advertise the gin and ale offerings and there’s a space set aside at the rear for a full-size pool table. Emma and Iain met when they were both studying hotel management at university, and had always dreamt of running a pub together. Ian was a manager at several different local branches of Frankie and Benny’s whilst Emma worked front of house and reception at The Gailes Hotel in Irvine, before chance led them to drive through Dreghorn one day and spot that the premises were up for let. The process from there on in was a collaborative one between the Troon-based couple and Punch, with Emma and Iain able to insist on changes that reflected their vision of a classic country pub that doesn’t alienate former Annick Tavern regulars. Emma continued, “Punch were really good, they’re always on the end of the phone. We had a lot of input. They (Punch) initially had a different idea for here and we changed it. We made it more of a DRAM AUGUST 2017 33
DESIGN FOCUS: CONT rustic village pub, put the fireplaces in and stuff, made it a bit cosier. It is a village pub, so it can’t be too contemporary. Before it was the Annick it was The Commercial, although that’s going way back. There’s been quite a few regulars that drank here for years and years who’ve came in and been impressed. Irvine is massive now, so we’re trying to get people in from Irvine, but Troon and even Kilmarnock aren’t that far away. It’s a big area, and we’ve got golf tourism too.” ‘The Brae’ is the colloquial term used by people in the village to describe the street (Townfoot) the pub is on, but it was the power of social media that decided it would be the name of the new pub also. Said Emma, “We did a Facebook poll; ‘The Brae’ had 300 and something votes and the others had 50 odd, so it won hands down.” Emma has been delighted with the response from customers since the £288K refurbishment. “We’ve had something like 65 five-star reviews already.” She believes that the key to maintaining that success is striking the right balance between those classic local pub features and a willingness to embrace wider trends within the industry. The Brae has a jukebox, a pool table and TVs but it’s also got an extensive gin selection, good quality food and artwork that encapsulates the history and character of the local area. One of Dreghorn’s biggest claims to fame is the fact that John Boyd Dunlop, the originator of the Dunlop Tyres empire, was born there, and visitors can learn all about him simply by glancing at the wall in The Brae. Emma stated, “We don’t just do beers, it’s not an old man’s pub. We’ve got a big range of gin, we’ve got craft beers and cask ales, a wide wine selection. And we’ve got loads of offers on – burger night, steak night, kids eat for free. The menu’s got everything we need on it, it’s not just pub grub, it’s proper hearty food. We’ve got quizzes on a Wednesday and a Sunday, and we do Fizzy Fridays. We’re going to start introducing things like live music once we’ve found our feet. We also do free pool Monday to Thursday.” Lest we forget, there’s the beer garden, situated on a raised, roped off platform in a corner of the car park and bound to catch the sun – if and when it decides to make an appearance, that is. As Emma puts it, “This is the west of Scotland after all!”. n 34
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Punch – Investing in Scotland In the past 12 months Punch have undertaken around 20 investments in Scotland worth a total spend of over £3m
THE BRAE IRVINE
Opened recently after a £250k investment.
MACSORLEYS MUSIC BAR GLASGOW
Opened in Feb 2017 after a major revamp.
PORT O’ LEITH
THE TOWN TAVERN
Recently reopened after undergoing a £160k investment.
Opened in May after an investment of over £100k.
Opening early August as the Boyd Roderick, after a £300k investment.
THE NEW INN
THE WHITE HORSE EDINBURGH
Reopened on June 16th as The Dug ‘n’ Duck, after a £200k investment.
£350k investment planned – onsite August 2017.
CONTACTS: • SALES AND RECRUITMENT MANAGER
Iain Thomson 07717 451 825 email email@example.com • WEST COAST AND CENTRAL SCOTLAND
• CENTRAL BELT
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Waverley House, 16 Lawson Street, Kilmarnock KA1 3JP Tel: 01563 573 200 Fax: 01563 530 220
Delighted to be Buzzworks Bespoke Furniture, Kitchen and Bars
We would like to wish The Coach House and Buzzworks Holdings every success for the future with their new venue.
Contractor at the Coach House Bridge of Weir.
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THE COACH HOUSE 31 Main Street, Bridge of Weir
he Coach House, a sophisticated bar/restaurant in Bridge of Weir, is Buzzworks Holdings’ tenth and latest venture, and their first outside of Ayrshire. A Renfrewshire village may not seem the obvious choice given how booming the Glasgow and Edinburgh scenes are, but it’s in line with the formula that’s worked so well for Buzzworks so far. Rick Houston, Brand Operations Manager for the group’s ‘House’ venues, explains, “There’s a number of destinations on our radar throughout Scotland, but we’re not a city centre business at this stage. We’ve been successful in Ayrshire and there’s no reason why we can’t replicate that success somewhere like here.Where we have tended to do well is when there’s nothing else of this level of quality around. We wanted a property that fitted the characteristics of the brand and at the same time had the right demographic, or critical mass if you like, in the surrounding area. It was a natural progression for us.” The Coach House joins theTreehouse, The Corner House, The Long House and The Mill House as the fifth expression of the House brand, the twist being that the building at 31 Main Street actually was a coach house long ago. Since then it’s been a number of different things, most recently Archie’s Lounge Bar and Kitchen, before Buzzworks’ dramatic £1m revamp. Rick added, “It’s been through a lot of incarnations, typically pub/ restaurants, but it lacked a bit of love. We took inspiration from
the local heritage and it fitted in well with our other House venues - good restaurant space, a pub adjoining and an area to develop a private dining offer.” Taking up 4,500 square feet and offering 140 covers, The Coach House is stunning. Designer Jim Hamilton drew inspiration from the miles of fields and forestry he drove through on his visits to Bridge of Weir, and that influence is evident throughout, in the form of potted plants of all sizes, hanging trellises in the private dining area and terrace and, most eye-catching of all, a collection of tall bushes and vines perched on top of the entranceway. Said Jim, “Buzzworks are always up for making it visually interesting and taking people on a journey. Every time I drove to Bridge of Weir I came through the countryside and everything was very green. That probably influenced the idea of adding the little terrace at the back. When you look from the outside it’s a little bit like the TARDIS, it doesn’t look very big until you go in. “We wanted something that was unassuming and appealing, but equally somewhere that would bring a smile to the face to the people that have lived in Bridge of Weir all their days. That was always inherent from day one, to be aspirational, not to frighten people but to feel that the guys were putting something of real quality in the neighbourhood.” Buzzworks like to focus on two key colours to give each of their outlets a distinct character, and at The Coach House those DRAM AUGUST 2017 37
Providing perfect environment Stevensons (Ayr) were happy to be solutions toLtdBuzzworks involved in the polishing and upholstery venues more than 15 years worksfor for yet another Buzzworks project. Providing perfect environment Wishing The Coach House continued success. solutions to Buzzworks 5 Old Bridge Road, Ayr, KA8 9SX venues forTel/Fax: more 01292than 268369 15 years
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DESIGN FOCUS: CONT
colours are pastel pink and vibrant turquoise, which can be found everywhere from the signage to the menus to the staff uniforms. The restaurant can roughly be divided into three areas, delineated by glass panels or open shelving rather than walls to maintain that sense of openness. The first, at the front, is dominated by an impressive black fireplace and chandeliers encased in glass orbs. There are tables surrounded by grey upholstered chairs in the centre and red leather booths against the far wall. Red brickwork meets silvery-grey timber on the walls and there are countless mirrors of different shapes and sizes. The second area features marble effect tables, classy framed sketches and a bar stocked with everything from fine champagne to Tunnock’s Teacakes. The colour scheme is subtly continued here with a pink neon glow shining out from underneath the bar onto the white tiles below. Best in show is the private dining area through the back, flooded with light and centred around a long table that seats 20 but can also be broken up into smaller tables for six or four. Flowers flowing down from the roof beams, floor tiles intricately patterned in black and white - the area has the air of a summery glade yet doesn’t feel too cut off from the rest of the restaurant. Spilling out from the private dining area is the terrace, a bijou back garden-esque space with gold paving and black steel chairs facing onto a tall fence. “Private dining nowadays is very much about being part of the space,” Jim explained. “You gain off the atmosphere of the main space but you’ve also got semi-privacy to do your own thing. The terrace can be used by everyone and is a nice thing to look out at if you’re sat inside. If you look at the sight lines from the back of the restaurant all you would see is the greenery, so it kind of feels like you’re in amongst the DRAM AUGUST 2017 39
DESIGN FOCUS: CONT trees, it doesn’t feel like you’re trapped in a little box.” Even the car park is a sight to behold, with its white stone chips and electric vehicle charger of all things. The public bar is accessed down a passage on the right behind the reception desk. The high spec is maintained here with another fireplace, a green leather banquette, mesh cabinets behind the bar and high black leather chairs in front of it, but there are also two widescreen TVs showing BT Sport and Sky Sports. Staff-wise, Buzzworks went out of their way to recruit local talent. Said Rick, “Our team is 90% locally sourced, including managers. That’s important for us. The Head Chef is Duncan McKay, a very experienced Buzzworks chef, and the General Manager is Francis Carr, a local guy, from Paisley. We think we’ve got the best that there is.” Rick himself hails from Troon and started his hospitality industry career with Buzzworks - or Blair Leisure as it was then - in Ayr back in 1987, working in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and northern England before returning to Buzzworks in January. He’s also worked in conceptual development and as a multi-site manager for La Tasca Restaurants. Although Rick has responsibility for several outlets he’s spending most of his time at The Coach House as it gets up and running. He remarked, “At the moment the focus is The Coach House and we’re a very hands-on operation. We fuss over the service, the food and drink, the customers. It’s important to do that but equally we’ve got a great team of managers and chefs.” There are numerous different menus tailored to differing tastes and budgets, from the Kids Menu to the Sunday Roast Menu to the House Classic, House Select and House Signature selections. Scotch whisky, world whisky, beer, gin, rum, brandy, vodka, liqueurs, cocktails and mocktails all appear on the drinks menu, and there’s even a section dedicated to ‘shim’, a light but not non-alcoholic alternative said top be perfect for those that want to indulge but could do without the hangover. Elegant, comfortable and versatile, The Coach House is sure to attract visitors from miles around.n 40
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SHOWCASE PROPERTY • Over 25 years business sales experience • Well respected within the marketplace
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ROYAL ARMS, TILLICOULTRY
• Well established and presented public house • Same family ownership for 19 years • Public bar and lounge bar • Large private 3 bedroom owners accommodation • Prominent location, close to all amenities • Ideal for first time buyer/family or private multiple • Single bar operation FREEHOLD: OFFERS OVER £150,000
ANGLERS INN, PERTHSHIRE
• Well presented, award winning village inn • Located 6 miles north of Perth • Lounge bar (30), restaurant (55) and 5 e/s rms • Extensive refurb. within last 2 years • 1 bed owners flat and large private car park • Excellent opportunity for chef operator • Offers further potential to grow turnover FREEHOLD: OFFERS IN THE REGION OF £350,000 LEASEHOLD: OPTION AVAILABLE
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RAILWAY INN & PLATFORM LOUNGE, DENNYLOANHEAD
•Long established & reputable, free of tie, licensed premises •Recently extended & refurbished to a high standard •Prominent roadside trading position within attractive village •Includes stunning 3-bed ownersaccommodation & roof terrace •Bar (40), small lounge (40), Platform Lounge (80) & outside seating & parking •T/O for Y/E March ’17 is £490,218 net, showing strong profits FREEHOLD: OFFERS OVER £475,000
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ROUND UP There was street art, street food and quality rum aplenty at Flor de Cana’s recent Rum Frontiers event, where bartender Ryan Rhodes, of Dusk in Aberdeen, scooped the prize of an all expenses paid trip to Nicaragua. The event, hosted by Glasgow’s Drygate Brewery, saw ten bartenders from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow put their cocktail making expertise to the test in front of an expert panel of judges which included Tristan Stephenson, author of the Curious Bartender books. The creation that Ryan pipped his fellow finalists with was ‘Lava Flava’, infused with coffee to reflect the character of Nicaragua and inspired by the work of artist Scott Lambeck. The victor will now fly to Nicaraguan capital Managua - the home of Flor de Cana - in September for a series of exciting excursions before competing in the worldwide Rum Frontiers final against the winners of the other national heats.
Names such as Walter Smith, Lord and Lady Haughey and Debbie Fraser from Cash for Kids joined Lynnet Leisure chairman James Mortimer on one of the hottest days of the year for a charity dinner hosted on the rooftop of 29. The evening kicked off with champagne reception followed by a 4 course dinner and the unveiling of the memorabilia showcasing the many Murray Brother endeavours from over the years. James and wife Rena got into the tennis spirit with some suitable attire.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org w: dramscotland.co.uk Editor Susan Young • Chairman Noel Young • Editorial Scott Fleming, Jenny McBain Advertising Sylvia Forsyth • New Business Lisa Clifford • Production Dougie Wagstaff • Admin Cheryl Cook 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 2017. Printed by Stephens & George Print Group. 46
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With some of the Worldâ€™s most recognisable beer & cider brands, we think we have the offering to best support the Scottish licensed trade. Get in touch with our team to discuss how we can support you. Do it the Molson Coors way. Get in touch on 0773454 7552 Scotland.Sales@molsoncoors.com