Page 1





DRAM MAGAZINE June 2017 ISSN 1470-241X


Wm Grant & Sons to sponsor Bar Apprentice 2017

Mark Thomson • UK Ambassador - Glenfiddich one of the experts who will be a Bar Apprentice mentor!

DRAM JUNE 2017 1

handcraft slowly,

we our Single Malt Scotch Whisky the and make it time-honoured way.


Using the natural ingredients, our distillers orchestrate every second of the distillation process; there are no short cuts to perfection. Every cask is hand-filled, hand-weighed and hand-stamped before maturing for many years in our traditional dunnage warehouses. Why do we make it this way? Because classic pre-1960s Speyside character: it creates a beautifully balanced with a light touch of smoke. Discover more



Best Speyside Single Malt 12 Years and Under

discover more

please enjoy benromach responsibly.




s we went to print we had received more than 1,200 nominations for this year’s awards. So we are just about to start whittling them down. The closing date for entries is 10th June so be sure and persuade your reps and customers, and of course, staff to vote for you. We are absolutely delighted to announce that Wm Grant& Sons have taken over the Bar Apprentice Category and are planning a fabulous induction for this years apprentice’s. Our cover picture features just one of the experts, Mark Thomson, who will be just one of the mentors. This month we also feature last year’s winners, just as a wee reminder of the standard of entrants that we usually have! This issue our interviewee is Billy Milligan. Find out what he has to say on page 25. We’ve also got design features on Steak & Cocktail in Uddingston, TapHouse in Finnieston and Ardnamurchan in Glasgow, and last but not least, Maggie May’s. On our Roundup pages you can also see some of the photos of the recent BEN Fizz and fashion night which raised £4,500. Susan Young Editor






13 20 24 30


Some facts and figures about summer drinks to share with your customers.


Time to get your entry in now.


Susan Young talks to Billy Milligan


This month we take a look at Taphouse Bar and Kitchen, Maggie May’s, Ardnamuchan and Steak and Cocktail.


4 7 42


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


All the latest brand news.


Straight talking from our very own Editor. DRAM JUNE 2017 3

£250 REFURB FOR THE LONG HOUSE IN KILMARNOCK The Long House in Kilmarnock, owned by Buzzworks Holdings, has just revealed the results of a £250K revamp. During the refurbishment the bar and restaurant didn’t close, with work taking place during non-tradiing hours. The new décor includes a bespoke lighting feature and natural finishes, while its function suite has been completely revamped and the outside has been refreshed. Colin Blair, Buzzworks Holdings Chairman, said, “The Long House has been a popular venue since it first opened its doors in 2012 and we felt now was the ideal time to revamp our offering in Kilmarnock. We are particularly proud of the upstairs function suite which we have completely refurbed and can now cater for private dining parties, cocktail masterclasses and functions for up to 50 guests.” In line with the recent refurbishment, The Long House has also refreshed its menu for Spring/Summer. Next on the agenda for the Ayrshire-based firm is the opening of a new venue in Bridge of Weir, The Coach House.

Have you Heard? Glasgow is to get another YO! Sushi. The restaurant will open a new site on West George Street this summer on the former Pizza Hut site. One of Scotland’s major restaurant groups, Vittoria has announced the introduction of innovative technology to help allergy sufferers dine out safely. It has partnered with allergen compliance innovators Kafoodle. The restaurant group is rolling out Kafoodle across all five of its outlets, Vittoria on The Walk, Vittoria on The Bridge, Divino Enoteca, La Favorita Pizzeria and Taste of Italy. Kafoodle is a cloud-based business which provides software which makes communicating the vital allergen and nutritional information from kitchen staff to customers completely seamless. In addition, diners can check exactly what ingredients are in their food, as well as its nutritional values before they even sit down to dine via the Kafoodle app. 4


DEMBELE OFFICIALLY OPENS HARRY’S BAR Celtic legend Harry Hoods family business, The Lisini Pub Co, have opened a new Uddingston bar and named it after Harry as a surprise. The bar is part of their Angels Hotel leisure business, which has also just undergone a multi-million pound revamp. Harry’s Bar was officially opened by Celtic player Moussa Dembele who equalled Harry’s 1973 feat of scoring three goals in a match against Rangers last September. He happily signed autographs and posed for pictures with staff and guests. Remarking on Instagram, “Today was a good day.” The bar is a perfect mix of traditional and modern design which will Lisini anticipate keep Angels regulars and new customers equally, happy. Harry is pictured with the family and of course Dembele.

THE COUNTER® launches its first UK burger restaurant in Glasgow The Counter® Custom Burgers, the build-your-own-burger LA restaurant offering over a million possible combinations, has opened in Glasgow at The Quay. The franchise-owned store is being managed by Daniel Johns who have required the franchise rights for the brand in Scotland and England.The Counter® Custom Burgers offers, say the company, “a fresh, unconventional approach to creating the ultimate burger, offering a checklist-style clipboard menu that lists over a million possible combinations enabling consumers to endlessly create new burger experiences.” Khalid Iqbal Director of Daniel Johns comments, “We are proud to bring this exciting custom-built burgers concept to the UK for the first time. ”Since opening in LA in 2003 The Counter® now has more than 40 US locations. Says Jeff Weinstein, founder and Co-CEO of The Counter®, “We often find that international travellers take a special interest in our US locations, so it only made sense to bring that excitement of the build-your-own burger concept to their markets. We know in the UK market there is an appetite for gourmet burgers and with our custom built burgers we feel we can bring a new and unique offering.”

NEWS The Fat Pony, a very small wine bar, is set to be opened by David Ramsden of The Dogs fame, this month. The new Edinburgh bar, on the site of a former jewellers, is at 47 Bread Street,

PERTH licensee John Bryden and daughter Georgia were thrilled to meet Jools Holland after sponsoring his Perth Concert Hall show. The Loft club backed the bandleader’s Perth Festival of the Arts appearance, hard on the heels of supporting last year’s appearance by Scots singer KT Tunstall. John said, “The Festival of the Arts is nudging towards its 50th anniversary and is a key plank in the 2021 City of Culture bid. Georgia and I were delighted to meet Jools and he was in superb form. The Loft was proud to play a role in bringing him back to the city and if he returns again next year we’d be delighted to support the concert.” They are pictured with Jools Holland (centre) at Perth Concert Hall.

STAR PUBS & BARS INVEST IN DUNDEE WITH A £500K IN TWO LOCAL PREMISES Heineken’s Star Pubs & Bars has earmarked £500K to invest in Dundee’s Mercantile Pub as well as The Gunners Bar in Broughty Ferry. The company is now looking for licensees to take on the leases A £300K investment is to be made at The Mercantile, which has been closed for a year. New plans have been drawn up to transform it into a contemporary upmarket modern industrial looking bar with a proposed new name, A. Smith Merchant. The look will be a mix of exposed brick, metal and wood and feature eclectic vintage lighting and decorative objects throughout. A feature beer wall will show-case the pub’s beer varieties and the ground floor bar will be repositioned at the back of the room. The upstairs will have circular booth seating overlooking the downstairs bar where people can eat, have coffees and drinks. The outside of the bar will also have a complete makeover. Meanwhile nearly £200K will be spent transforming The Gunners Bar from an old-fashioned drinkers only pub into a dynamic rustic urban bar serving premium branded drinks and pizzas.

Steak Cattle & Roll opened in Glasgow’s Merchant City just over eight weeks ago. This brings the number of Steak Cattle & Roll outlets in the city to two. The concept was thought up by owner Adam Hussain who originally opened in Weaver Street, before relocating to the city centre. Topolabamba has opened in Aberdeen bringing its own street food favourites and over 50 tequilas and mezcals to the city. The new restaurant at 367 Union Street is the third restaurant for the brand, which is also located in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Topolabamba is owned by Mario Gizzi, Paul Sloan, Tony Conetta and Calum McLaclainn. A pop up bar with a difference is opening Tuesday to Thursday’s beneath 6 Degrees North at One Below, in Howe Street, Edinburgh... called Survive. The pop-up has been inspired by TV show ‘The Walking Dead’, and offers customers an idea of what a bar post zombie apocalypse would look like. Even the staff are dressed up. It’s the brainchild of Linden Wilkinson. DRAM JUNE 2017 5



ennent’s owners C&C Group, in their results to the 28th February 2017, have revealed that net revenues decreased 6.9% to €559.5m, mainly due to declines in wholesale and US markets, and said that the devaluation of sterling after the Brexit vote had cost the company €8 million (£6.9m). Despite operating profit coming in at €95m, in line with last year, and growing in the second half, the company reported a pre-tax loss of €62.9m compared to a profit of €56.3m, due to write-downs. However the company reported volume growth in core brands (Bulmers, Magners, Tennent’s) of +2.6% with its Premium and Craft portfolio growing rapidly up +60%. Stephen Glancey, C&C Group CEO, commented, “FY2017 has been a period of significant activity for the Group. While trading remained tough, we invested in and delivered volume growth across our core brands; completed a major rationalisation of our production foot print; drove efficiencies across the business; continued to grow our Premium portfolio and Export business; and secured an important new long-term distribution arrangement with AB InBev. After this year of consolidation, we are in materially better shape to meet the ongoing challenges and opportunities within our industry.” He revealed that the double-digit volume increase behind the Magners brand in the UK had provided the right foundation to extend C&C’s distribution partnership with AB InBev. Glancey said, “The rationale for expanding the relationship is compelling for both parties, allowing each other to play to our route to market strengths, backed by a combined high quality beer & cider portfolio. This partnership has the potential to drive volume and value

in Magners for years to come as the category rationalises and distribution synergies are delivered.” He also said that further progress had been made in growing the company’s premium and craft portfolio commenting, “ Heverlee, our authentic Belgian lager, grew +41% to over 20kHL and is now the fastest growing World beer in Scotland and the No.#1 import lager in Northern Ireland. We launched Pabst into the Millennial market in GB and Menabrea, our authentic Italian imported lager, secured UK-wide listings with major supermarket and casual dining groups. Our investment partnerships with some of the most exciting craft breweries across the UK and Ireland, such as Five Lamps in Dublin, Whitewater in Northern Ireland and Drygate in Glasgow, all had a good year.” As to the coming year Glancey remarked, “ FY2018 has started in line with expectations but we do remain cautious given the outlook for the consumer across our markets. Political uncertainty continues into the current year making forward predictions on trading patterns and consumer behaviour particularly challenging. However, our core brands of Bulmers, Magners and Tennent’s are well positioned to convert their volume momentum in FY2017 into revenue and value growth in FY2018.” Glancey concluded, “C&C is a resilient business with strong local brands that have stood the test of time and a growing Premium and Craft portfolio. We are confident that the combination of our strong market positions, well- invested brands, flexible low cost production assets and expanded partnership arrangements will deliver value for shareholders over the longer term.”

DOUGLAS LAING SEE PROFITS INCREASE Family owned Scotch Whisky specialist Douglas Laing has revealed that profits increased 17% to £1.6m in 2016. Double digit growth three years on the trot has fuelled recent expansion with a series of ambitious upcoming new ventures. Sales of Douglas Laing’s Whiskies grew by 29% in 2016, with more than 60,000 cases shipped globally. Meanwhile the company has just appointed Danny MacLennan, formerly with BrewDog and William Grant & Sons, to join the Douglas Laing board as Finance Director, taking over from Alick Bisset who assumes the role of NonExecutive Director within the growing business. Fred Laing, Managing Director commented, “As we continue to put in place an exciting future for Douglas Laing, we are delighted to have Danny join our growing team as Finance Director. He brings a great value, expertise and understanding of the drinks category with proven results behind him in terms of managing growth and success”. Chris Leggat, Commercial Director comments, “Douglas Laing has doubled its size in the last three years - now we truly begin building on these solid foundations and we have just started phase two of our longer term plan. We are three years into our ambitious, but closely managed, thirty year strategy and we are already delighted with the results. Of course there will be challenges ahead, but we look 6


forward to managing them and will continue to absorb and build. It’s an exciting time for the business, our great team and our global partners.” The Company was founded by Fred Douglas Laing in 1948 and is still owned and run by the Laing family – Fred Laing Jr and his daughter Cara Laing. Brands include Timorous Beastie, Scallywag, Rock Oyster and Big Peat.




DRAM JUNE 2017 7





WHISKY GLENMORANGIE REINTRODUCES NATIVE OYSTERS TO THE DORNOCH FIRTH A ground-breaking environmental project pioneered by Glenmorangie has seen Native European oysters reintroduced to coastal waters around its Highland home after a century’s absence. The news comes as the Glenmorangie officially opened its €6million anaerobic digestion plant at its Distillery in the Highlands. The plant is expected to purify up to 95% of the waste water that the Distillery releases into the Firth with the remaining 5% of the organic waste naturally cleaned by the oysters. The move underlines the Distillery’s commitment to a ‘susTAINable’ future, and saw the brand forged an ambitious partnership in 2014 with Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society known as the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP)to restore long-lost oyster reefs to the Firth. Hamish Torrie, director of corporate social responsibility, The Glenmorangie Company, said, “This restoration of oyster reefs in the Dornoch Firth, which is an internationally recognised special area of conservation, will help us realise our long term vision of a Distillery in complete harmony with its natural surroundings.”

UNSUNG HEROES SOUGHT BY TINCUP Tincup, the original mountain whiskey which offers Bourbon lovers a bold, spicy flavour has just launched a campaign called ‘Hero the Barback’ (#herothebarback). It is conducting a nationwide search this year to find the UK’s barback hero – the unsung hard-workers of the bar industry, without whom a drink wouldn’t event cross the bar. Check out the launch video at TINCUPWhiskeyUK/videos/271574606584577/. Tincup can be served neat or with a few ice cubes, or can be used as a base for classic whiskey cocktails like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. Tincup is also perfect as part of a Boilermaker serve – with a pint or bottle of quality IPA or lager.

DOUBLE GOLD FOR GLASGOW DISTILLERY AT THE WORLD SPIRIT AWARDS Glasgow’s first gin and single malt distillery since 1902 received two golds at The World Spirit Awards. It received a double gold medal for its Independent Bottling Prometheus 27-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Best Independent Single Merchant. This prestigious accolade is awarded to entries that receive a Gold medal by all members of the esteemed judging panel and follows on from the whisky winning a double gold last year. Gin also brought home success for the distillery as their limited edition Makar Mulberry Wood aged gin picked up a silver medal. Liam Hughes, Co-Founder and CEO of The Glasgow Distillery Company, said, “At Glasgow Distillery Company one of our main aims is to ensure everything we release – whether the wonderful craft products made at the distillery, or Independent Bottlings we have meticulously sourced – are exceptional for our customers, and these three awards are a testament that.” TAMDHU MARKS 120TH ANNIVERSARY WITH ARCHIVE APPEAL Tamdhu Distillery is marking its 120th anniversary this year and is calling on whisky enthusiasts to help bring its history to life. The Speyside distillery, now owned by independent familyowned distillers, Ian Macleod Distillers, is asking people to come forward with their Tamdhu memories, artefacts and photographs, as it seeks to build a brand archive and delve more deeply into the social history of its past. Sandy McIntyre, Tamdhu Distillery Manager, explains, “We already have some brilliant archive material – for example, the wages log from way back in 1897, and the original distillery blueprints – but I know there must be lots more out there. “We’re interested in hearing stories from those who have worked here and their friends and family, and will be collecting photographs and memorabilia, and anything else which people might have hidden away. And, as we are custodians of the old Tamdhu/Dalbeallie railway station, we’d also be thrilled to receive any stories or images relating to it. Our aim is to create an online archive which people can explore and maybe, in time, establish something here at the distillery too.” To share your Tamdhu stories and memorabilia, simply upload to the Tamdhu Facebook page or share on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #TamdhuTimes

DRAM JUNE 2017 9


MAGNERS CAMPAIGN TO SEIZE THE SUMMER Cider brand Magners is drawing our attention to the fact that summer will be two days shorter this year! The brand, as a result, is campaigning for consumers to ‘Seize the Summer,’ with a new marketing campaign which will see the brand offer 400 holiday, in conjuction with Easyjet, worth up to the value of £1,000. The promo will be featured on-pack and in selected bars from July. Hundreds of summer-themed prizes will be up for grabs throughout the four-month campaign, which kicked off in London. However we are assured that the scantilyclad lads, who were encouraging people to ditch their commuter wear, and don shorts, will be making their way to Scotland too! Lucky us! Paul Condron, Marketing Director at Magners said, “It’s time to ditch distractions; we need to get out of work on-time, switch off our televisions and put down our phones. Summer’s not long enough at the best of times – but we can’t afford to waste a moment of it this year.”

BLUEBERRY & LIME LANDS IN THE ON-TRADE Kopparberg has expanded its fruit cider family with the arrival of Blueberry & Lime. It is the latest introduction to the signature range and is currently being rolled out in the on-trade. Available in 500ml bottles with an ABV of 4%, Kopparberg’s newest flavour packs in, say the company, “the brand’s fresh fruit taste of delicious blueberry and zesty lime”. It is best served chilled over mountains of ice with a garnish of fresh lime. Rob Salvesen, Senior Marketing Manager at Kopparberg says: “The arrival of Kopparberg Blueberry & Lime marks a significant step in our story, as this new exciting variant offers fruit cider drinkers a wider choice in our portfolio. We expect to see Blueberry & Lime become a permanent fixture in the Kopparberg family with early performances proving extremely positive.”

SPIRITS HI-SPIRITS BACKS ANTICA RANGE WITH NEW POS SUPPORT Hi-Spirits has launched new point of sale material for its Antica Sambuca range designed to reinforce the authentic credentials of the Italian spirit. With CGA figures showing sambuca being enjoyed in a broader range of on-trade outlets than ever, from big nights out to food-led pubs and casual dining outlets, HiSpirits is encouraging oper a t or s to capitalise on the popularity of both Antica Classic and the nine-strong



range of Antica Flavours. The POS includes bar runners, drip mats, shot glasses and strut cards, with kits available through wholesalers when pubs and bars order Antica Sambuca. Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, says, “The spirits and shots market is more competitive than ever, so ensuring that Antica stays front-of-mind with customers enjoying summer nights out with friends is a key part of our approach. “CGA figures also show that distribution of Antica grew by 4.25% in food led pubs and by 35.3% in restaurants during 2016, reflecting the boom in spirits in the casual dining market. For those customers, we want to reflect the authenticity, heritage and quality of Antica.


SHOT SEE YOUR SALES POUR IN Double your rate of sale with the new look Jägermeister tap machine* INCREASE DEMAND

50% of Jägermeister volume is incremental*

INCREASE VISIBILITY 5 in 10 customers will only buy what they can see* PROMPT IMPULSE

4 in 10 customers only make a decision when they get to the bar*


4000 more bars are stocking Jägermeister since last year**. Don’t be left behind

MAINTAIN STANDARDS Delivers the perfect -18ºc serve every time

*Source: independent outlet research. **Source: CGA to Feb 2017.


DRAM JUNE 2017 11


For more information about stocking Kopparberg Blueberry & Lime, please e-mail IRI, Total Market – fruit cider category, Value Sales, MAT to 26.02.17 and CGA Packaged Cider Report, MAT to 25.02.17 12


n m o y, a 4 5.2 nesda 7: 1 d We 21, 20 tice e ols Jun er S m Sum

95% of cocktail consumers drink cocktails in summer (CGA Mixed Drinks October 2016) and top summer cocktail flavours include refreshing (57%), fruit and sweet (56%) and berry (55%) (CGA Mixed Drinks March 2016). The total value of UK soft drink sales is estimated to have been around £14bn last year (Britvic Soft Drinks Review 2017).


The phrase “dog days of summer”, often used to describe sweltering hot days, has more to do with stars than dogs – it actually refers to the weeks in late July and early August when the star Sirius (Dog Star) begins to rise in the sky just before the sun. The star was so bright the Romans believed it gave extra heat to the sun and was responsible for the hot weather.

, the heat mer ower in m u lT es , In th the Eiffe expands in , ic e n c o n iron ic , Fra the p Paris g by u w o in r k g ma ment u mon inches. s to ix

The word “summer” comes from the Old English names for the season – “sumor”.

r e m Suminks Dr Gin was the biggest winning category last summer, with volume growing by +12.4% year on year. In Scotland 30.5% of Gin volume is sold in the summer months (CGA OPM to 25/03/17).

Scotland has seen strong growth in flavoured cider, with mainstream flavoured cider doubling in size. This is driven by Strongbow Dark Fruit (+240% YoY volume growth). Premium flavoured cider is also in volume growth of 24% (Heineken).

More thunderstorms occur during the summer than at any other time of the year and they are most likely to occur in the south east of England.

Scott Higson, Duty Manager at Macgochans in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, says, “Everyone enjoys sweet cider in the sunshine – Magners Dark Fruit is a new introduction and that’s been quite popular already. Gin is also a firm favourite – it’s slowly overtaking the whiskies. People are always keen to try things like the Botanist Gin and Isle of Harris Gin just because they are a bit unique taste-wise.”

The highest temperature ever recorded in Scotland was 32.9C at Greycook, in the Scottish Borders, on August 9, 2003. DRAM JUNE 2017 13

34% of Scots would be interested in buying Vodka flavoured with real fruit juice and 32% of Scots would be interested in buying flavour-infused Vodka, while 24% would be interested in buying gin flavoured with fruit (Mintel Interest in White Spirits & RTDs report December 2016).

“Apple cider remains top of the tree in Scotland, making up approx. 60% of total cider sales. Within the apple sector, Magners Original is the number one in packaged and number two in draught.”

There is potential for non-alcoholic cocktails to grow further if operators make them as visually appealing as their alcoholic counterparts and the trend for ‘healthy’ cocktails containing superfoods will likely continue (Britvic Soft Drinks Review 2017).

25% of Scots have drunk a premixed drink in a bottle (like WKD, Smirnoff Ice) in the last 12 months, 23 % have drunk a pre-mixed drink in a can (like gin and tonic, vodka and cranberry) and 19% have enjoyed a cocktail ‘freeze and squeeze’ (like Smirnoff Sorbets, Parrot Bay) (Mintel White Spirits & RTDs report December 2016).

Paul Condron, Marketing Director, Magners

r e m Suminks Dr

Kopparberg Mixed Fruit is the bestselling packaged cider variant in the On Trade, followed by Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime (CGA Packaged Cider Report, Total GB, Volume Sales, MAT TY to 03.12.16)

56% of Scots would choose cider or beer when drinking outside in the sun (at a barbecue for example), 12% would opt for wine while 6% would go for sparkling wine (Mintel Alcoholic Drinks Review July 2016).

Pimms was first served at an oyster bar in London in the 1800s as a digestif. The home-made concoction was mixed by a Mr Pimm, and served in a small tankard. Today it is served in a high ball glass – so there is plenty of room for the strawberry, cucumber and mint garnish. 14


Recent CGA data shows in terms of volume share, Tennent’s Lager is six times that of the nearest draught lager in the Scottish on-trade, meaning Tennent’s Lager is a brand that is guaranteed to generate sales and should be at the forefront of any draught range.

36% of Scots would be interested in buying a premixed drink made with real fruit juice, while 23% would be interested in buying a low-calorie premixed drink and 24% of us would be interested in buying a pre-mixed drink made with allnatural ingredients (Mintel Interest in White Spirits & RTDs report December 2016).

Italian beer, Menabrea, recently launched a table-top dispense unit which can be used without the need for a cellar. The unit simply connects to gas and a keg meaning outlets can pour cold pints of Menabrea outdoors, a fantastic addition to any outlet with an outdoor terrace or beer garden.





Bright Signals one of Scotland’s foremost creative content agencies is on the look-out for pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels that excel in their use of social media. We’re looking for examples of great content, interaction and results. Do you know a venue that does it well, or do you think you are one? If so enter now at

This year we are looking for a restaurant that also boasts a bar, that has created the perfect ambiance and food offering for casual dining, one of the biggest food trends of the moment. Tasty, good value food, excellent customer service and a relaxed and inviting environment are all crucial. Do you think you know a venue that fits the bill? Why not nominate now.




Do you know someone, or are you someone, who has the entrepreneurial spirit? Do you know a man or woman who took a risk when they started their business, and who has grown it by providing customers what they want and by investing in their staff. A good entrepreneur is a good leader that has strong communication skills and the ability to lead a team of people toward a common goal in a way that keeps the entire team motivated. Are you that person or do you know one? If so why not put them forward for this Award now?

Do you know a great new bar which embodies all that is good and great about the Scottish bar landscape. Makar Gin, owned by The Glasgow Distillery Company is on the lookout for a new bar that that stands head and shoulders above its competitors. They are looking for a bar that has got a pioneering spirit, a bit like themselves! It has to look good, have great staff and an excellent range of products behind the bar. It can be a new, but traditional style of bar, or a more modern looking one. But what is important is that the people behind it are passionate about their business.

Success stories deserve to be recognised and celebrated. Do you know a licensee/proprietor that has grown their business over the past year. . Perhaps they have successfully continued a family company, or expanded, adopted innovation to develop their business, or have grown turnover? This Year’s Scottish Bar & Pub Award judges would love to know of any hoteliers, restaurateurs or licensees, who fit the bill. Why not put them forward now to www. s c o t t i s h b a r a n d p u b Aw a r d s . c o m . Previous winners include: The Kingsmill Hotel in Inverness and The DRG Group.

CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD Customer service is paramount when it comes to running a successful business. BII Scotland is on the lookout for a pub, restaurant or hotel which fully embraces the customer service ethos. Do you know a business that does this? If so, they could be eligible for this Award. Judges will look at the measures that are in place to ensure staff are well trained in customer service. Short listing will be done by Mystery Shoppers and if necessary this will be followed up with a meeting with the judges. If you want to put a nomination in, do so now.




rating the





Diageo is on the look-out for pubs, bars and people that embrace social responsibility and who also put something back into the community. Do you know a pub or bar that has developed good relationships with local police, community safety partnerships, community groups, licensing boards and/or licensing forums to help minimise alcohol-related crime and disorder? Do they go the extra mile to promote responsible drinking; what do they do differently from other bars in the area? Do they interact with the local community. Let us know and they could be the proud recipients of this Award.

Do you think you know the best cocktail bar in Scotland or do you think you ARE the best Cocktail Bar in Scotland? If so why not enter the Disaronno Cocktail Bar of the Year category? Judges will be looking for a bar with a good ambience and well-trained staff who have a strong customer focus, as well as, the ability of staff to put their own spin on a Disaronno Sour. Expertly made cocktails, a willingness to experiment and a good knowledge of spirits are essential. If you think you fit the bill or you know a bar that does, please enter now telling us why you think so.

The Scottish Bar & Pub Awards are hunting for a pub that provides a welcome for pet dogs. Do you know a pub or bar that allow customers to bring their friendly pooches inside? Do they provide a water bowl, and the occasional treat? If so, they could be in the running for this accolade. Judges will be bringing their own dogs on mystery visits (volunteers are queuing up!!) If you think you know a pub or hotel that fits the bill - enter it now.



Kopparberg is on the lookout for Scotland’s top independent bar. The Kopparberg team is looking for a bar that has proved to be a success with customers – it doesn’t have to be the most stylish or the biggest, but owners should demonstrate creative forwardthinking and be inclined to think outside of the box when it comes to developing their business. It goes without saying but good customer service and an excellent range of products behind the bar is essential. Do you know a bar that deserves the title? If so put them forward for the accolade now.

It’s never been more difficult to attract people to your pubs and it is even more difficult when customers have to drive to get there. That’s why this year we are looking to recognise the hard work that goes into making a country pub work by creating a category specifically for them. A welcoming atmosphere, great food, service and a good range of beers goes without saying. But do you know a country pub with an extra special something? If so enter it now.

WINE BY THE GLASS AWARD Do you have a great range of wine by the glass or do you know a bar, pub or restaurant that does? If so it could be eligible for this Award. A choice of wine range and the opportunity to buy it by the glass has a great appeal to the modern consumer. Judges will be looking for staff with good wine knowledge, a range of wine by the glass which offers a good balance of Old and New World wines, and which includes wine that you can drink on its own or with food. Do you, or does your favourite bar or restaurant seek to improve the customer experience by offering a step up in the quality of wine in its wine by the glass range, and has the wine on offer helped to improve the reputation of the outlet? If so enter your favourite wine by the glass venue now.







The judges of this category will be looking for a bar that has an excellent range of quality beer and Craft beers. The bar has to serve and market its beer range well and employ staff who are interested and knowledgeable about beer. An ability to understand beer styles, taste profile and matching beer with food is also fundamental. If you are a bar or know a bar who loves their beer and is always looking for the next innovation or new experience of beer enter it now.

Pub Spy returned to the Sunday Mail in November last year after a hiatus of some 40 years and now, for the first time, all the positively reviewed pubs will be put forward for an accolade at the 2017 Scottish Bar & Pub Awards. The Pub Spy pubs will receive further mystery visits and customers will be encouraged to vote too at www. Pub Spy now looks for pubs that pays attention to all their customers. Obviously good customer service is a must. To see if you are eligible check out the Sunday Mail.

A dedication to quality has helped to make Tennent’s the No 1 Scottish Lager brand - and Tennent’s is looking for a pub that shows a similar commitment to quality. Excellent customer service, great beer, a good range of products behind the bar, fine food and a great ambience are all part of the quality experience. If you would like to nominate a pub or bar, do so now.




Whisky is Scotland’s national drink and we know that there are some great whisky bars out there. The Wee DRAM is looking for licensees who go to extraordinary lengths to promote Scotch whisky within their own establishment. An excellent range of whisky on the back bar is a necessity and staff should also be well trained and enthusiastic when it comes to recommending whisky to their customers. A good Scottish welcome is also important. Do you know a bar worth nominating?

There have been a host of excellent refurbishments over the past few years and this year for the first time the Scottish Bar & Pub Awards has included this category. Our the past 12 months business owners have invested heavily in their premises and employed excellent designers to oversee substantial and excellent renovations. Do you know one or do you think you have done the best renovation in Scotland? If so enter now at www.

This year the Sunday Mail Pub of the Year Award will go to the ‘best of the best’ at the Scottish Bar and Pub Awards. This means that all the winners from the individual pub and bar categories will go forward to be considered for the ultimate accolade Pub of the Year. With the overall winner picking up the coveted Sunday Mail Pub of the Year mirror.


DRAM JUNE MAY 2017 2017

rating the


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT This honour is bestowed upon the person who during their career, have made a significant contribution to the licensed trade. Previous winners include John Gilligan, David Urquhart, Billy Dunn, Bob Taylor, Lord MacFarlane, Angus Meldrum. Maroulla Nicholas and Jonathan & Jeff Stewart.

BAR APPRENTICE 2017 The Bar Apprentice is back for its 10th year with a new sponsor and a fresh approach - William Grant & Sons have taken up the mantle and promises all apprentices an experience you can’t buy! The programme aims to inspire and educate as well as giving practical experience for working behind the bar or on the floor. The 2017 apprentices will be mentored by the team behind William Grant & Son’s best selling brands including Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky, Hendrick’s Gin, Wood’s Old Navy Rum and PIPER-HEIDSIECK Champagne. The apprentice who embraces the experience and makes the most progress will receive the accolade William Grant & Sons Bar Apprentice 2017 and will be presented with the award at the Awards Ceremony.

FOOD WHOLESALER OF THE YEAR �������������������������������������������������� DRINKS WHOLESALER OF THE YEAR �������������������������������������������������� BEER BRAND OWNER/DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR �������������������������������������������������� SPIRIT BRAND OWNER/DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR




DRAM JUNE 2017 21



Social Media Award

incorporating the


Hotels WINNER: Manorview p ou Gr re isu & Le

Gastro Pub of the Year

WINNER: Mhor 84, Balquhidder

Island Pub/Bar of the Year

WINNER: MacGochans, Isle of Mull

CONcG ent Award rt em vR ie h A A e TUff Stewa im t eH LifT t and Je LATES E arH w W e t S n a EEL INN Jonath , S C FOR SO WINNERS OF T ONE CIAL R HE DIA

the Year Cocktail Bar of g, Glasgow





Social Res ponsibility and Comm WINNE unity Aw R: The W ard T h Diageo Aw ard

Mark Baird , Head for Social Responsib of Alcohol in Socie ty at Diag ility and Co eo mmunity 2016 to Da , presents the vid Taylor (L) and Je mma




eel Inn, Scone







Blue Do

Award for Innovative Business of the year WINNER: Gallery 48, Dundee

Whisky Bar of the Year

WINNER: Pot Still, Glasgow

Customer Ser vi ce Award W INNER: The House, Stew Mill arton

Award for Success WINNER: The Kingsmill Hotel, Inverness

Wine by the Glass Award WINNER: Seamill Hydro, West Kilbride

Dog Frien dly

r Pub of the Yea

rry Broughty Fe The Anchor,

the Year

WINNER: Ox 184, Edin burgh

Best New Venue WINNER: Boclair House Hotel, Bearsden

Entrepreneur of the Year

Pub of th e Year

WINNE R: Th Isles, Cr e Lord of the aobh Ha ven

Craft Beer Ba r of

Kevin Doyle, Caledonian Heritable

Quality Award WINNER: Airlie Arms, Kirriemuir

Bar Apprentice 2016

WINNER: Loren MacGregor, The Busby Hotel, Glasgow

Family Business of the Year WINNER: Lisini Pub Co. Uddingston

Independent B ar of the Year WINNER: B loc+, Glasgow

DRAM JUNE 2017 23



n a little corner of Milngavie there’s a bustling, lively bar and restaurant that goes by the name of Finsbay. Despite the fact that some local traders told them not to touch the unit with barge pole, Billy Milligan and business partner, former Scotland rugby captain and Glasgow Warriors player, Alastair Kellock, went ahead with their idea anyway. Finsbay is now just about to celebrate its first birthday – and what a year it has been. The business Billy tells me has faced its challenges, but not because it hasn’t been busy, the very opposite. He explains, “We have been busy from the get go. So busy that at the beginning it was really difficult to cope – and our customers are very discerning so it was important we didn’t drop the ball.” I have to admit that I’ve known Billy for absolutely years he is one of these guys you always find the same way, upbeat, cheery and just lovely, and I don’t think I am seeing him through rose tinted glasses. I first got to know him and Cameron Craig (Cammy – another gem of a guy) when they were working with Carlo Citti just ahead of them opening O’Couture in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street, which operated for five years. Now he also owns Pacific in Partick with Ian McComb. There are two things that Billy is certainly not short of and that is ideas and enthusiasm. But he has never ever had the benefit of big bucks. Says Billy, “Everything we do is self-funded and when it comes to build and design we always have a tight budget. But I love that part of it. The design here is 100% my own. I’ve always been interested in design, and when I look around I am really proud of it.” And so he shoud be. Looking around Finsbay you can see the love that went into the design. He taken a retro 70’s look and created a kitch, cool looking place to eat and drink. From the fish tank that is located in an old TV – he had an upcycler make it for him, to the original 70-’s wallpaper sourced online, the G-Plan furniture, the old style telephones that appear as art on the walls, and the original school blackboard which is used to feature the days specials, Finsbay is appealing to old and young. Billy explains, “It seems like our older customers can remember the décor, while our younger customers think it is retro-cool. The main thing is that it is comfortable.” Billy, now 37, has been working in the trade since he was 18. Although he admits it has been “a bit of a journey.” He says, “I started off running student nights for G1. In fact one of them Juicy Tuesday is still running. I also DJ’d and with Cammy also ran a small promotions company and got involved in festivals. I always DJ’d doing perhaps five or six club nights. Then Carlo Citti approached us to a club which became O’Couture, and so I gave up the nights. I was involved with the O’Couture for four year. It was great. We were lucky because Carlo had a whole back office team, which left us to operate the business. Carlo loved to build his own venues, and I realised that building your own venue was completely possible.” During his O’Couture days Billy got married, and subsequently left the club because he and his wife wanted to emigrate to America. Says Billy, “I had a job lined up there in a completely different industry. But we couldn’t get a green card. So that was that.” He then opened Pacific with Ian McColm – four years ago. Billy comments, “I had known Ian for a number of years. I was running a Ceilidh night with a difference – we DJ’d vocals over the ceilidh music. We ran the night at the Tall Ship and we got lots of press





coverage. Ian, who was working is nothing better than standing for Maxxium at the time, was back and seeing the venue busy sponsoring unusual nights with and running well. I always want to Aftershock and he came on be proud of the places that I have. board with our next one which was I wouldn’t build a place I wasn’t a Friday night at Play and we had a Pole dancing competition which proud of. I also want my family and friends to be proud of it.” was judged by Frank McAvennie. Aftershock sponsored it. It was He continues, “In Milngavie customers are discerning. There is no good fun.” margin for error here. Even if we are doing classics they have to be “Ian and Ali are quite different sort of business partners. Ali is really good – whether it is Macaroni or Fish n’chips – we call them elevated hands off, although he brings a lot of the motivational experiences classics. Our revenue stream here is good. Although I thought we he has had to the business, and we talk ideas all the time. I met him would build slowly, I didn’t anticipate the fact that we would be busy through a friend who played rugby. He has a completely different from breakfast all the way through to dinner. At the beginning the background to mine, but it also very successful and all his skills are kitchen got really pushed. We had to take tables out to cope, and transferable. He has a “growth mindset” and always wants to be we had to extend the kitchen. But we are lucky because we have moving forward. Ian, on the other hand, has been in the trade a the most laid back chef around. The restaurant evolves into a bar at long time and is more hands on. Pacific is a great wee business. It’s night, which is not always the easiest transition, but it works here. a lease, but it comes in at below the Rateable value so it does okay. We put the lights down and the volume up. Our customers come at We had been looking for something else for a while. Still are in fact.” all times of the day and night too. Sometimes women come in for For a period Ian and I worked with Colin Beattie at the Partick morning coffee and they will book a ladies night for later that week, Tavern. He says, “We had hoped to something fresh there, but it and come in the evening for cocktails... it is definitely a female didn’t work out. But I learned the importance of longevity from Colin. friendly space. Guys should be flocking here! I have to admit I am He believes in building businesses that will be there for a long time. here all the time. I am definitely hands on.” In fact Colin and I have kind of similar background. Ian calls me the His current project is the renovation of the lane beside Finsbay Prince of Partick – because I was brought up there, and I know and from the paint visible on his hands, I can vouch for the fact he loads of people in the area. My is hands on! Says Billy, “When we dad, in fact, knew Colin’s dad first moved in I was disappointed a way back. He too was well at how dilapidated the lane was. I known in the area. Going back discovered it was privately owned further my mum comes from and the wall infact was owned by PEOPLE HAVE STOPPED Harris and Colin’s family come BT. I got permission from them to from Tiree. I don’t think I have improve it so we rendered it and IN TO SAY HOW GREAT ever told him that!” plastered it and a local girl, a young IT LOOKS AND THEY Talking of Harris, the Finsbay is mum, has done a great mural. named after a place in Harris, We have had some funding from HAVE COMPARED IT TO and the bar sells more Harris East Dunbartonshire Council too. FINNIESTON TOO. Gin than any other in Scotland. So now we have tables and chairs In fact you can order your outside, we have strung lights Harris gin online and pick it across it and we have made a very up at the Finsbay. The empty European outside space. People Harris bottles are also used for have stopped in to say how great candles. On the back wall of the it looks and they have compared it restaurant you can see a beautiful film of Harris – the beach scene to Finnieston too. This now means we can do Vintage Fairs, Dog is terrific. Says Billy, “People are always asking where it is.” Harris Festivals, you name it. Suggestions welcome!” tweed has also been used on soft furnishings in Finsbay. So what next? Says Billy, “People ask me that a lot. I’ve done so As well as working briefly with Colin Beattie he also worked for a many different things but I would like to open something in the few months with Colin Blair at Buzzworks. Says Billy, “I have a huge Merchant City, although equally I could see myself putting this type amount of admiration for Colin. He taught me a lot in a short space of brand into Lenzie, Bishopbriggs or Kirkintilloch. As I have said of time. He also told me that I was an entrepreneur and needed I am proud of Finsbay, especially of the reviews – even if there are to be doing it for myself. But I absolutely take my hat off to the glitches with service, they always compliment the interior. We have company. I absolutely love what they do.” nice people here, we serve nice drinks and we are busier than I Billy certainly likes a bit of variety. He agrees, “I like changing and could have imagined. And of course that means we are making moving with the times. I’ve been doing that since I was 18. My mum money. But most of all I am really enjoying seeing it busy.” and dad were not involved in the industry at all. I’ve always enjoyed What I enjoyed was catching up with him. Next time I might even being responsible either for busy club nights or for busy outlets. There bring my dogs – did I mention Finsbay is dog friendly too! n 26





CONTRACTS SCOTLAND LTD Wishing Phil and the team congratulations! We are very proud to have been involved in the refurbishment. Tel – Kyle 07753 804 664 Bryan 07786 444 771 Website –

Unit 1, Lochlands Business Park, Larbert, Stirlingshire FK5 3NS T: 01324 563903 F: 01324 558363 28


Molendinar Images 07591981184

TAPHOUSE BAR & KITCHEN 1046 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8LY




troll down Argyle Street into the heart of Finnieston nowadays and you’re met with an almost bewildering choice of venues. From the trendy to the traditional, the extravagant to the minimalist, the food-focused to the alcohol-oriented. The Holy Grail for the area’s proprietors is surely to combine as many of these attributes as possible in one unit, but it’s easier said than done. However, by transforming Neighbourhood Bar & Kitchen into Taphouse Bar & Kitchen – completely revamping the décor, menu and drinks selection in the process – owner Phil McDonald believes he may have done just that. Following a whirlwind 11-day refurb masterminded by Stephen Paterson of Burns Design and carried out by GID Contracts, Phil set himself a financial target for the period immediately after his April 27th re-opening, and totally smashed it – to borrow his own phrase. He said, “I’ve got to be honest, it’s been phenomenal. We had a great atmosphere on the 27th, with a DJ playing, an Edinburgh Beer Factory pig-nose van outside and loads of invited guests. The instant feedback from people who had seen it as Neighbourhood was that we’d done a fantastic job.” Unsurprisingly given the quick turnaround and high-quality finish, Phil is effusive in his praise of GID, Russell Aitken Decorators and all those involved in the revamp. “It went exceptionally well, it probably couldn’t have gone any better. Any future stuff I do renovation-wise I would definitely use GID again.” Phil, a former head chef who’s worked in and ran outlets all over DRAM JUNE 2017 29

Glasgow, from Giffnock to Shawlands to Princes Square, went on to explain the logic behind the change. “I wanted to take the bar in a new direction. Although I liked the concept of Neighbourhood, I felt like with the way Finnieston has become, and also what I wanted to do with the bar, I wanted to be more craft beer-focused, more high-end products, possibly take out some of the major brands and replace them with some smaller ones. I really wanted a wow factor, and although my wife Giovanna, who co-owns the bar, was averse to me changing the name, I wanted a whole new concept on the street. “Finnieston is full of tremendous restaurants, but bar-wise I felt it was missing a wee trick, which is why we put high-level seating in. I want it to be distinct, to be known as a bar but have a good food offering, rather than being a restaurant where you can come in and have a drink. We were always strong on our burgers, so I’ve increased the range of burgers and we now do hot dogs and suchlike, more pizzas” Phil’s main specification in terms of design was “an open, airy space”, and that’s certainly what you find when you step inside the premises at 1046 Argyle Street. Small yet significant touches like sanding the floor and installing vintage Edison bulbs make a big difference in that regard, as has knocking through the wall that separated the main area from the section housing two large booths. A flash of pink neon lures you towards the bar, where you find an eclectic selection on tap – including The Edinburgh Beer Factory’s award-winning lager Paolozzi – a large collection of rums and an even larger offering of 30


gins, entailing over 25 varieties from all over the world. “Stephen (Paterson) is a great help to me because he’ll see things that I maybe don’t,” Phil remarked. “I throw my own bits in; I wanted the hanging gantry, the neon behind the bar, reclaimed tabletops and scaffolding, brick slips, a corrugated bar front, the floor sanded to brighten up the place. I think it’s good for an owner to have their own ideas, but it’s also important to have a professional onboard.” As a fully paid-up member of the ‘here before it was cool’ club, he and Giovanna having established Neighbourhood over eight years ago, Phil understands that nailing it in Scotland’s answer to Shoreditch is as much about creating a vibe as it is trendy touches like baconnaise and exposed brickwork. “I was keen to attract a younger demographic but not alienate what I already had, and a couple of regulars have said we’ve achieved that,” he added. “I’ve noticed the age group of people coming in on Friday and Saturday nights has come down. The youngsters will feel it’s hip enough, the older people feel it’s comfortable enough.” But what of the future? “I’ll always look at new opportunities, but I’d rather get this unit like a slick operation before I can even think of doing something else,” Phil concluded. “What I don’t want is to lose what we have. Some will slip away, that’s the nature of the beast, but I think we will maintain a lot of these people.” And with that I headed back down Argyle Street in the rain, reassured that I won’t find it quite so difficult deciding where to go when next in Finnieston. n



Blue Moon is perfectly served at Finnieston’s newest bar and restaurant - Taphouse Bar & Kitchen.

DRAM JUNE 2017 31



325 Hope St, Glasgow G2 3PT





new Scottish restaurant Ardnamurchan has opened opposite the Theatre Royal at the northern end of Hope Street in Glasgow. Its predecessor Trader Joe’s failed to light up Glasgow’s nightlife, but the new owners are hoping that the restaurant will prove popular especially with theatre goers. The new venture from Neil and Julie Douglas, who have as their partner Billy McEneney, is a Star Pubs and Bars lease, and more than £500K has been invested in the business, and you can see where the money has been spent. When you enter, the raw wooden floors and tall windows are all that remain of the old Trader Joe’s. Instead, the bar has been encased in rich green porcelain tiles, and the floorboard bar floor has been changed to a chic, bleached parquet floor around the bar, but grey slated tiles for the rest of main restaurant. Two chocolate brown banquettes line parallel to the right of the entrance, the top of each have a topping of tweed. Tweed is a key design feature throughout. The bucket chairs, which are paired with dark wooden tables laid for two, are upholstered in baby blue tartan tweed, while bigger tables have bucket seats clad in warm chocolate leather. The double banquette acts as a marker for the break between the bar/restaurant. In between the backs of the banquettes, the ledge allows for a couple of vases of richly coloured flowers, at the end of which there is two casks from the Ardnamurchan Distillery. High DRAM JUNE 2017 33



grey steel bowl lights hang over each of the four tables on each side. A few steps leads you to the raised area, which in Trader Joe’s days was home to the tribute bands. As you go up the steps, the half wall has been clad in reused wooden panels with led lighting in between the panels, giving a gentle glow. The raised area now showcases three huge, luxurious, circular booths clad in a gentle pistachio coloured leather. Towards the window there are two green stained wooden tables for four, with bespoke, matching coloured wooden chairs. Opposite the circular booths, there is two wooden tables for two, with tweed covered bucket chairs. This area looks onto the semi-open kitchen where the chefs are serving up a menu of island sourced langoustines, halibut, mussels and famous Smoked Trout from The Tobermory Fish Co contrasted with a selection of meats from the Ardnamurchan Estate. Although the restaurant is separated into a bar and a dining area, you’d be unaware at first glance. When you enter, the bar dominates the room, and to its left, there is what manager Johnny Love calls ‘the snug’. He says, “While we are predominantly a restaurant, we do have the bar which is proving popular. So if someone comes in and wants to have langoustines in the bar, of course we’ll serve them. We are happy to have the bar serve as a feeding area into the restaurant or for somewhere for diners to retire to after dinner or lunch.” The layout of the restaurant is very spacious and gives a feeling of relaxation with its muted lighting, flowers and space. Its estimated 100 covers could easily be increased to around 150 as there is ample space between tables, but Johnny was adamant that the operators Julie and Neil wanted customers to have a sense of privacy. “So many restaurants cram customers in, and Julie and Neil didn’t want to do that,” he says. Julie hails from Ardnamurchan, so this project is very close to her heart. So much so that the last six months before opening this month, she has been in the late stages of pregnancy and, when I visited, had just had her real baby! 34


The snug consists of a chocolate leather banquette which lines the L-shaped wall of the area when you enter. Squat leather bar stools match the seating, and six antique wooden circular tables are arranged in the area. Box lighting on the walls mixes in with shelving holding whisky boxes and bottles. To the left, a recess contains four lighter brown leather booths paired with a diner style table between each. Pewter ship lights hang over these tables. A white ceramic bar lot runs around the wall from the booths allowing for four tall backed bar seats. Facing out onto Hope Street, a wooden bar has been mounted to allow four drinkers to relax in luxurious brown leather bucket bar chairs and watch the world go by. The bar itself has three black and white tiled pillars that separate the wine selection on either side of its spirit selection. Green under shelf lighting continues the countryish hue, and more leather bucket bar seats surround the bar. A trio of hanging light pendants are gathered together at the far end of the bar, which bounces light off a large mirror at the back of the restaurant, which hides a lovely addition to the space – a private dining area. As you walk to the end of the bar, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just extra seating – which there is – but as you get to the end, steps take you up to a raised area, where a table for twelve resides in an almost ‘drawing room’ styled area. Scottish landscapes are mounted on the walls and there is a raised wooden divider, seperating the area from the rest of the seating below. The seats below consist of a banquette along a partially green tiled back wall, with four individual tables for two with leather backed chairs. Johnny is confident that the menu and style of the restaurant will attract the theatre crowd, but they will also be looking at building the business to attract the office workers from the many companies that reside in the Cowcaddens area. He says, “We have worked on a menu that allows us to do as much fresh food as we can possibly can do, so that will mark us out. We’re also doing afternoon teas and breakfasts at the weekends so we’re very confident.” n

We are extremely proud to supply Ardnamurchan. Wishing you lots of success in the future For full contact detail please visit our web site at:

“We think this is the best smoked trout and salmon available. You can actually have it posted to you. It’s amazing!!!’ Ardnamurchan

DRAM JUNE 2017 35

COCKTAILS & STEAKS 193 Main Street, Uddingston, G71 7BP



erocious, cleaver-wielding gang boss Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, played by Daniel Day-Lewis in Hollywood blockbuster Gangs of New York, might seem an unusual inspiration for a new bar restaurant in Scotland - unless you’re the brains behind Cocktails and Steaks. The quirky boutique steakhouse is bringing a taste of trendy Glasgow West End gastro hub Finnieston to Uddingston, where it opened on Main Street in April. As the name suggests, it specialises in quality steaks and classic cocktails with an upmarket yet inviting and intimate design inspired by 19th-century butchers from Glasgow and New York. The first opening from newly formed Uddingston Ltd is a family affair, owned and operated by mum Florence Cowley and her children Renee Smith and Anthony Cowley, who all live locally. Anthony Cowley is well-known in the Scottish licensed trade as Property Development Director for Manorview Group, and has



overseen the development of its nine bespoke hotels across the Central Belt. Yet Cocktails and Steaks is a completely independent venture and Anthony is the first to admit that, while he’s been responsible for getting the restaurant up-and-running, his sister Renee will take the lead in managing the day-to-day business with mum Florence also on hand. First-time licensee Renee said, “We’re a local family, so we know the area and the customers. We figured if people are willing to travel into Glasgow for a quality steak then there was definitely a strong market for that kind of offering here. Uddingston Main Street is thriving. There’s lots of great places here and we want to encourage people to stay local.” In terms of the design and build, Anthony told DRAM, “I took a lot of pride in doing this one for my family. When my mum saw that Mungalls Newsagent was up for sale we decided it was a perfect opportunity for us to bring something new to Uddingston.

BY L AURA SMITH “The tall, narrow space reminded me of eateries in Finnieston so I wanted to do our own Uddingston Ltd/Space I.D. version of a small and intimate Finnieston-style unit and bring it to the east side of the city.” Anthony was quick to enlist Space I.D. owner Michael Simmons, who he has collaborated with on multiple Manorview projects. Michael and his team led a ten-week renovation costing in the region of £200,000 that has transformed the space into a hip, rustic and atmospheric eatery. Michael told DRAM, “It was quite nice to do something on that scale. It’s such a small unit and we had to cram so much in to make it work. Anthony, Renee and Florence all had different ideas of how it should look but they trusted me to crack on with it and we’ve ended up with an eclectic mix of all three that looks fantastic.” With space at a premium, Space I.D. made room for 40 covers by

JC Upholstery would like to wish the tea m at The Mallard lots of success in the future. w: e:

t: 01698 843360 m: 07791 414970

DRAM JUNE 2017 37

installing a new mezzanine floor and luxurious leather banquette seating courtesy of JC Upholstery. Bespoke brass light fittings with funky Edison bulbs have been made specially by Tom Adam to fit the low mezzanine ceiling, while an eye-catching, spider-like rope chandelier extends above the downstairs area. The design has a cool Manhattan speakeasy vibe thanks to its exposed original brickwork, cracked brown leather cowhide banquettes dotted with brass studs, bronze antique mirrors, brass and copper fittings and quirky vintage finishes. Anthony added, “Michael and his team did a brilliant job. We’ve worked together for about ten years now so he knows what I like and understands that high level of attention to detail.” When it comes to creating a quirky yet nostalgic feel, the devil (or more accurately, the butcher) is definitely in the details. Unlike many steakhouses, Renee was keen to place the focus on the butcher rather than the animal itself. For Anthony, that conjured up the historical New York gangster brought to life by his favourite film director. He explained, “The theme is all about the butcher character. I’m a big Martin Scorsese fan and immediately thought of Bill “The Butcher” Cutting from Gangs of New York. We took inspiration from that era and went for a Manhattan/New York feel. Bill’s portrait is on the wall above the stairs leading to the mezzanine and he’s featured in our logo.” More quirky features are framed black and white photographs of Glasgow butchers from the 19th century and antiques Anthony and Michael have either sourced online or salvaged from past Manorview renovations. This includes a pair of French butcher 38

DRAM JUNE MAY 2017 2017

cleavers, a 100-year-old cistern saved from a bar in Glasgow, tiles salvaged from a Manhattan apartment circa 1960 and an antique butcher’s bicycle discovered in Perth. Sticking with the butcher theme, Michael added that, “The venue cried out for a brown coloured marble but the particular one we used for the bar top is called maron. We chose it because it has white veins running through it that looks just like the nice marbling you find in a steak.” Speaking of which, Cocktails and Steaks uses the highest standard of Scotch Beef, Campbells Gold, which is aged for a minimum of 28 days and cooked using a Josper grill - a pricey piece of kitchen tech Anthony says is “designed to keep the juice in the steak as it charcoals the meat at a high temperature but keeps it very tender. This really adds to the customer experience.” While this is the first step into the licensed trade for Renee, who has run her own successful catering company for many years, she’s already proven herself more than equal to the task. The steakhouse is already fully booked on Friday and Saturday nights and is receiving rave reviews and repeat custom. She added, “We’re very focused on serving good quality meat, food and drinks and are championing Scottish producers like Campbells Prime Meats and Copper Dog Whisky. We were a little concerned about how this small, intimate style would go down as we’re so different from anything else in the area. But people really love it, I think because we put a lot of thought into everything, from the décor, to the menus, the service and all the little unique touches.” n

Nixon Consultants is a multi-disciplinary construction consultancy that specialises in our core disciplines of Quantity Surveying; Project Management and Principal Designer of CDM. We manage the project team, contracts, directly employed sub-contractors and suppliers to ensure successful delivery of all projects.

We are delighted to assist the Cowley Family with this project. We wish them every success with the recently completed Cocktail & Steak Restaurant and look forward to continuing our working relationship with them. We have already been for a sumptuous steak and cheeky cocktail and would highly recommend a visit.

Clydeport Building 16 Robertson Street Glasgow G2 8DS T: 0141 221 1433 E: W:

DRAM JUNE 2017 39

Maggie Mays 60 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5EP



lasgow rock n’ roll institution Maggie Mays has turned up the volume with a £400k makeover commissioned by Oli Norman and Stephen White, who bought over the popular Merchant City haunt from Colin Beattie last September. With the goal of giving the late night bar/restaurant/club an amped up new look without losing its edgy, rock n’ roll atmosphere, they enlisted local interior design company Surface ID to give the place a major facelift – a first since it opened as Maggie’s in 2006. The majority of the venue has been completely ripped out and refurbished. An eight-week job by Surface ID and shop fitters Dimension was made more challenging as the bar remained open at weekends. Surface ID co-director Claire Kinna told DRAM, “We worked Monday to Thursday and then turned it back into Maggie’s trading bar in time for the weekend and started again on Sunday night. It was a phenomenal amount of work, especially for Dimension, but essential as the owners didn’t want to lose the Maggie’s crowd.” Claire admitted that undertaking such a drastic refurbishment of a venue that’s been popular in the city for over two decades was another challenge. She added, “The good thing about Maggie’s is you get everyone from students to grannies coming here so we didn’t want to alienate anyone. It’s a big change. We tried to keep it as Maggie’s but give it more rock and roll feel and keep it “sleazy” for want of a better word, and give it some much-needed TLC. Mostly everything is new, from the furniture to the sound system to the loos.” The venue still lives and breathes music but there’s now an emphasis on food as the new Maggie’s Buns menu is rolled out. The new food offering, which focuses on an American diner-style menu, has a new dining area to match. The restaurant is now open plan with a bright, laid-back and slightly industrial feel and has a mix of tall tables and comfy leather booths and seats upholstered in blue, red and turquoise by Lecs Upholstery to match the Maggie’s Buns branding.



A huge canopy of metal rods and naked light bulbs created by Scott Associates Sculptures & Design Lt is a real feature in here and draws the eye to open kitchen and back wall, where tattooed Maggie herself makes an appearance beside a repeat pattern of the Maggie’s Buns branding. Claire said, “Oli really wanted to push the food so we needed to crack the restaurant. Before it was not only separate from the bar but completely at odds with the design and very traditional. We’ve opened it out as much as possible and have gone for a laid back look that’s somewhere between a rock bar and an American diner. It’s a really different, cool space.” The main bar’s layout is largely the same; brightened with a grey and white colour scheme and opened out with plenty more seating available. There’s American diner style booths, each with its own TV screen, durable bench seating made from huge chunks of treated timber and metal girders and a few high tables. Comfortable seating between the bar and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the Trongate is designed for customers to enjoy a coffee or food during the day. The new seating has beefed up the number of covers from 184 to 302. Claire explained, “The idea was that customers can enjoy the Maggie’s Buns menu anywhere in the venue so we’ve given customers more choice in terms of seating with the mix of booths and big sharing tables which are great for when the place is mobbed.” With live music remaining the soul of Maggie May’s (it will now feature seven nights a week), a new corner stage has been added in the bar with a colourful backdrop of vinyl records and album sleeves from iconic bands including Iron Maiden and Maggie May singer Rod Stewart. A big investment has been sunk into a powerful new sound system installed by SSUK, who have also hooked up a live video feed from the bar to multiple TV screens dotted around the venue that show

everything from sport to a live stream of gigs playing upstairs or down in the club. The bar also has a new look. Its deep red mahogany top has been blasted and restrained grey for a brighter finish, and is clad with a mix of grey reclaimed tiles and rows of up-cycled wooden broom handles. A gantry made from heavy chains and metal shelves is another eye-catching feature. Keeping with the rock vibe, electric guitars and drum kits snared in fairy lights hang from the walls around the venue and above the stairs that lead down to the basement club, along with a custom red neon light fittings that screams “Get your rocks off”. Major changes have also been made to the basement club, which has been opened up with more seating added, including, and a new stage area. There’s more music memorabilia here too, with gig posters, instruments, and microphones displayed in metal cages and on the wall above snug red leather booths. Claire said, “We completely gutted the basement club. There were lots of screens and dividers so we’ve opened up so it can work better as a live venue. There’s big booths so people can eat down here too and we’ve added a new bar gantry with a light up “Rock” sign.” She added, “It definitely has an edgy, slightly American feel. We wanted to keep what I’d call the “sleaziness” that Maggie’s had so we’ve added red neon lighting that creates the familiar Maggie May’s black and red look that makes me think of an American rock club.” Regulars have already shared their approval of the new look on Facebook, a sign that those involved in the refurbishment have succeeded in amping up the Maggie’s Glaswegians know and love but still keeping the focus on laid-back dining, live music, sport, late nights and a healthy dose of rock n’ roll. n DRAM JUNE 2017 41





here’s definitely sea change happening when it comes to people moving on... Ken, Kenny, Kenneth McGown of Star Pubs & Bars, after 22 years with Heineken is retiring... or at least retiring from Heineken. He tells me he is looking forward to having an extended break, but that he will be looking for something new after that. Ken and I bonded over dogs in pubs’, maybe there’s a role for him at Dugs ‘n Pubs. Only joking Ken! Talking of Dog friendly pubs – we put a social media post up inviting people to put themselves and their dogs forward as judges for this category. As we went to press it had been seen by 25,000 people and I have more pictures of dogs with their owners than I can cope with... here are just a few... Still on the subject of our awards I am delighted to reveal that William Grant & Sons are the new hosts for the Bar Apprentice. After 9 years with Maxxium apprentices will have some fresh brands to learn about and no doubt will learn some new skills too. This new apprentice programme will not just be centredaround bar experiences but the youngsters will also be learning from some of the most experienced brand ambassadors and drinks experts in the field. We have all the details in the next issue. But if you have someone that you would like to put forward email me at A Dundee restaurant offered free food to youngsters who could prove they have registered to vote in the upcoming general election. Wee Mexico on the Nethergate, gave away a free taco to anyone aged between 18 and 24 who showed proof of registration, in order to encourage youngsters to vote. A novel promotion indeed. Mind you a club promoter from Glasgow was on a sticky wicket when he was caught hosting a tour named ‘Yer Da Sells Avon’. Paul Zitkus, received a letter from Alison Price, the Head of Marketing for Avon asking him to desist. However she did suggest that they be happy to consider him as an Avon Representative! McEwan’s has now been sold to Marstons. We knew something was up when Charles Wells dropped McEwan’s IPA out of the blue. Now we know why. It’s still a very popular ale in the East and North East of Scotland. But I can remember when McEwan’s Lager was one of the top two selling brands in Scotland and it had some iconic advertising. Changed days indeed! n



CLASSIFIED ADVERTS Contact your nearest operator

FREE Initial Line Clean! No obligation and no ongoing contract

save money reduce waste improve quality

Stirling & Falkirk 07472 715 791 Glasgow North 07711 902 451 Glasgow South & Ayrshire 07825 084 570

Aberdeen 07816 442 891 Fife 07925 757 874 Edinburgh 07427 147 801

BARS . RESTAURANTS . HOTELS WINE BARS . CLUBS . RETAIL SHOPS Tablet Solutions / Back Office Software PMS Integration/ Cashless Kitchen Video Systems/ Cloud Loyalty Systems Booking Manager

Better beer, better business

GLASGOW - 0141 424 0558 EDINBURGH – 0131 447 1800 AYRSHIRE - 01292 285404

0800 781 0577 /

DRAM JUNE 2017 43


Market leading Touch Screen Epos Systems from authorised partner

Designed for:

• Pubs & Bars • Restaurants • Hotels • Nightclubs • Members Clubs • Fast Food Takeaways

Tel: 0333 121 2150

V Flexible Bains marie hot cupboard carvery unit with heated curved glass gantry overshelf. l  Totally mobile on four castors. l  Stainless steel construction. l  Independent controls to hot cupboard,

top and heat lamps. l  3kW loading fitted with 13 amp cable and plug. l  Can be supplied with carvery, tiled or glass inserts to suit required configuration. Victor Manufacturing Ltd. Tel: 01272 722125 44


dram.indd 1

23/04/2015 14:21:00




KIRKLEES DEVELOPMENTS LTD Commercial Outdoor Equipment


From Only £1920


From Only £1460

ZENITH 5 From Only £645

Call us or visit our web site to order Tel: 01484 401134 All prices exclude carriage and vat

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.

Over the last 27 years, we have supplied and serviced high quality coffee machines across a wide range of businesses and organisations, wherever coffee is served to the public. Caledonian Espresso Service Unit 8 Dumbryden Industrial estate, Edinburgh, EH14 2AB Tel: 0131 453 1993 Mobile: 07919 173111 DRAM JUNE 2017 45

ROUND UP The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society, The BEN, raising £4,500 at its ‘Fashion and Fizz’ event held last month at Oran Mor. Hosted by Edward Reid, guests were entertained to a variety of performances before many of the ladies took to the stage, or should that be catwalk, to model dresses which were up for auction. All proceeds raised at the event go towards the charity’s range of services which help both former and current workers of the licensed trade who are facing difficulties. Whether it’s social, financial or emotional support, The BEN helps anyone, who has worked full-time in the Scottish licensed trade for at least three years. Well done to Sue Buchanan, Lucie Cooney and Chris Gardiner for organising the event.

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, Scott Fleming, Laura Smith Advertising Lucy McGovern, Sylvia Forsyth • New Business Lisa Clifford • Production Lorraine Gourlay, 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


DRAM JUNE 2017 47

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.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

In Hotel Restaurants and Bars In Barista Bars In Coffee Lounges To Cater for Employees In the Events Area In Office Floor Solutions

JURA Products Ltd Vivary Mill, Vivary Way Colne, Lancashire BB8 9NW Tel: 01282 868266 / Fax: 01282 863411 48



XJ9 Professional

Thedram 322 (issuu)  
Thedram 322 (issuu)