Luminar takes on Wetherspoon and Bass

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Related tags: Nightclub

Success of 'Wetherspoon template' leads to expansion for brandBar and club operator Luminar has declared war on JD Wetherspoon and Bass' Goose with...

Success of 'Wetherspoon template' leads to expansion for brand

Bar and club operator Luminar has declared war on JD Wetherspoon and Bass' Goose with its new rival pub concept.

It has begun a national roll-out of the Orange House chain of pubs which offer cheap ales and value-for-money food on the high street.

Luminar chief executive Steve Thomas, who is known for his preference for nightclubs over pubs, said it was based on the "Wetherspoon template".

After the success of the first in Swansea in South Wales (pictured)​, a second Orange House has been unveiled in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

Mr Thomas said his new Swansea pub was in direct competition with Wetherspoon's Earl of Dalkeith in the Kingsway, and added: "It's in a better location on the circuit."

A third Orange House is due to open in Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, in June, while more will be coming in August to Burnley in Lancashire, Castleford in West Yorkshire and St Helens in Merseyside.

Mr Thomas said Luminar planned to open more of the pubs in sites that were too small for its other core brands, such as Chicago Rock Café.

"We have lots of sites on the high street where our other concepts wouldn't fit in terms of square footage," he said.

JD Wetherspoon, which owns nearly 500 pubs, has already declared war on Bass Leisure Retail's 34-strong Goose.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: "Various other companies have tried to copy us and go into competition, but it has gone pearshaped.

"Competition is good for the customers, but we've always found we do best when faced with competition."Luminar, which mainly operates nightclubs within its 262-strong estate, has also begun rolling out its more stylish bar concepts, Life and The.

It experimented with running pubs in the mid-1990s, developing two outlets under the format of Chelsea Brewing Company, but later sold them.

Mr Thomas said: "In the past, I would have tried running the Orange House myself, but we accept that we are not natural pub operators.

"So we have found people who are good at it and can drive it forward."

Related stories:

Luminar spends £60m after profits soar (May 9, 2001)

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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