Pubco Punch unveils Urban Oasis bar concept in Bath

By James Wallin, MCA

- Last updated on GMT

Community oasis: the concept has the potential to be applied to more Punch sites
Community oasis: the concept has the potential to be applied to more Punch sites

Related tags Punch Bath somerset patron Community

Punch, the Patron Capital-backed pubco, is to launch its Urban Oasis high street bar format in Bath with plans for further openings, MCA understands.

The group has also launched a new community pub model called Our Local, with the first opening in Ormskirk, Lancashire. The format is a mid-market version of the established Mighty Local template, and is thought to have the potential to be applied to a significant portion of Punch’s 1,300 pubs if successful.

Urban Oasis was a concept first developed under former chief executive Duncan Garrood and development director David Wigham in 2016. Its development was put on hold due to the takeover by Patron and Heineken but the first site under the model is due to launch next month at the former Rising Sun in Bath, which will be renamed the Claremont.

More spirits, craft beers and cocktails

Paul Pavli, managing director at Punch, told MCA the Urban Oasis offer would centre around an extensive spirit range, with a wider selection of craft beers and cocktails than in an average Punch pub.

He said: “It suits areas like Bath, which are quite bustling and where there is a commuter culture. We’ve got quite a few sites where this offer could work and it’s a model that we’ve wanted to try out for a long time. We will get this one open and probably look at doing a couple more and then see how they are working before we go any further.”

On Our Local, he said: “It’s a mainstream, mid-market offer and if we can get the model right, it’s a segment that covers a lot of our estate. There’s probably 300 to 400 sites that could operate under that format.”

Punch acquisition 

Patron acquired Punch last year and completed the handover of 1,900 pubs to Heineken last month. Clive Chesser, currently of Greene King, will join the group as chief executive in June.

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