l Yates Group has converted Yates's sites in Ealing and Sutton Coldfield to its Ha! Ha! Bar & Canteen. The company claims the junior brand is showing weekly like-for-like sales growth. Chairman Mike Hennessy told the company's annual general meeting that trading for the first quarter of the 2003 financial year was in line expectations, although high-street trading remains tough. l James Birch has joined beer brand builder Refresh as finance director and company secretary. He has been a non-executive director of Refresh since the business started in June 2000. Birch has held several senior finance roles in the drinks and hospitality business most recently he was chief financial officer of tenanted pub group InnSpired. Previously, he was with Ushers of Trowbridge, which he joined in 1997. l Leeds-based Blue Herring Leisure, run by father-and-son team Mike and Daniel Smart, is planning to roll-out its new Mononi café-bar concept across the UK after a successful launch in Leeds. The new £750,000 bar offers a café/piano bar, restaurant and dance floor. Daniel Smart said: "We've welcomed over 1,000 people through the doors every Friday and Saturday, but we've also seen a lot of morning custom in the week, which is mainly business people using Mononi as a venue for upmarket business breakfasts and meetings." l Heritage Inns has appointed John O'Neill, the former free-trade director at Mansfield Brewery, as its managing director. O'Neill joins the company as a refurbishment programme begins on the sites it acquired from Pennant Inns in April. O'Neill said: "It's a very exciting time at Heritage, and although we have a task ahead of us, we know exactly what we need to achieve and sustain growth and profit for our tenants.