New start and new look for All Bar One outlets

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: London, Alcoholic beverage

by The PMA Team The first five new-style All Bar Ones have been opened by Mitchells & Butlers in what is being described as a "significant step...

by The PMA Team The first five new-style All Bar Ones have been opened by Mitchells & Butlers in what is being described as a "significant step forward" for the 53-strong brand, the Morning Advertiser can reveal. The company has opened revamped new-style outlets in Notting Hill, Sutton, Canary Wharf, London's Appold Street and ­ this week ­ Battersea. At the Canary Wharf branch, the company has introduced its first buffet-style eat-all-you-want deli counter. Customers are offered a small plate at £5.95 or a large plate at £7.95 before choosing from a selection of cold meats, patés, pasta, couscous and fish items ­ with freshly-baked bread available. "The odd customer is managing to eat a second plateful," a spokesman said. Otherwise, the food offer places a strong emphasis on tapas-style sharing plates ­ with two menu items for £8 and three for £11 in the evenings. Company managing director restaurants Tony Hughes said: "We asked ourselves what we would do if we were starting All Bar One today, and how we go about it." Among the changes is a greater focus on beer ­ albeit continental beer ­ to "make beer the hero as well as wine". Remodelled sites are offering Erdinger, Leffe, Staropramen, Grolsch and Kupper Kolsch ­ a lager brewed like an ale ­ on draught. The chain's trademark chapel chairs have survived ­ but often now face brown leather banquettes. A Mitchells & Butlers spokes-man said: "We've been absolutely delighted by the reaction. The brand has been tweaked with a slighter wider colour palate than just cream and Shaker' green. "There is more greenery and soft furnishings. We are still assessing the feedback ­ it is a very high-profile brand, even though there are just 53 outlets." Sales figures are reported to be "very encouraging". The first All Bar One opened in Sutton in 1994 ­ the brand is credited with helping to "change the drinking culture in the 1990s". An industry source said: "The changes are quite subtle, but help ensure the brand keeps apace of its audience' expectations." Work on the up-dated All Bar One began almost a year ago. The brand has "evolved" over the years with subtle improvements. "We didn't have any soft furnishings or greenery when we started," said the spokesman. Ideas that were not working ­ like the slow-moving "money-clips" that took food orders to the kitchen ­ have been scrapped. Of the revamp, overseen by Bir-mingham-based Harrison Design, Hughes said: "It's a great concept." l Special report on female-friendly bars ­ p28-29

Related topics: Mitchells & Butlers, Other operators

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more