Vagabond appoints new operations director

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

New appointment: Christobell Giles instated as Vagabond Wines operations director (Credit: Getty/	Jetta Productions Inc)
New appointment: Christobell Giles instated as Vagabond Wines operations director (Credit: Getty/ Jetta Productions Inc)

Related tags Vagabond Multi-site pub operators Wine

Vagabond Wines has appointed Christobell Giles as its new operations director.

The appointment follows that of former Hippo Inns MD Rupert Clevely, who joined Vagabond as non-executive director last week.

Giles joined the wine bar operator earlier this month, having previously been operations director at Megan’s Restaurants – a role she left in August 2022.

Captive footfall 

Her previous roles have also included commercial food operations director at Hilton and operations director (NPD) at Wagamama.

Speaking to MCA last year, Vagabond’s founder and executive director Stephen Finch said the experiential wine bar business was looking to leverage the captive footfall at airports to grow its estate of 11 locations in London and one in Birmingham, following its opening at Heathrow’s Terminal 5​.

The 4,500 sq ft Heathrow bar, which benefitted from a £1.3m investment and has space for 170 guests, marked the company's first airport site and created 60 new jobs.

Additionally, the venue is open seven days a week from 5:30am to 10:30pm and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus as well as bar snacks, cocktails and a children’s menu.

Exciting step 

Moreover Vagabond, which serves more than 100 varieties of wine via its dispensers, is soon to open a new site at Gatwick Airport, which will be located air-side in the South Terminal.

This comes as last week’s Spring Budget saw wine drinkers hardest hit​ by the biggest single duty rise in almost 50 years, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Regarding the Heathrow bar, Vagabond Bar and Kitchen managing director Matt Fleming said: “This is a really exciting step into the airport environment for Vagabond and the Heathrow site will expose millions of guests to the Vagabond concept per year.

“We have ambitious growth plans to open further sites across the country and this new venue is also a fantastic foothold for potential future international expansion. We can’t wait to introduce the Vagabond way to people from around the world, giving them the perfect start to their journey.”

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