Dundee pub closed for four years reopens after £630k refit
Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars, has unveiled the Grade-A listed Barrelman pub in central Dundee following a £630,000 investment to revive the pub after spending the last four years empty.
Originally slated to reopen in April, the reveal of the new look pub under Star licensees Tommy and Jacqueline Fox was delayed by lockdown.
“Local interest has been huge. It’s exciting to be finally opening,” Tommy explained. “The Barrelman looks totally different to anywhere else in Dundee now. Anyone who comes is blown away; they can’t believe it’s the same place.
“The centre of Dundee is picking up again but with bars and restaurants operating at reduced capacity, it’s difficult to get into many places.
“We feel very fortunate that The Barrelman is such a big airy venue where customers can easily space out. It can accommodate 120, so people can safely enjoy drinks, a meal or a great night out in a fantastic atmosphere with a social buzz around them.”
According to Star Pubs & Bars, the Barrelman holds 120 even with social distancing and will create 25 new jobs.
“Tommy and Jacqueline are highly professional operators with great vision and we wish them well,” Brian Davidson, Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director for Scotland, added.
“The Barrelman is certainly worth the wait – it looks amazing and it’s totally unique. This is a major development that will really add to Commercial Street and the centre of Dundee.”
Hook Norton resurrects 17th century Oxfordshire coaching inn
Oxfordshire-based brewer and pub operator Hook Norton has announced that the 17th century, Grade II-listed, Crown Inn will reopen on 2 October following a major refurbishment.
Established in 1849, Hook Norton boasts an estate of 35 pubs across Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
Found in, Benson – once the first stop out of Oxford on the stagecoach route to London – the historic venue will feature six en-suite bedrooms, a revamped rear courtyard and beer garden as well as a nano brewery in one of the outbuildings.
“As a brewery, we are always looking to invest not only in pubs but also people, especially in these challenging times,” Hook Norton Brewery’s operations manager, Edwin Pope, explained.
“Once we were able, we continued with the re-development of the Crown and can’t wait to bring both employment and enjoyment to Benson.
“We’re hoping to create a relaxed and inviting pub with a real community feel that also offers the perfect base for visitors to explore this beautiful and fascinating corner of Oxfordshire.”
Rebound Social launches in Leeds
Occupying the former site of Doc Bar in Leeds’ city centre, new venue Rebound Social will serve up artisan pizzas and paninis alongside an impressive selection of beers, wines, ciders, and bespoke cocktails.
What’s more, guests will be treated to an enviable live music schedule, with the new opening’s team committed to showcasing some of the best up and coming talent from Leeds College of Music.
"After months of planning, hard work and of course, a lot of uncertainty, we’re thrilled to have finally launched Rebound Social,” bar manager Jade Renner said of the launch.
“Wellington Street and the surrounding area has really begun to shine over the past few years and I genuinely believe we’re throwing something unique into the mix.’’
"As well as giving the city some of the absolute best food and drink deals around, our commitment to quality music shines through. Guests can expect to hear a mix of modern and classic indie and get to soak up some exceptional live music from some promising local talent.
"From our laidback after work socials to our lively pizza and bottomless drink sessions, Rebound has got your city centre social life all sewn up. We’ve also taken time to ensure our bar is safe as can be amid the global pandemic and strict measures are in place to put our guests and employees’ minds at ease. We can’t wait to see you at the bar."
Angel Inn reopens under new licensees
The Admiral Taverns-owned Angel Inn in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, has reopened under new licensees Lynsey and Ian Birley – who boast more than 37 years’ worth of pub sector experience.
“We are thrilled to be behind the bar at such a wonderful pub, with great support from the pub company,” Ian – who is also the pub’s head chef – explained. “We knew that taking over the Angel would mean we had excellent backing during these difficult periods and we have plenty of ideas we’re keen to bring in once restrictions allow, including a number of exciting live bands to introduce to the community.
“We are so excited to welcome the community back to show off our new offering – we will be hosting a weekly socially distanced McMillan Friday coffee morning which would be great to see some new faces.”
Steve Brighty, business development manager for Admiral Taverns, added: “The Angel Inn is a lovely traditional pub, which the local community should be proud to have on their doorstep.
“The arrival of two local licensees from Derby who know the area well will only further develop the pub into the heart of the community.
“I wish both Ian and Lynsey a successful future at the pub.”
Revolution Bars Group considers CVA
As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA), the operator of 74 Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba bars has confirmed it is working with advisors to secure its long-term viability.
According to an update published on 25 September, Revolution Bars Group is currently assessing the potential impact of the Government’s latest restrictions and exploring options such as the downsizing of its estate through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
While no decisions have yet been made, the board is said to be weighing up all necessary options to ensure its survival in light of the Government’s latest measures.
As reported by The MA, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on 22 September that the UK’s pubs and bars would be subject to a 10pm curfew, compulsory table-service only policies and new face mask requirements in response to a spike in the number of new Covid-19 cases.
The update from Revolution comes after the group revealed on 5 June that it intended to raise up to £15m through share placings in a bid to weather the ongoing crisis and prepare for life after lockdown.
What’s more, the operator secured a £16.5m loan under the Government’s Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) in May.
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