Lights! Camera! Action!
Pub company Open House London is set to open the Broadcaster pub and dining room in Television Centre, White City, on 14 October.
The independent pubco, which is behind the Lighterman and Percy & Founders, is set to unveil the four-storey concept within a glass and steel-fronted building with multiple terraces.
The company said it would “build on an ambition to celebrate the British pub through great food and drink”.
Situated at the entrance to Television Centre, its giant windows will allow the inside to be flooded with natural light. It will have a ground-floor 70-seat bar and dining area while the first-floor dining room will cater for 60 seated covers and a private dining room will accommodate up to 20 for people.
A second floor and expansive rooftop terrace that has retractable awnings and a garden is scheduled to open in early 2022.
The kitchen will be led by chef Luke Rayment-Blakey, who will use traditional cooking methods combined with modern techniques. The food will range from British pub classics through to plant-based creations.
Dishes include roasted wild stone bass served with herbed mash; dry-aged rare-breed sirloin served with turnip and horseradish terrine; and wild mushroom and vegan feta pie served with swede and green sauce.
Small plates and bar snacks will include home-made pork pies, salt-baked celeriac and cured Scottish salmon tartare.
The main menu will be further supplemented by a pizza kitchen on the ground floor bar.
Cocktails will be a big part of the drinks offer beginning with autumn specials such as the ‘Pumpkin Fashioned’ made with Buffalo Trace
bourbon, spiced pumpkin and orange and the ‘Autumn Cup’ of Sipsmith London Cup gin with blackberry, cucumber, plum, mint and lemonade.
Classic lagers, stouts and craft beers from independent brewers will be joined by a rotating line-up of gin and tonic mixers and an extensive wine list from organic and biodynamic British and European winemakers.
Tiere Group doubles up with Star lease
Tiere Group has taken a lease and is set to refurbish the Red Lion at Shirley, West Midlands, as its second site with Star Pubs & Bars.
The pub, which will be renamed as simply the Lion, closed on Monday (4 October) for the joint £350,000 revamp, which will complete in early December, creating 30 new jobs. Star said the move would transform the tired local into a great-quality family-friendly pub with “one of the best games rooms in the area”.
The project will completely change the exterior of the 1950s pub to bring it into keeping with neighbouring buildings and enhance the centre of Shirley.
The Lion will be repainted with new cladding, lighting and signs added. Flower baskets, topiary hedges and café-style seating on the pavement outside will complete the look.
A little-used concrete courtyard behind the pub will become a 32-seater alfresco space with wall art, new furniture, a big screen and a covered all-weather area.
A revamp of the pub’s dated interior will make it more stylish and contemporary, with leather-covered booths accompanied by their own mini TVs.
A new kitchen will enable Tiere Group to extend the food offer. All meals will be made from scratch, using ingredients sourced from nearby farms and suppliers. Dishes will focus on street food such as burgers, ribs and wings. Children will have their own menu. The Lion will also install a barista-quality coffee machine, and will serve hot drinks and homemade cakes.
The Lion’s games room will also be overhauled to provide space for functions as well. It will have its own bar, so that different groups of customers can be catered for simultaneously, and will be kitted out with pool, darts and screens.
Tiere Group currently leases the award-winning Bulls Head at Barston, a village pub with boutique letting rooms and is now eyeing further growth with Star Pubs & Bars.
“Star has provided us with fantastic support throughout the pandemic and has a very good reputation,” said Tiere Group co-founder Nick Johnson. “We’re keen to develop the partnership and build up a group of 10 leased pubs with them in the area south of Birmingham.
“The Bulls Head and the Lion are very different pubs but will have a similar feel and share the same ethos, systems and focus on quality. We’re open to taking on Star pubs in varied sectors as long as they have the ability to trade as more premium venues.”
Star Pubs & Bars area manager Jacqueline Frow added: “Tiere Group has done a brilliant job of turning round the Bulls Head and has increased sales fivefold despite the pandemic.
“We’re delighted to be backing them with their exciting plans for the Lion. The investment will develop a range of income streams covering all day parts and occasions, making the pub a strong, sustainable business for the long term.”
The refurbishment of the Lion is part of Star Pubs & Bars’ 2021 £38m investment programme, which includes 80 major pub makeovers.
Third new site in eight weeks for London Cocktail Club
Bar group Nightcap has announced it has taken a lease for a new London Cocktail Club site in Gun Street, central Reading.
The 2,861sq ft site, which was previously home to ping pong venue Smash, will have a 2am licence on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and is expected to open before the end of the year with a capacity of 230.
Following recent new site activity, Nightcap currently has a further five sites in legal negotiations across several of its brands.
The Reading site is the third new site announced in the past eight weeks, with all new sites expected to be open and trading within this calendar year.
Nightcap chief executive Sarah Willingham said: “It is great to see how quickly the London Cocktail Club is ramping up its roll-out schedule, which now includes three new sites announced in just eight weeks.
“Following the updates on the group’s strong trading announced in June, and again in August, Nightcap is continuing to take advantage of the attractive terms being offered in the property market as we deliver on our national roll-out strategy.”
Nightcap also owns the Adventure Bar, whose brands include Tonight Josephine and Blame Gloria.
Mojo ready for seventh heaven
Bar operator Mojo will open its sixth site with a charity launch party on 15 October.
Director Mal Evans, who has 40 years’ experience in the industry, will christen the doorway of Mojo Sheffield with a bottle of rum as a sign of good luck.
The venue will host a ‘conscience bar’ until midnight, which Mojo describes as a ‘pay as you feel’ bar, with all of the takings being donated to PACT (the Parents Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia).
A live tracker will be displayed on screens throughout the night so that guests can keep a track of the total amount raised. Previous launches have seen the group raise more than £20,000.
Mojo said: “Don’t be tight and make sure you put your hand in your pocket because they’ll know. You were warned.”
Mojo Sheffield will be located in the former NUM building on Holly Street. It added: “The Americana-inspired cocktail bar will bring their high octane energy to Sheffield later this month. And, like Sheffield, Mojo is known for its rock ’n’ roll-inspired decor and music, not to mention its great cocktails.”
Simmons Bar adds a new hotspot to their portfolio
Former City of London award-winning steak and cocktail restaurant Silk & Grain has been let to cocktail bar operator Simmons Bar.
The self-proclaimed ‘party bar’ will be open on Cornhill, just 100 metres from Bank station and opposite the Royal Exchange, and “will undoubtedly be popular among the substantial nearby office population”, according to estate agent Fleurets, which acted on behalf of landlord Habro.
Nick Campbell, founder and CEO of Simmons Bars said: “We are delighted to take on a new site in such prime location and in time for what we hope is a vibrant and busy Christmas period.” AG&G acted for the tenant.
Established in 2013 in Kings Cross, the London-based bars currently have 15 locations with more on the horizon.
Fleurets divisional director Andy Frisby said: “Both the location and property attracted good levels of interest as operators believe trade will return to the City and we were delighted to secure the letting, especially to such an established operator.”
Customers can expect quirky neon interiors, cocktails served in teapots and a lively atmosphere.
An Inkling this historic pub will flourish again
Oxford’s historic Lamb & Flag is to reopen following an agreement between St John’s College and The Inklings Group.
The Inklings Group – named in honour of the pub’s former patrons, which include JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis – has been established as a community interest company and has signed a long-term lease to relaunch the pub. The Inklings is a diverse and eclectic mix of Oxford people, past and present, scientists and entrepreneurs, writers and artists, 'Town and Gown', as well as local businesses and suppliers.
The Inklings Group chair Kate O’Brien said: "Several hundred people, brought together by a love of Oxford and the Lamb & Flag pub, have established the Inklings Group to secure the future of this well-loved pub. We are determined to ensure that the next 408 years of this beloved pub will be as fun, interesting and impactful as the past 408 years.
"Our hope and belief is that the pub will remain as a community asset at the centre of the magical Oxford scene. The funds to ensure a sustainable future for the pub have already been committed. This community project is not exclusive in any way and all are welcome to become an Inkling."
The Inklings are grateful to St John’s College for sharing their vision and supporting the relaunch of a pub aimed at local philanthropy and positive impact rather than profit. The Inklings also wish to thank the many volunteers who have helped make this dream a reality. They look forward to welcoming the public in the pub soon.
Zoe Hancock, principal bursar of St John’s College, added: "We are delighted to be working with The Inklings Group to reopen the Lamb & Flag pub. The Lamb & Flag is much loved by our students, staff, fellows and the wider community, and we believe the vision of The Inkling Group will bring great benefit to all."
The pub’s character will be preserved, and it will undergo light redecoration and refurbishment. It is expected to open in time for this year’s festive season.
Nick Rees, director at Savills asset management and Chris Bickle, director in the licensed leisure team at Savills advised St John’s College on the letting. The conclusion of this process follows the successful letting of 25-27 George Street, previously trading as Pint Shop, to Busaba Thai restaurant group. Savills is also instructed on the letting of the historic Eagle & Child public house on behalf of St John’s College.
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