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DRAM MAGAZINE December 2017 ISSN 1470-241X






is the time to be merry and for the licensed trade it is time to reap the benefits of 12 months’ hard work. So here’s hoping this festive season is a belter. This month to get you thinking about all things festive we have our festive drinks feature – a few interesting facts and figures and some drinks to try out on your customers. There has also been a flurry of openings particularly in Edinburgh with The White Horse Oyster Bar & Grill, Black Ivy and Cafe Andaluz all featuring on our design pages. Bev Lyons also paid a visit to Kilmarnock to catch up with Michael Kilkie and Neil Connolly – who have recently opened The Dapper Squirrel. Our cover features The Barrelhouse team who recently picked up a top Star Pubs & Bars Award – congrats to them. Our next magazine will be with you the first week in the New Year – and our Annual Suppliers Guide will arrive at the same time. So for now… over and out! Happy New Year! Susan Young Editor



12 16 20 22



A look at festive facts and drinks.


A Dapper duo – Neil Connelly and Michael Kilkie.

REVIEW OF THE YEAR Susan Yound reflects.


White Horse, Black Ivy, Cafe Andaluz.


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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.


Gaucho celebrates 16th opening Gaucho Group has opened its first Scottish branch of the Argentinian-steak house brand in Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Square. The £1.5 million, 120 cover restaurant will be the group’s 16th in the UK. Local suppliers, such as Shaws Quality Meats and I.J Mellis Cheese, are working with the restaurant alongside the meat it imports from Argentina, where the group is involved with more than 60 farms. The restaurant also houses a destination bar, which will stock over 80 kinds of whisky and 200 Argentinian wines, as well as an intimate glass private dining room, where the walls are adorned with over 200 bottles of the exclusive Gaucho wine collection. Phil Crozier, the company’s wine director, is personally involved in the creation of many of the wines in the wine list, including the Vina Patricia and Loro labels, which are produced at Gaucho’s own vineyard in Mendoza. Gaucho Edinburgh boasts a glass fronted bar over-looking St Andrew Square and a sophisticated open plan restaurant where its interior design takes inspiration from the Ombu, giant trees which are a striking natural feature of the Argentine rural and urban landscapes. Gaucho will also hold regular masterclasses, which will be held in the private dining room, such as chocolate and Malbec pairings and beef and wine tastings. The group has already made its debut in Edinburgh and Glasgow with Cau, which launched in 2010.

MEDITERRANEAN MOVE FOR SLOAN AND GIZZI Paul Sloan and Mario Gizzi have opened Mezzidakia, a new Mediterranean fusion restaurant next to Chaakoo in Glasgow’s St. Vincent Street. The sister restaurant of Topolabamba and Chaakoo Bombay Cafe, the restaurant offers a mix of Turkish, Lebanese, Moroccan and Greek dishes, and offers small plates like Topolabamba and Chaakoo. Paul told DRAM, “There’s a big void of restaurants offering this style of cuisine in a chic ambience. I don’t think opening a standalone Turkish or Lebanese or Moroccan or Greek restaurant would work, but we’ll have a mix of all of it which will work.” The menu consists of kebabs, 22 small plates of a mix of the cuisines and pide, Turkish pizza. The restaurant, which opened at the beginning of the month, also has a small bar that is the first in Scotland to stock Turkish beer Efes on draught. Paul says, “We want it to be very authentic. There’s going to be drinks served that you won’t have thought about since the 70s or 80s, when everyone started going to Greece on holiday.” 4


COVER STORY Edinburgh’s Barrelhouse Bar & Grill, run by Caygill & Smith, scooped the Best Bar Team and overall Star Pub of the Year at the annual Star Pubs & Bars awards, just a year after opening. Scottish licensees emerged as star performers at the awards, which were held in Manchester’s Natural History Museum. PG Taverns won the Marketing Award for the second time for The Jolly Botanist, and was a finalist with Fork & Field in Mid Calder, and received a commendation for The Dog House in Edinburgh. Nick Livingstone of 7 Saints in Prestwick was a finalist for team training, and his venue won the Best Use of Social Media award. In addition, Kevin McGhee of Athletic Arms in Edinburgh took Best Live Sports Venue and Milo Smith of NinetyNine Bar & Kitchen in Aberdeen received the Social Media Award for Star’s Scotland and North region. Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens said, “The Star Awards is one of the high points of our year. It’s inspiring to have so much talent in one room. Like top operators in any sector, they are true entrepreneurs – always pushing the boundaries and experimenting with new ideas in order to deliver an exceptional experience to pub goers.”

DOCKYARD SOCIAL GETS SET TO OPEN SCHOOL Dockyard Social is a new venture from the people behind Section 33. A preview of the new Dockyard Social, which is situated in Haugh Road in Glasgow’s West End, ran at the beginning of December, but come the New Year the organisers plan to operate it as a permanent street food market. The ‘social’ side comes from the fact that the space will also be utilised to create a training and development school called the Dockyard Social School which will also provide opportunities for unemployed people in the community. Restaurants involved in the preview included Chompsky, Crema Caravan, A Wing & A Prayer, C.R.E.A.M, Fatboys Burgers and Pizza Hawker.



Caygill & Smith’s Barrelhouse Bar & Grill, PG Taverns, 7 Saints in Prestwick, Athletic Arms, Ninety-Nine Bar & Kitchen all won recognition in Star Pubs & Bars annual awards.

TRIO TO OPEN NONYA John Burns, Gina Hopkins and Andy Kelly are getting set to open a new restaurant and cocktail bar in Finnieston called Nonya. The new south-east Asian eatery, on the site of The Scullery, has been totally revamped. Explains John, who also owns Bloc+in Bath Street, “We will have 30 seats at the front and 20 at the back as well as an open-kitchen. Downstairs there is a small cocktail bar, and it is a small bar, which will be open from 5pm – midnight every day.” He continues, “Gina is in charge of the kitchen – she has just come back from London after nine years there, and she has got an excellent reputation as a chef. While Andy will be front of house. I’m in charge of the marketing and social media. We all bring something to the party. I’m excited about it. We hope to be open before Christmas.”

Rangers legend Nacho Novo is to open his own bar in Glasgow’s Paisley Road West, Situated on the site of the old Angels bar, NN10 – Nacho’s Bar and Lounge, is aimed at Rangers fans, given its proximity to Ranger’s Ibrox grounds. The bar’s name NN10 is a nod to the shirt number the player played under when he was at Rangers from 2004 to 2010. The red, white and blue interior of the bar is Rangers-themed, with the Spaniard donating his own football shirts as well as those from other former players such as Paul Gascoigne. The bar has long been a Rangers pub with landlords having a Rangers affiliation back to the 1800s. NN10 is a joint venture between Nacho and lawyer John Campbell.

BOSTON & HAWTHORNE OPENS IN EEDINBURGH The Raeburn Bar in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge has been relaunched as Boston & Hawthorne, claiming to be the first curiosities & oddities museum style bar in the UK. Run by Thunder Road, the spirits brand company, the pub has been changed into a family friendly restaurant and bar. It will offer a family sharing style of menu, such as Sunday Roast Boards, Italian infused sharing nibbles, wild boar pizzas and the first Etruscan style Banquets – from 700 bc – which will be served with authentic mead and wine. The bar will be stocked with a range of wine, meads, beers, with the cocktails and spirits supplied exclusively from Thunder Road Emporium.

n Signature Pubs made its debut in the 21st annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table this month, following a rise in sales. The group, which acquired nine pubs in 2017, now has an estate of 14 venues ranging from the Rutland Hotel in Edinburgh to the Smokin’ Fox in Glasgow and has enjoyed sales growth of nearly 50% year on year bringing its sales to £13.5m. Nic Wood, Founder of Signature Pubs told DRAM, “When we set out to create Signature Pubs, I don’t think we had plans to expand to the size we are now. It has been a fantastic and exciting journey and long may it continue.We could not be the company we are now without all the great staff and management who have supported the business in various creative ways since the beginning.” Signature was one of only two named companies in the list, the other being Brewdog, which featured for the sixth year. Meanwhile Independent restaurant operators City District Group, founders of the Brazililan Fazenda Bar & Grill brand, are set to open a fourth outlet in the UK, in George Street, Edinburgh at the start of next year. The company is investing £2m to refurbish a 7000 sq ft site to offer a 135 cover restaurant, as well as a 40 cover bar area and a private dining room for 8 guests. n Vapiano, the Italian restaurant brand, which we revealed was set to open in St Andrews Square, has now done so. The restaurant opened with a launch party which saw Scottish customers get their first opportunity to try it unique service concept. Waiting staff only deliver food to tables and don’t take orders as customers are given a swipe card when they arrive, which they use to order food and drink, which is cooked to order when they approach the kitchen to inform the chef. Seating is communal with long family-friendly wooden trestle tables and benches. Bills are also settled by swiping the card as the customer leaves. DRAM DECEMBER 2017 5

COMPANY NEWS RANKIN BECOMES G&M’S FIRST DIRECTOR OF PRESTIGE Gordon & MacPhail has appointed Stephen Rankin as the whisky company’s first Director of Prestige. A fourth-generation member of the Urquhart family who own the company, Stephen was formerly the company’s UK sales director. He will be responsible for building relationships for Gordon & MacPhail’s range of single malt whiskies in the global luxury consumer market. In addition to conducting premium tastings, attending events and working with trade customers, Stephen will work with high-net worth consumers to help build their knowledge and support their exploration of the range of Gordon & MacPhail whiskies available. Ewen Mackintosh, Managing Director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “The appointment of Stephen is the next step in the company’s strategic plan to build Gordon & MacPhail’s growing reputation in the luxury sector. Over the next five years, the focus will be on building the premium credentials of the single malt whiskies within the portfolio. He will build on his existing trade relationships and support new partnerships as we continue to support the

brand’s reputation as a world leading whisky maturation expert.” Stephen Rankin said: “As we increase our profile in the luxury sector, we will be building key partnerships with organisations that share our passion for provenance, expertise, craftmanship and authenticity. We’ve recently invested in beautiful new facilities above our historic shop in Elgin’s South Street. As the emotional home of the brand since 1895, it is the ideal location to host premium tastings for key customers and consumers.” In March, Stephen will travel to the Young Presidents’ Organisation’s (YPO) global conference in Singapore to deliver an exclusive tasting of six carefully selected whiskies from consecutive decades, bringing together over 200 years of liquid history. In April, he will deliver a Masterclass at Nth 2018, a 4-day whisky extravaganza in the opulent surroundings of the Wynn, Las Vegas. Whisky aficionados travel from across the globe to taste, savour, discuss and learn more about rare whiskies from the world’s leading master distillers and maturation experts.



he Scottish Government has won its five year fight to bring in Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP). The UK’s Supreme Court gave a final unanimous judgement, stating that the proposed legislation did not breach European Union law. The judges ruled the measure was a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. In reaction, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted, “Absolutely delighted that minimum pricing has been upheld by the Supreme Court. This has been a long road – and no doubt the policy will continue to have its critics – but it is a bold and necessary move to improve public health.” Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association which vigorously opposed the legislation and which had pursued the court action said, “We accept the Supreme Court’s ruling on minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol in Scotland. Looking ahead, the Scotch Whisky industry will continue to work in partnership with the government and the voluntary sector to promote responsible drinking and to tackle alcohol-related harm.” Paul Bartlett, Group Corporate Relations Director, Tennent’s owners, C&C Group, commented, “C&C Group plc has been a strong and vocal supporter of Minimum Unit Pricing since it was first proposed in 2011. It is the right move to make; a progressive step forward in tackling the problems of alcohol misuse in Scotland and we congratulate the Scottish Government on its perseverance.” He continued, “Although the majority of Scots enjoy alcohol responsibly, we are concerned about the availability of strong, cheap alcohol and its correlation with harmful drinking that causes misery across Scotland. We’ll be working with the Scottish Government and our customers over the coming months to 6


support the successful introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing.” Paul Waterson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, which also supported Minimum Unit Pricing, said, “The relationship between low prices and increased consumption is obvious. Supermarkets’ strategy of using alcohol as a loss leader – very often charging prices cheaper than water - is totally irresponsible and is a major factor in causing much of the alcohol abuse we see in Scotland today. Minimum pricing will be a major element in eradicating these problems.” “Cheap priced alcohol has turned Scotland into a nation of stay at home drinkers. Seventy two per cent of total alcohol sales in Scotland are off sales, and 80% of this total is sold by supermarkets. When people drink in uncontrolled environments alcohol related problems increase significantly.” He concluded, “Our market needed intervention to bring back price stability. The only efficient way of doing that is by minimum pricing. We applaud the Scottish Government for their policy .” The move will raise the cost of the strongest, cheapest alcohol by setting a minimum price per unit. Health Secretary Shona Robison told MSPs that she expected the price to be set at 50p-per-unit, but this will be subject to a consultation. The 50p-per-unit minimum would raise the price of the cheapest bottle of red wine (9.4 units of alcohol) to £4.69, while a four-pack of 500ml cans of 4% lager (8 units) would cost at least £4 and a 70cl bottle of whisky (28 units of alcohol) could not be sold for less than £14. Normal strength cider (5% ABV) would cost at least £2.50 a litre but a super-strength version (7.5% ABV) would have to cost a minimum of £3.75 for a litre.



Whisky WHYTE & MACKAY TEAM UP WITH PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID BONI FOR 2017 CAMPAIGN Whyte & Mackay whisky has launched the 2017 phase of its Stay Smooth campaign, featuring the photography of Scottish photographer, David Boni. This year, the blended Scotch whisky brand is taking a wry and witty look at the real folk of both Glasgow and Edinburgh that have helped shape the brand’s smooth taste and character. A coffee-table magazine have been created, which has been distrubted in key bars across each city, alongside new POS kits and promotional scratch cards for the on trade. The A4 magazine with features Glasgow on one side and Edinburgh on the other, features Boni’s stylish photography of colourful personalities who make the cities what they are. Glasgow’s content features, among others, Jose, a long-haired, leather kilt clad bagpiper in Glasgow, while Edinburgh features girl-about-town, stylish Katie from Edinburgh. The campaign is also using a number of giant static mirrors located in selected bars and prime outdoor street spots in each city, reminding Glasgow and Edinburgh folk to ‘Stay Smooth’ as they catch a glimpse of their own reflection in-bar.

BENRIACH DISTILLERY LAUNCHES AUTHENTICUS The BenRiach Distillery has released BenRiach Authenticus 30 years old, a peated Speyside single malt dating back to the 1980s. Crafted from densely peated malted barley, BenRiach Authenticus 30 years old is a rich, intense Speyside single malt Scotch whisky. Back in the 1970s, BenRiach began distilling a proportion of its whisky using peated malted barley, marking a return to the original Speyside character and flavour of malts made during the nineteenth century. Today the distillery holds a rare inventory of peated Speyside single malt, dating as far back as 1975. Announcing Authenticus 30 year old, BenRiach Distillery Master Blender Rachel Barrie, said: “At the BenRiach Distillery, we pride ourselves on our unconventional distilling philosophy, creating unpeated, peated and triple distilled malt whisky. As the oldest expression in our peated range, we believe Authenticus 30 years old will impress with its distinguished profile.” BenRiach Authenticus 30 years old is non chill filtered and bottled at 46%, of natural colour.



GLENGLASSAUGH DISTILLERY LAUNCHES FIRST EVER WOOD FINISHES Glenglassaugh Distillery, which re-opened in 2008 after twenty years, has released a Limited Release series of contemporary Highland Single Malt Scotch whiskies. The latest additions to the series are the distillery’s first ever wood finish expressions. Glenglassaugh Whisky Maker Rachel Barrie said, “The release of Glenglassaugh’s first ever Wood Finish range marks a new chapter. Glenglassaugh matures first in American ex bourbon casks, before changing course in either Virgin Oak, Pedro Ximenez or Port wood, on a voyage shaped by the sea.”

DIAGEO PUSHES RESPONSIBLE DRINKING WITH NEW DAVID BECKHAM HAIG CLUB AD Diageo has released ‘Leave as You Arrived’, a new film for its Haig Club brand as part of its commitment to responsible drinking. The film, featuring global icon and Haig Club business partner David Beckham, marks the next step in Diageo’s determination to bring responsible drinking to the forefront of consumer thinking in innovative and authentic ways. The 60-second film is designed to be different from normal ads, with the film playing out in reverse – the end of the film is in fact the beginning – and shows David Beckham and his friends leaving the bar as immaculately put together as when they arrived. Ronan Beirne, Global Brand Director said, “Responsible drinking is an integral part of the Haig Club philosophy and we have a shared belief with our business partner, David

Beckham, about quality over quantity and the importance of drinking in moderation. #LeaveAsYouArrived was designed to showcase the benefits of drinking in moderation on a night out. HAIG Club believes that looking as good leaving the bar as when you arrived, is the epitome of style.

INCHDAIRNIE’S FIRST RELEASE WILL BE A ‘RYE WHISKY’ InchDairnie Distillery has revealed its first release, Ryelaw, will be a groundbreaking ‘rye whisky’ that brings together elements of Scotch whisky and American rye whiskey. Ryelaw – which is made with a high proportion of malted rye, the key component in American rye whiskey, and also malted barley, the key ingredient in Scotch whisky – is being distilled at the Fife Distillery this month, for maturation. The creation of Ryelaw marks what is believed to be the return of the use of rye in Scotch whisky for the first time in over 100 years, and is inspired by a discovery made by InchDairnie’s managing director Ian Palmer. He unearthed the evidence in the 1908/9 Royal Commission Report on Whisky and Other Potable Spirits that shows rye was historically commonly used to make Scotch whisky more than 100 years ago. Ryelaw has been created using Inchdairnie’s unconventional mash filter, one of only two in Scotland, which is able to process the viscous rye grains, unlike the traditional mash tuns in most distilleries. Its secret recipe, with its high proportion of malted rye, and the fact that it will be made and matured in Scotland, means that it will meet the legal definitions of both a Scotch whisky and an American rye whiskey. In America, rye whiskey must contain at least 51% rye. While it can be described in general terms as a ‘rye whisky’, Ryelaw will officially be categorised as a single grain Scotch whisky made using malted rye. This is in line with The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009, which define the five categories of Scotch whisky and state that distillers in Scotland can only make Scotch whisky. The Glenrothes distillery opened in May 2016.

DIAGEO LAUNCHES JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL GHOST AND RARE Johnnie Walker has launched the first in a series of new expressions named Blue Label Ghost and Rare. The first release has been crafted with one Brora at its heart, but blended with seven other whiskies. The name comes from the ‘ghost’ distilleries that still have product left but are no longer in operation. The two ghost distilleries in this release are Cambus and Pittyvaich, Five whiskies from the existing distilleries of Royal Lochnagar, Clynelish, Glenkinchie, Glenlossie and Cameronbridge are blended to create a smooth scotch, with the fruity sweetness of pineapple, rich notes of hazelnut and dark chocolate, and a subtle smoky finish.





Crabbie’s is moving into the craft beer market with Crabbie’s’ IPA and Crabbie’s Stout, the debut drinks from its new Crafty Ginger Collection. Crabbie’s IPA blends the brand’s alcoholic ginger beer with a Red IPA from Sadler’s Ales. The ale contains a ⅓ less calories than premium cider brands, with an ABV of 4.7%, and is naturally gluten free. Crabbie’s Stout blends the ginger beer with xxx. The Crafty Ginger Collection, which is inspired by founder John Crabbie’s unconventional approach to drinks making, is positioning the new range as being ginger and proud. The launch of the collection also signals the introduction of a bolder packaging design. The new distinctive design focuses on the brand’s craftsmanship credentials, making it eye-catching on the back bar or fridges to attract craft ale and beer fans. Anja Weise-O’Connor, Senior Marketing Manager at Crabbie’s, said, “Introducing the very first ginger IPA into our established range is a bold and exciting move that we’re confident will be beneficial for the on-trade, particularly as the craft beer segment is experiencing growth from consumers looking for unique flavour variants.”

Belhaven Brewery is adding to its its fruit flavoured range with Twisted Mango IPA. The 5.1% IPA, which combines the big tropical fruit aroma of Galaxy hops with a unique twist of juicy, fresh mango, is the fourth craft beer to be launched by Belhaven range. It follows the success of gold award-winning beers Twisted Thistle IPA, crisp citrus hoppy Intergalatic Dry Hop Lager and the bold, fresh taste of Twisted Grapefruit IPA. Speaking about Twisted Mango IPA, Belhaven’s Brand Manager Gordon Muir said, “Twisted Grapefruit IPA smashed our expectations in the UK and overseas when we launched it in keg last Autumn. The fruit flavoured beer market is fast growing and innovative and we are thrilled to bring Twisted Mango IPA to the market.”

SHARP’S HITS FESTIVE SEASON WITH DOOM BAR RESERVE Sharp’s Brewery has released Doom Bar Reserve, the final addition to the brewer’s limited release series of the year, in time for Christmas. Inspired by Sharps’ flagship product, the UK’s number one cask ale Doom Bar, the new beer will be available to all on-trade customers until the end of the year. Doom Bar Reserve is brewed with a higher alcohol level of 6%, making it ideal for colder nights in the countdown to Christmas. The amber ale has been brewed with the finest malts and hops which provide a spicy aroma with malty sweetness. James Nicholls, Senior Brand Manager at Sharp’s Brewery, said, “With the festive period fast approaching, we’ve created this exceptional ‘Reserve’ brew of our hugely popular Doom Bar, to offer our customers a special treat this winter. The beer has festive notes of dried fruit and a warming roasted bitterness, making it the perfect pint to enjoy with friends in the run up to Christmas.”



Gin DUNNET BAY DISTILLERY LAUNCHES WINTER EDITION ROCK ROSE GIN Dunnet Bay Distillery, the UK’s most northerly mainland distillery, has revealed its final seasonal release of the year, Winter Edition Rock Rose Gin. One of the only gins in the world to be made from Christmas Trees, the main botanical in this limited edition release is spruce tips. The original Rock Rose elements have been scaled down to allow the delightful earthy and slightly citrusy notes from the spruce tips to shine through. Martin Murray, CoFounder, Dunnet Bay Distillers, says, “Our aim is to create spirits that express a true flavour of the Scottish Highlands and the seasonal editions are a brilliant example of this. With local spruce tips the hero botanical we believe we have crafted a truly unique spirit with our Winter Edition and as well as serving with tonic, we also recommend serving it neat in a hot glass.”

Consumers are likely to spend an additional £562million this year on drinks out-of-home, with some 211 million visits expected to be made to pubs, bars, and restaurants over the festive period (CGA OPM Christmas Data).

More than a third of people (36%) were willing to pay extra for a better quality drink than they would normally choose. Of those, 57% were influenced by wanting a treat, 32% by friends and 24% by recommendations from bar staff (CGA’s 2016 Christmas Report).

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US scientists have calculated that Santa would have to visit an incredible 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s gifts on Christmas Eve – travelling at a speed of 650 miles per second.

Edinburgh Christmas Gin is flavoured with an array of unique botanicals, including the spiced, aromatic notes of frankincense and myrrh and classic juniper, as well as zesty sweet orange. With a finishing note of nutmeg it is ideal to sip as a warming gin, or to mix. It also works perfectly in a Negroni, as the sweet myrrh provides balance to Campari’s bitter finish.



3 The chances of a White Christmas are one in six for Scotland and Northern Ireland – and just one in ten for England and Wales.

Christmas pop-up bars are still proving popular - the RumChata venue on George Street in Edinburgh is a hit with shoppers wanting to warm up with one of their delicious RumChata Hot Chocolate drinks. RumChata combines smooth Caribbean rum with its signature blend of spices from seven different countries, including vanilla and cinnamon.

Spirits remain the favourite Christmas tipple – accounting for 18.9% of total serves, an increase of nearly 4% against an average four-week period. Vodka, dark rum, blended whisky, gin, tequila and non-cream liqueurs saw the biggest trade-up last year (CGA’s 2016 Christmas Report).

Last year 75% of all food-led Christmas occasions involved at least one alcoholic drink, compared with 51% at any point in the year (CGA’s 2016 Christmas Report).

Glengoyne has commissioned artist John Lowrie Morrison to paint a collection of seasonal paintings inspired by Glengoyne Distillery, which will be released annually until 2019. This year the second edition is a snowy winter scene. Sales from these limited edition tins, which contain a bottle of Glengoyne 10 Year Old Jolomo Limited Edition, will go to The Mackintosh Campus Appeal, to help The Glasgow School of Art following the 2014 fire. They make really great collectable items, and are set to raise £50,000 over the next four years.

While fewer people visited the on-trade over Christmas 2016 (down –4%), those who did went out more often and spent more money. Sales lifts were primarily in drinks (up 4.4% on the previous year) while the value of dry sales dropped slightly (by 0.7%) (CGA’s 2016 Christmas Report).

According to tradition, you should eat one mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas to bring good luck.

Around 9.3 million people who went out celebrating last Christmas tried something new. Hot alcoholic drinks, sparkling wine, cocktails and Champagne were amongst the favourite choices (CGA’s 2016 Christmas Report).

Pubs and bars remain the hub for out-of-home festive occasions with 74% of consumers visiting pubs and 70% saying they visit restaurants (CGA’s 2016 Christmas Report).


ubs and bars remain the P hub for out-of-home festive occasions with 74% of consumers visiting pubs and 70% saying they visit restaurants (CGA’s 2016 Christmas Report).

Stuart Fraser, Partner at The Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha, Loch Lomond, says spirits are always popular sellers at Christmas time. He adds, “Our customers love to visit over the festive period and sample our very own Balmaha Whisky or one of the Scottish gins that we serve. This, combined with a Christmas or New Year walk up nearby Conic Hill has become a holiday tradition for many.”

The average spend in a pub over the 2016 festive period was £43.89, £59.23 in a restaurant and £63.41 in a bar (CGA’s 2016 Christmas Report).

Competition for footfall is becoming more challenging – with 60% of consumers only visiting one outlet when they do go out (CGA’s 2016 Christmas Report).



Wild Island Botanic Gin launches its second permanent expression, Sacred Tree, on December 6 – just in time for the festive period. The tipple is bottled at 43.4% ABV, which is the average Fahrenheit temperature in the Hebrides (6.33 Celsius) during autumn and winter. Sacred Tree uses fruits gathered on the Isle of Colonsay between October and April – including bramble, crab apples, redcurrants, rosehip, rowan berries and elderberries – infused as part of a total of 22 botanicals which help create a spicy, delicately sweet, juicy gin.

Ed Hughes, Beer Sommelier at Sharp’s Brewery, suggests serving Pilsner in a Champagne flute as a way of changing things up. He says, “In the run up to Christmas, a glass of Pilsner is a great alternative to Prosecco or Champagne. Sharp’s Pilsner is crisp and light tasting, and when served in a Champagne flute is wonderful for stimulating conversation and challenging perceptions of what beer can be.” He adds, “With the colder weather upon us, people are also looking for beers with full flavours that evoke feelings of warmth and comfort.” Sharp’s recently launched Doom Bar Reserve, a limited-edition brew of their number one cask ale, Doom Bar. Ed says, “It has festive notes of dried fruit and a warming roasted bitterness, making it the perfect pint to enjoy with friends in the run up to Christmas.”

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hef Michael Kilkie and bar operator Neil Connolly are no strangers to winning awards and the two slick operators are going for gold with their new venue The Dapper Squirrel in Kilmarnock. The former trading standards office, and ex home of Franklin and Sloane, at 14 London Road, was initially refurbished by G1 Group in 2015. It has now been gutted, refitted and finely tuned by Michael and Neil. Kilmarnock local Michael, who also works as a new product development chef supplying recipes for the Cooperative and Tesco supermarket chains, is also a DJ, but trained as a chef in 2000 and, in 2002 alongside his sister, opened Mezzaluna in Ayr. In 2005, the duo sold up to fund Michael’s next venture, the award winning Jefferson restaurant in Kilmarnock, which opened in late 2006. After moving on from The Jefferson Michael worked for various businesses including G1 and also passes on his skills by teaching at the ‘cook school at Braehead Foods’ in Kilmarnock and now works as a consultant for Morrison’s and Tesco. Michael realised he needed a business partner to help him turn the new Kilmarnock idea into reality and approached Neil, who he had known since both men were on the Scottish clubscene in the nineties. Neil interjects. “We met in the Rock Garden in the early nineties,” he says. “There was a group of us that ran about in those days,then I was involved in the Rock Garden, O’Henrys and Chimmy Chungas.” Neil went on to set up Scotland’s first Budda bars and clubs before branching out on his own with Moskito in 2000. He says, “When the opportunity arose and Michael phoned up and asked if I would help, I came down and fell in love with the building. It’s got such a unique feel to it and with the outside areas like the sun terrace beer garden and car park, ”it’s got a lot of potential. I can see us running all sorts of things from October Fests to family days - we can sit 200 people at the rear and 40 out front.” Michael, who had several club hits including the anthem Cry India with his duo Umboza, said, “My plan was always to keep on my job as a development chef. I knew Neil from my djing days, and from living in town, and we’ve been pals since then.” On his reincarnation as a chef, he told DRAM, “When I was Djing, it was a young person’s game, there was loads of young guys doing it and digital was starting to make itself felt. “They were offering to do gigs at £50 a night, and you couldn’t compete. It wasn’t a career for someone who had a young family.” Michael’s children are now more grown up, so he can still keep his hand in. He says, “I do about 4 gigs a year, but I tend to pick and choose them so I pick high profile ones



Michael Kilkie left, Neil Connelly right.





that mean something to me.” It doesn’t get much more legendary than Soul II Soul, which he supported at their recent gig in Glasgow. However he is totally committed to his new venture. He says, “The building is fantastic. It’s unique with lots of character, and is the perfect spot for what we want to do. I used to run various units for owners G1 four years ago and realised this site would be great for a bar and restaurant. I could see the potential of the building and grounds, and though G1 are still landlord for the building, we are completely independent from them and rent the property from them under a free of tie lease.” Michael adds, “We wanted to make it a type of place where you can get everything from just a pint to a steak and bottle of wine. I suppose the word gastro pub is over used but it is a food-led operation and as we progress, we will utilise the size of the place and outside areas and make it multipurpose. As we go into spring and summer, customers will be able to go outside and we can have gin festivals over the weekend as well as craft beer festivals, street food festivals, a farmers market and a big screen out for the World Cup. There will be a kids play area with more trees and a stage in the corner for music. We have so many options.” For Neil, the chance to operate a different style of business to Glasgow city centre bar and restaurant Moskito was too big an opportunity to resist. He said, “There are no DJs or doormen and it’s a different location in a nice neighbourhood with the focus on food and family. I enjoy driving down here, and I have enjoyed the process - it’s relit my fire.” The transformation hasn’t been without its challenges as what looked like a small facelift became a major scale operation. Michael said, “I’m probably here most nights and weekends. Our small plan evolved into a bigger one as we went along. Neil is quite a fluid person when it comes to doing things, which is reflected in the whole project.” Neil added, “I am in every day at the moment. Working a small independent and being hands on, brings something different to the table and the staff see how committed we are. We are very passionate about it and have a real desire to make it special. There is something very unique about the place.” The two men got the keys to the building on September 4 and opened just three weeks later thanks to the help of local contractors and fitters. Michael said; “We tried in terms of using a base of people we know including our friend Brian Mullen who used to run the Sub Club and did the painting, plastering and restoration of stonework.” Neil also put his network from Moskito to use. He said, “There was already a great heating and Sonos sound DRAM DECEMBER 2017 17

CONTINUED system, and Complete Solutions owned by Scott Adams helped us with the decor and main joinery. They built a nice bar and made all the tables for us and fixed seating too. Having a main bar that was operational was important and they had a dispense bar that wasn’t suitable before us. We put plug point at most booths so people can plug in their mobiles and RNR Electrical helped us with the electrics.Neil Morgan provided independent catering equipment and our florist is also local company Flowers By Karen.” The venue uses a lot of wood downstairs to complement the natural feeling of the venue and as well as a spacious bar and dining and lounge area downstairs also offers up a forty seated function room upstairs. It’s ideal for birthdays, baby showers and other private parties and can be split into two with a partition and its own bar. Neil said, “The idea was that people can naturally gravitate towards the bar area on the right or dining area on the left as they come in the front door but it’s really up to them where

they sit. Upstairs we can host karaoke at a Christmas party or any type of special event in private.” Chef Michael has added his own twist to traditional dishes using shin of beef in lasagna and Italian sausage for his meatballs serving breakfast and weekend brunch alongside an all-day menu. So far the bookings have been strong and Neil and Michael are already looking forward to a booked out Christmas with over two hundred covers. n

Independent wines for independent minds…

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REVIEW OF TH 2017 has certainly been a busy year. This month, as usual I finish the year with a review of trends, stand out moments and the hot topics and we pay our respects to a legend. The biggest issue the year has very definitely been rates... and it is one that is not going to go away any time soon. The Scottish Government gave the licensed trade a stay of execution with a temporary 12-month 14.75% ‘transitional relief’ cap in April, but that is only in place until the end of March 2018. Meanwhile the Barclay Review, which put forward some 30 suggestions, failed to come up with a solution to the inequality the licensed trade faces – it is the only business sector in the country which sees Rateable Value based on turnover rather than square footage. This is not just a hot topic – it is crucial for the trade that a solution is reached which is fairer than the rises set. The proposed rises in RV along with the increase in water costs will ultimately be unsubstainable for many businesses. The main issue is that although the trade is looking for reform, it too has not come up with a viable alternative. This has to be the basis of a concentrated effort in the New Year... let me know your thoughts.

WS BEST INTERVMaIE netta rio Gizzi and Tony Co

r hat off to You have to take you The Citizen, and they not only opened of the DRG Group – , but they also re17 20 in rgh in Edinbu a new Cafe Andaluz m aparthotel above £8 ir rted work on the vealed plans and sta open next year. sgow which is set to The Anchor Line in Gla flagship restaum £2 new ir un on the Work has also just beg in Edinburgh. e uar x at St Andrew’s Sq rant and bar comple next year. Not n ope o als will t ran restau o have furThe new 200-seater als y the – up the DRG Gro an. These Slo content with expanding ul Pa ts with Mario’s cousin (which ther business interes oo aak Ch and a aki ed Mezzid include the newly-open nd too. And just the Topolabamba bra opened last year) and Home on the ght bou had y the ed reveal this month they also ainn. Next chl cLa Ma lum h Paul and Ca feel a gong Loch in Arrochar wit can I to be a busy one and year is definitely going ! list s our w Year hon coming on in our Ne



Fundraising initiatives Last year we saw the likes of Social Bite and Boozy Cow set out their charitable credentials. This year Buzzworks and Manorview stood out for their contributions. Buzzworks launched its pro-social bonus scheme earlier this year. This saw the companies nine venues compete against each other with regards to customer service, sales, cleanliness etc each quarter and the winning outlets taking their share of a £1000 charity pot to gift to charities of their choice. Charities that benefitted included Alzheimer Scotland, Memories are Better than Dreams, Hansel Village and Ayrshire Maternity Unit. Meanwhile staff from Manorview raised around £44,000 through cycle runs, mountain climbs, football matches and more with staff being encouraged to take on fundraising initiatives. Well done to all concerned.

A real experience There is no doubt about it. Discerning customers these days want to enjoy an ‘experience,’ and this is certainly something that the trade can deliver. It used to be the case that people would say if the food was great people would come back, but now that is not enough. Customers want excellent service, a good ambience, above average food and nice surroundings whether in the city centre our out with and the hospitality businesses that have embraced this are reaping the benefits. Brand owning companies have researched trends to the nth degree and they too are developing events and marketing tools which enhance the customers experience – whether that’s colder beer, or bespoke events – one size fits all, now doesn’t. The other key trend this year has been the rise of the street foodie pop-up – which seems to have gone alongside with rise of street art murals in venues - most recently in Nam Tuk, Glagow and Black Ivy, Edinburgh. The first place I think that I saw a mural like this was when Martin Luney and Colin Church opened Hamilton’s and put in a Roy Fox Lichtenstein inspired mural in 2008. He was an American pop artist who caught their imagination.

HE YEAR 2017 Moving on...

NEW BARS... There has been so many new venues this year and refurbishments too. I really love Billy Lowe’s new Black Ivy (see design) and I also loved the Editor’s Room at The Citizen. I haven’t seen the new honeymoon suite at Cornhill House Hotel in the flesh but it looks amazing in the pictures... and the new function suite and entrance at Seamill Hydro is also fantastic – the view blows you away! I also love what Lisini have done with Angels in Uddingston and of course Harry’s Bar – its new look proved a huge hit with customers turning it into one of the busiest neighbourhood bars and restaurants in the country. The quirkiest was Nam Tuk – the attention to detail there with all the wee bits and pieces from the ribbons on the bamboo to the luggage labels and coloured pens... was exceptional. One of the biggest changes was at Rick’s in Edinburgh which re-emerged as Rabble – with new craft beer credentials and Buzzworks triumphed with the opening of The Coach House in Bridge of Weir.

Hugo Mills who headed up Molson Coors in Scotland moved onto Sky, John Gemmell was promoted to Commercial Director at Heineken UK, Catherine Conaghan, formerly of Diageo joined Maxxium UK while Paul Condron, Marketing Director at Tennent’s joined Edrington and earlier in the year Mark Baird Head of Alcohol in Society at Diageo – who represented the company of many industry organisations, left.


Craft beer an d craft gin co ntinued to ex year but it w cite consum as Tank Beer ers this that excited Finnieston w the trade. St as one of the rip Joint in first to put a – The Citizen tank in, and , the DRUM others includ and Monkey and the Beer e and The Shilli Kitchen in Gl ng Beer Co, as gow and Blac all opting to put the tanks k Ivy, to nam e but a few, in. Most of th the act – with e brewers ha Tennent’s en ve got in on tering the fray Staropramen m arrived in Glas ost recently. Tanked gow and Edin Punks, Rabb burgh this ye le and Indigo ar at Pizza Yard. The be Prague is un er, delivered pasteurised direct from and stored in bar. The man copper tanks tra is brewer above the y-fresh.

BUZZING BEYOND AYRSHIRE... Buzzworks the Ayrshire-based bar and restaurant group opened their first venture outside of Ayrshire earlier this year – the new Coach House bar and restaurant in Bridge of Weir saw the company leave its comfort zone and signalled a rolling out of its ‘House’ brand. The company also revealed it is expanding its parameters even further with plans afoot to open a new Scotts at the Port Edgar Marina, in South Queensferry next year. The quality of their outlets takes some beating.

The death of a legend...

The father of Scotland’s casual dining sector Joseph Conetta, know as Joe, died in July in Scotland after a heart attack at Frankfurt Airport. Joe, 72, was one of the founders of The Di Maggio’s group which is now jointly run by Joe’s son Tony, and Mario Gizzi. Today it has more than 20 restaurants, 1,000 staff and an annual turnover in excess of £35 million. But when Joe and partner Mario Gizzi (senior) set it up Italian food was a rarity – today it is part of our staple diet and this is due in no small part to the role that Joe played in making Italian food accessible to Glaswegians and their families. He retired at 55 and left the running of the business to Mario and son Tony and bought a farm in Lanarkshire, a house in France and a ranch in Spain – where he indulged his love of horses. He also was able to indulge his love of cars and driving – and enjoyed nothing better than motoring to one of his houses either in his Ferrari or Bentley. Tony said in his eulogy to his father ... “ “Dad would drive from Glasgow to France, Italy or Spain, sometime all in the same week, by the shortest route possible. That would mean many lane changes, overtaking, setting his own pace, occasionally using the wrong lane, always fuelled by salt and vinegar crisps. I think he loved his driving so much because he was in charge of his own destiny when he was driving. Joe always said ... ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get.’ And he was a lucky man. He is survived by wife Lee, son Tony, daughter Marcella and his grandchildren. DRAM DECEMBER 2017 21

Proud to supply The White Horse Oyster Bar and wish all the team every success 2 Lornshill Cottages, Alloa FK10 2EP tel. 01259 212338 266 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH8 8AA




HEN it comes to direction, Mark Fraser and Michael Spink of The Compass Group don’t seem to have any problem working out which way they are headed – and it’s very much



on the up. Hot on the heels of their popular Chop House Bar & Butchery brand – with two restaurants in Leith and Edinburgh’s Old Town already – comes their brilliant seafood offering, the White Horse Oyster & Seafood Bar, which is sure to be a recipe for success. The venue is on the site of the original White Horse Bar, established in 1742 and the oldest inn on the capital’s iconic Royal Mile. It opened last month after a complete refurbishment of the building, which has created an intimate dining room, with additional covers in luxurious booth seating and more seating available in the bar area. One of the key features is a spectacular lobster tank, recessed into the wall, which not only looks impressive but also means that diners can select their own fresh British lobster at varying weights. Customers can also enjoy fresh oysters and cocktails alongside an all-day menu of small dishes such as crab fries and sesame tuna at the bar. The idea behind the interior design was to create a refined dining space that still had a casual, approachable feel to it – and that certainly comes through. The subtle colour palette, exposed brickwork and dark-stained wood brings a nautical quality to the space while the use of materials like velvet and leather on the seating bring a sense of luxury. This is somewhere that customers can enjoy a dining experience focused on fresh seafood and shellfish – without feeling outside their comfort zone.




DESIGN FOCUS The bar is also something of a feature – the top was custom-made in green marble while the front of it has been covered in simple wooden cladding which has been stained grey. Behind it, the backdrop of the exposed brick wall lends warm, earthy tones. Bottles of wine, Champagne and spirits are stored neatly on timber shelves, also stained a dark colour and subtly backlit to showcase the contents. It looks high-end but the natural tones make the space feel welcoming – and definitely not somewhere customers will feel like fish out of water. The bar stools have a slightly industrial look but are topped with solid, contoured seats – built for comfort as much as style – and the barheight table opposite is perfect for groups of friends. The banquette seating, which was produced by local upholsterer Holster Edinburgh, combines a mixture of rich navy leather in the bar and booth areas before switching to a luxe soft velvet in the dining room. Holster also upholstered the restaurant seats and bar stools, so they are completely bespoke and tie in with the rest of the interior. The polished concrete floor in the bar area bounces light back into the building and a clever roof light above the dining area to the rear of the restaurant also floods the space with natural light. Classic Farrow & Ball paint tones have been used to create atmosphere while decorative effects, which include a pair of ancientlooking propellers on one wall, have been kept to a minimum, so the space feels very clean. 24


Statement lighting from various independent suppliers – including four large glass ball-shaped lamps above the bar – adds to the sophisticated look of the restaurant. Parquet-style flooring in the dining room delineates the area and gives it a feeling of being slightly separate from the rest of the venue. Wooden table tops have been etched with the WH logo and infilled with brass resin and the same green marble which is on the bar top has also been used on table tops in the dining room. Outside, the venue’s frontage has a distressed look to it – off-set beautifully by the bespoke oyster sign created by a local craftsman. He also made the exterior menu box and the mild steel oyster station that stands on the bar when you head inside. Mark Fraser, Managing Director of The Compass Group, says it was all about going back to basics – as well as sourcing high quality ingredients. He says, “We wanted to go back to basics and create a classic and relaxed offering where the ingredients take centre stage, so sourcing the very best seafood is crucial for us at White Horse.” Sharing platters of shellfish including lobsters, scallops and crab are a key part of the offering and a range of oysters from across the UK, including Lindisfarne, Carlingford, Loch Fyne and Caledonian, are also available – shucked on the bar in full view of the customers. The menu is designed to showcase the best of British shellfish and seafood in a collection of dishes which can be shared by the whole

table. In addition, a selection of stand-alone dishes like monkfish curry, lobster and fries, crab linguine and whole lemon sole are also available. Mark adds, “Shellfish is often considered a luxury ingredient and seafood restaurants as formal and expensive. “Whilst the focus of White Horse will always be on the quality of the ingredients we source, we are very excited to introduce a new and relaxed way to enjoy seafood in the capital.” Their suppliers include Edinburgh-based Welch Fishmongers, Mara Seaweed and Cornish sustainable fishing specialists Wild Harbour. The restaurant also offers a bespoke cocktail menu, drawing on classic influences. The list incorporates seasonal ingredients, boutique spirits and seaside influences to create a fresh, vibrant range of signature drinks. Restaurateurs Mark Fraser and Michael Spink formed their business partnership in 2004 and have established a reputation as one of the leading independent hospitality groups in Edinburgh. They launched the Chop House brand in Leith two years ago and opened a second offering last year at the New Waverley Arches development. The group also operates Monteiths, Sygn – the capital’s first independent style bar – and gastropub The WestRoom, all in Edinburgh. If the success of other Compass Group venues is anything to go by, the White Horse should be right on the money. n DRAM DECEMBER 2017 25


2017 SUPPLIER AWARDS Recognising our suppliers who deliver beyond expectations

Left to Right Back Row: Lindsay Fletcher, Innis & Gunn; Norman Barr, Inverarity Morton; Ceri Pullen, Britvic. Left to Right Front Row: Paul Shepherd, Gonzรกlez Byass UK; Jane Campbell, Inverarity Morton; Graeme Muir, William Grant & Sons; Steven Clarke, Inverarity Morton; Matt Munro, WEST

Britvic Soft Drinks Supplier of the Year

Gonzรกlez Byass UK UK Wine Supplier of the Year

WEST Beer Supplier of the Year

Vignobles Foncalieu Overseas Wine Supplier of the Year

William Grant & Sons Spirits Supplier of the Year

Overall Supplier of the Year


10-11 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EE




HEN the team behind the hugely popular Cafe Andaluz chain embarked on their latest venture the brief was simple: they wanted the new restaurant to be the same as their other four – but different too. The new venue, on Edinburgh’s George IV Bridge, was actually two separate buildings when the company – Di Maggio’s Restaurant Group (DRG) originally acquired it. The first phase of their ambitious £1.7million project involved knocking through two sides of the building – no small undertaking given that the old sandstone walls are 65cm thick – and stripping out a spiral staircase at the rear which went up to a mezzanine level. The building work began in May and took around six weeks to complete, before they could start on the 16-week fit-out which was finished last month – just in time for the busy festive season. Vicki Braham, in-house Interior Designer at DRG explains, “We have four other Cafe Andaluz already, including the one on George Street in Edinburgh, so I felt that this one should have some slightly different touches. You always want to continue and grow. “It was about taking the Cafe Andaluz concepts that we already have – things like the terracotta floor tiles and the wall tiles are the same throughout the restaurants – but this time I changed the top and bottom border tiles on the walls, for example. “The styles have to be consistent throughout so it’s a visible brand that everyone knows, but with elements that make it different. “I am pleased with how it’s all worked out – it looks good.” It certainly does. From the moment you step inside the venue it has a feeling of light and space – despite its 280-cover capacity. DRAM DECEMBER 2017 27

DESIGN FOCUS Bar-style tables and seating in the window areas are aimed at encouraging people to pop in for a coffee or a quick drink if they are not ready to eat and there are also comfy seats at the bar, in darkred and brown leather. On the left-hand wall a huge mirror, which is almost four metres wide and took 11 men to hang it, bounces light back into the area. Vicki explains that the frame was made by a firm in Spain but the glass was inserted in Scotland – because otherwise it would have been too heavy to transport. She adds, “We wanted to have a nice open space and for the area at the front to feel more like a bar, somewhere you might go in and have a coffee, rather than a full-on restaurant space.” The bar itself is topped with a light grey marble, flecked with grey, red, brown and black and looks clean, clear and uncluttered despite the considerable array of wines and spirits on offer. Banquette seating opposite is perfect for people-watching or just enjoying the buzz of a busy restaurant, while seating on the other side of the area has a more sedate feel, with a mix of dark wooden and mosaic table tops. Some of the design ideas were inspired by the décor at Andaluz in Aberdeen, which has large flowers painted on the walls – but changed up to give this new venue an identity all of its own. Glasgow-based artist Ranald McColl painted a fabulous mural on the wall which leads through to the Orangery – at the back of the restaurant – and another one on a wall in the downstairs bar area. He also painted the huge china bull, which is already proving a talking point, in the same style so that there is a consistency throughout the different spaces as you move around the venue. The bull came about as a clever design solution to building regulations. Vicki explains, “The painted bull is something that we don’t have anywhere else. It came about because we decided to keep the 28


existing staircase where it was but as part of fire regulations we had to have a barrier that goes from 4.5 metres away from the bar. “I realised that if we capped the staircase it would be a solution – and doing so created the plinth for the bull. “It’s a Spanish thing, obviously, and I felt it would be a big statement piece. The figure is quite masculine and stylized. We had the bull made in England and shipped up here and the same artist who painted the mural walls also painted him because I wanted there to be continuity.” The Orangery is a different space again, with huge windows and fabulous views of the Castle which makes it particularly popular with diners. The double-height ceiling gives the room a really open feel and a strip of mirrors running discretely around the top of it only adds to that. Pots of geraniums hanging on one wall are reminiscent of homes in Andalucia, as are the trails of vines and flowers hanging overhead. Vicki explains, “The area in the back is completely different – we didn’t have anything like that before – but, with all the windows, we thought it would be nice to have a bit of a green space. “The plan is to plant some trees in there at some point too.” It is no wonder that the place has such an authentic feel, given that so many of the fixtures and fittings came from Spain and Morocco. Vicki says, “All the brass lights, carved benches and panels were custom-made by a company in Morocco and they also made the decorative mirrors including the huge one at the entrance. “The little pendant lights throughout the Orangery are actually little Moroccan plates. We bought a whole bunch of them and had our electrician cut holes in them.” Decorative plates on the walls are from Spain and Morocco and the wall tiles are all from Spain. The banquette seating was supplied by Lecs Upholstery, in Larbert,

Factory Artesana De Ceramica Specialty In Murales Email:

BY ANNABELLE LOVE while the tables that are not tiled came from Carlick in Manchester. The restaurant, which offers a range of delicious tapas dishes and freshly made paellas, is spread out over two floors, although DRG has another half floor below that for the plant room and staff quarters. Downstairs is a second, slightly smaller bar, with the original exposed sandstone wall as its backdrop and another flock-style mural. The Bodega opposite has the look of a wine cellar, with Spanish bricks on its walls, a wood-panelled ceiling and recessed wine display. Leather and fabric-covered chairs and dark wooden tables give it a cosy but sophisticated feel. The area is open plan, with plenty of dining space and those great views of the Castle again. There is also a private dining room for customers who are looking for something a little more exclusive. Here, rather than compromise the space, seating has been limited to 14 so that guests have space to move about, to stand and enjoy the vista over pre-dinner drinks. A lack of compromise seems to have been key to this project – along with meticulous attention to detail. The space and light inside the building have been used so effectively that it really does have a Mediterranean feel. The close attention to detail – even the undersides of the stairs are tiled – means that it feels like a Café Andaluz and yet it is different too. Vicki is clearly happy with the way that this latest venue has worked out. She says, “It’s different from the other Andaluz’s and that’s what I like about it. One of my favourite elements is the mural downstairs – I love it.” Tony Conetta, DRG Director, adds, “We are proud to be opening our fifth Café Andaluz restaurant and our second in Edinburgh. “It’s a great location in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.” n

Unit 1, Lochlands Business Park, Larbert, Stirlingshire FK5 3NS T: 01324 563903


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Verifier Security Systems wish Billy and his Team all the very best with his latest venture, Black Ivy. Verifier’s Managing Director Stuart Comrie has taken care of the security system requirements for Billy’s venues going as far back as 1998 and is proud to connue to deliver CCTV and Intruder alarm systems and services To find out how Verifier can take care of your Security System needs, call us on 01324 280999 or see us on the web

Scott Reuter wishes Billy and all the staff at Black Ivy every success in the future and were proud to be able to supply them with the bespoke seating deserved of such a unique establishment.

Tel: 0131 555 0990 Mobile 07860418125 Email: 30


4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU



lack Ivy, a stylish neighbourhood bar and hotel in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, is already making its mark following an extensive refurbishment by owner Billy Lowe. The new venue, which was formerly The Links Hotel, has been completely transformed into a stylish bar and restaurant, with 22 boutique bedrooms too. Billy worked with long-time collaborator Chris Hines of Redhouse Design – to create Black Ivy and Billy is pleased with the result. He told DRAM, “I think it is the best venue we have done.” There is a wow factor from the outset, with the outside area at Black Ivy worthy of a mention as the substantial terrace boasts classy black, outside furniture and fire pits. The venue, and the name, have been inspired by a desire to create a premium neighbourhood bar rooted in the leafy, park location but also


informed by stylish, forward thinking venues in London, Brooklyn and beyond. The result is a vibrant venue which contrasts neon art with vintage chandeliers and street art murals by international artist Rone, with wood flooring salvaged from 19th Century French train carriages. There’s even a floor made entirely from American cent coins, which hold a personal secret for Billy. He says, “I included a penny [cent], one each from the year of birth for each of my four kids. and then one from 2012 to mark getting my dogs.” Of course, there had to be a coin for Billy’s beloved Hibs so he picked one from 2016, when the team won the Scottish Cup. The sweet nostalgic nod didn’t go down to well with Karin, Billy’s wife. He says, “First thing she said was ‘where’s mine?’, so I picked a DRAM DECEMBER 2017 31

DESIGN FOCUS coin to commemorate our 30th wedding anniversary instead!” Billy and his team have changed everything about the former hotel, to create a feeling of spaciousness and light. When you enter Black Ivy, there is an elegant bar area to the left with leather-upholstered curved booths, which back onto an exposed stone wall. Behind each of the booths there is an arched mirror that looks like a window and exquisite chandeliers hang above the marbled topped tables. Explains Billy, “I had heard about this place in Stockport that had an amazing selection of chandeliers. So I took the train down and was blown away by what they had. For instance some came from Russian mansions, others from shipwrecks and so on. we bought. They add glamour.” They certainly do. There are also trees behind the booths which also give you the feeling of bringing the outside in. Towards the back of this area, 32


leading into a restaurant area, there is a raised platform with a baby grand piano. Says Billy, “When we bring in entertainers they will be able to perform from the platform. They will be able to see the whole space and people will be able to see them.” This dining area, called The Conservatory, also boasts dark green leather upholstered seating, a generous booth and various sizes of tables – from oak topped tables for two, to a marble topped table for eight. Light streams in, and the clever use of mirrors which have the appearance of windows - has an amazing effect on the ambience. The far end of this area has a fire, and a statement fireplace, with a small seating area directly in front. There is also a large half circular booth fitted into the corner, creating a cosy area. Fires abound in Black Ivy. Says Billy, “People love fires and congregate around them.” In total there are three, but they are of the modern

variety – think glowing fire-effect with sleek surrounds. An array of framed prints hang beside the fireplace in the conservatory and on the all leading to the second bar. Hanging from the roof are richly coloured wisteria and, of course, a variety of chandeliers. Where there once was [in its former guise] a small corridor, there is now a marble-topped seating area which is just beside the tank of beer. Around the corner, there is another elegant bar featuring bright pink chairs that really add a pop of colour. A couple of steps further up, there is a glass enclosed room which boasts two long tables but this room has a dual role. Says Billy, “It’s all about getting the balance between work and play. The tables can operate as work stations set up with iMacs during the day, but come 7pm the tables are transformed into a ping pong station.” The area also boasts a full wall of elegantly framed photographs.

Billy comments, “I spent a lot of time finding them, and to me they represent style and energy. But so far everyone seems to love it and all ages are using it – from students to young mums, as well as sports fans and ladies that lunch.” Sports fans have been well catered for with the venue having nine screens. Says Billy, “On sporting occasions we will not just be having the screens down, but we will have plenty of entertainment on too.” There is no doubt about it Black Ivy is going to make its mark – and shortly its 22 bedrooms will open too. They have been styled in the in-design of Swedish cool, with contrasting dark and white. They are set to open imminently. Black Ivy is definitely going to make its mark. Billy concludes, “It is the best thing we have done, and it’s very personal to me, it’s a ‘modern pub’ in the park!”. n DRAM DECEMBER 2017 33





here is nothing better than seeing a plan come together and Billy Lowe of Black Ivy can hopefully relax now that he has got his latest venue open. With daughter Lucy and sons Billy and David involved, as well as a couple of nephews, this has turned into a real family affair. It also looks amazing, and he tells me that since it opened, it has been going great guns. That’s definitely a result. He is hoping to get back on the golf course next year! Glenfiddich continued its experimental theme this year with The Glenfiddich Experimental Dinner at Glasgow’s Porter & Rye. The chef aged a steak for 200 days in Glenfiddich IPA Cask Whisky – a beef and whisky first. But it was not just the steak that was a tasty treat – from the starter to the sweet – all the dishes contained Glenfiddich, which were all washed down by some superb Glenfiddich cocktails. Of course, the whole event was hosted by Mark Thomson – the brand’s UK ambassador – who since returning to live in Scotland has been making his presence felt! The big news this month was that the long awaited Minimum Unit Pricing has finally got the go ahead from the courts. From an on-trade point of view, this doesn’t really make too much of a difference because in the ontrade, alcohol does not sell for generally less than 50p a unit – the day of the sub £1 beer is long gone. What it does mean though, is that next year supermarkets will not be using alcohol as a loss leader to attract shoppers, and with less of a price differential between pubs and supermarket-bought alcohol, it maybe that pre loading will reduce and customers will make their way back to pubs and bars earlier... here’s hoping. We all missed the Best Bar None Awards in Glasgow recently due to unforeseen circumstances, but congratulations to all the winners particularly the 74 who collected gold awards. As well as the 74 gold awards, 14 venues won silver awards and one picked up a bronze. Iain Houston of The Scotia Bar is pictured collecting the award on behalf of the bar. The Overall Gold award winners were The Garage (Late Night category); the University of Strathclyde Students Union (Specialist



Venue category); the Crystal Palace (Standard premises category); The Mailcoach (Community Pub category 1); McNabbs (Community Pub category 2); Croft Bar and Restaurant (Restaurant category) and the Blythswood Hotel (Hotel category). Winner of the People’s Choice award was The Piper Bar and the finalists were Dram and 26 Hope Street. They say Saturday and Sunday afternoons are the new Friday and Saturday nights – and if Anchor Line in Glasgow is anything to go by, that is certainly the case. It was as busy as I have ever seen it on a Saturday afternoon recently, and with a lovely atmosphere too and the friendliness of the staff could not be faulted, which all adds up to a great experience, These days, that is what a day or night out is all about!


Buy businesses. Sell businesses. Grow businesses.


On the joint instructions of James Stephen and Sarah Rayment the Joint Administrators of Snowie Solutions Limited (In Administration)

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The Waggon, Kelso, Scottish Borders Calistoga Restaurant City Centre, Edinburgh EH2 3DX

n Thriving Borders Restaurant + Bar n

A  nnual Turnover for year to

• Current Lease to 2025: Rent £25,000p.a. 31/3/17 • Full Premises Licence 75+ Covers £696,490 nc  90/100 Family Restaurant/ • Former Martins/Roti, trading spacecover over street/1st floor levels Same owner 7 years • Annual Turnover £305,504 (Ex Vat)

Freehold - Investment Sale • 7 bed hotel, bar/rest/function rm. Rent £35,000, 11 years remaining 6846609

n3  /4£95,000 bedroomed flat above Leasehold - Offers over (included) Ref 1250/EPC G nN  ew lease on offer/Rent c£50,000 p.a.

Leasehold – £175,000

Freehold – £750,000 inc flat. Dubh Prais Scottish Restaurant Ref:1030/EPC-G/Joint Agency Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1SG

Licensed Development, Stirling Freehold • Licensed bar/restaurant development opportunity 6853984

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• Fully Licensed Restaurant in Prime Location Calistoga Restaurant, • Basement 32+ cover restaurant Rose St North Lane,•Edinburgh Annual Rent £18,000; Lease to 2021 (10 yr extension)

• Turnover c£250,000 p.a. nights Restaurant/Bar/Catering trading n on City5Centre

Leasehold - Offers over £40,000 Facility Ref 1498/EPC E n Full Premises Licence 75+ Covers n Current Lease to 2025, Rent £25,000 n Flexible trading space over 2 floors – Former Red Bar + Kitchen townhouse style Kirkcaldy, Fife KY1 1RW n Spacious first floor Commercial Kitchen Price Reduction • Turn Key operation, fully fitted /equipped

Johnston’s Bar & Bistro, Falkirk Freehold - Investment Sale • Ground floor bar/restaurant. Lease 5 years, rent £33,600 6863568

• Town Centre Licensed Premises Leasehold – Offers over £75,000 • Owners Accommodation above (currently let) Ref 1250/EPC – G • Leasehold option available

Brian Sheldon 0141 352 7300


Freehold Offers overon £175,000 If you are considering selling in 2018,option contact– Alan Goldie 07850 161373 to discuss in confidence the sale ofRef your1725/EPC restaurant, G bistro/café, deli or coffee shop/tearoom. SHOWCASE

Specialises in the supply and service of all types of espresso, cappuccino, filter, instant, bean to cup and bulk brew coffee machines to commercial customers throughout Scotland.

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Select were delighted to be voted Best bespoke UK Hotel & Restaurant supplier 2016 Select Contract Furniture offers decades of combined expertise in the manufacture, design and installation of quality interior furnishings for hotels, restaurants and bars. ScotlandĘźs premier contract furniture showroom and design library Tables - Chairs - Fixed seating - Re-upholstery - Bedroom furniture Beds - Manufacture of soft furnishings - Flooring - Expert Fitting & installation on all products To arrange a showroom or site visit please email or call us on:

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anorview staff have been throwing themselves over the Forth Bridge to raise more than £2500 for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. The team at Cornhill Castle chose to support Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland because the charity provided much needed help to one of their colleagues, Nicola Browning, the hotel’s receptionist, who suffered a stroke in 2011, when she was 34. Nicola took part in the charity abseil from the Forth Bridge with the support of four of her colleagues. The team that joined Nicola on the abseil were Lindsay Collins, Ruth Campbell, Lauren Coyle and Alannah Norbury, and between them raised a total sum of £1765.29. A further £785.00 was raised through some inhouse fundraising and from the team donating 10% of their tips each month. Tom Kitchin has teamed up with Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University to launch an annual scholarship. The Kitchin Group’s Annual Award for Excellence will offer the university’s international hospitality, tourism, events management or gastronomy students the chance to apply for the scholarship each year over the next three years to financially support their studies. Stephen McGowan of TLT has received a specialist accreditation from the Law Society of Scotland in liquor licensing law, making him one of only seven solicitors in Scotland to hold the status. At 38, he is believed to be the youngest solicitor to have been accredited by the Law Society of Scotland in this specialism, and the first to be accredited since 2011. Charlotte Poynton, Sommelier and Assistant Restaurant Manager at the Three Chimneys Restaurant on Skye, has qualified as a finalist for the Gold Service Scholarship 2018. Charlotte was selected as one of eight finalists from 32 semi-finalists at the Rosewood Hotel in London. Finalists had to cover all aspects of the front-of-house role, from wine decanting and table layout to service priorities and a general interview to discuss the crucial role of service. Charlotte will now continue to compete in the finals for the Gold Service Scholarship 2018, which will take place in London in January.

From top: Manorview staff Lauren Coyle, Lindsay Collins, Ruth Campbell, Nicola Browning, Alannah Norbury; Stephen McGowan; Charlotte Poynton; Tom Kitchin

DRAM DRINKS RETAILING AND MARKETING PUBLISHED BY MEDIA WORLD LIMITED UPPER FLOOR / FINNIESTON HOUSE, 1 THE STABLES YARD / 1103 ARGYLE STREET, GLASGOW / G3 8ND t: 0141 221 6965 e: w: Editor Susan Young • Chairman Noel Young • Editorial Annabelle Love, Mairi Clark, Bev Lyons • Advertising Sylvia Forsyth, Helen Aitken • Production Lorraine Gourlay • 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. 38


Perfection does not come about by accident Our passion for excellence drives us to continually develop new technologies to create the full range of delicious speciality coffees –from Ristretto up to Latte macchiato. Flexibly configurable coffee machines and accessories can be combined to create the perfect coffee solution with permanent water connection or sizeable watertank for any requirement from 30 up to 180 cups per day.

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XJ9 Professional DRAM DECEMBER 2017 39

Dram December 2017