They say that, traditionally, January is a quiet month but it’s been quite the opposite for the team at the Stonegate Pub Company. Twenty jobs have been created as a result of the investment programme throughout January which has seen nine pubs reopen after a total investment of over £1.5million.
The first pub to reopen was the Sutton Arms in Hornchurch, formerly known as the Hogshead. The name of the pub was chosen by customer Adam Parkes and references the name given to RAF Hornchurch in the First World War. The name was selected after the team at the pub ran a competition inviting regulars to name their local.
Closely following the Sutton Arms was the Slug and Lettuce in Epsom. The team at the Slug and Lettuce celebrated their reopening with an Apres-Ski party where, upon entry, each customer was handed a key to see if it fitted the lock to a safe containing £500 worth of holiday vouchers. Only one key opened the lock, revealing the vouchers for one lucky customer.
As well unlocking the potential to spend a few days in the sun, the Après-Ski party offered guests a lip-smacking range of winter cocktails including the Cherry Chill Igloo which is served with crushed ice, Smirnoff Red Vodka, Sourz Cherry and Coca-Cola presented in an igloo glass and the BrrrAndy Alexander served with cognac and shaken with a blend of milk and cream.
Changes to the Slug and Lettuce, which opened on Thursday 17th January, include the creation of a new layout with the inclusion of two circular booths along with the installation of Sky Sports along with a large projector and two plasma screens, ensuring that customers will be able to see every pass, kick, try and goal in the array of games that the bar will be showing.
The Bear in Twickenham opened on Tuesday 22nd January offering its customers a lighter, brighter and a truly beautiful looking pub. The back bar of the Bear creates a visual impact as soon as you walk in. The pub offers a number of great money saving deals including 50% off all main meals on a Monday. Grill night every Tuesday where a drink and steak costs £7.75 and Spice Night on Wednesday where you can get a range of curries starting from £6.95.
The White Bear in Barrowford, Lancashire opened on 23rd January followed by the Slug and Lettuce in South Woodford which opened on Friday 25th January. The general managers from both pubs pulled out all the stops to showcase the new-look pubs to their local communities including circus style entertainment and music from local bands.
Wrapping up the month of investments were the openings of the Goose in Fulham, the Fleet in Portsmouth and Popworld in Portsmouth.
The refurbishment at the Goose was declared a knock out by British and Commonwealth Super Middle Weight boxing champion, George Groves who lives in the area and helped the team at the pub to celebrate the opening. Already, their newly revamped beer garden complete with an outdoor television screen has begun to reap rewards.
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth officially opened the Fleet, a traditional pub in the heart of city with a champagne reception and live music from the hugely popular band ‘Up the beat’. As part of the refurbishment the pub has installed additional real ale hand pumps so that it now offers some of the best range of national award-winning ales and local craft beers in the city.
The following day members of chart-topping 90s band SClub7 made sure the crowd at Popworld had a nostalgic and memorable night at its busy launch night. Portsmouth Popworld, the third Popworld nightclub to be opened by Stonegate, is on course to shake up the nightlife in the city with its high energy, fun 90s themed nights and innovative new cocktail drinks range including the appropriately named ‘Poptails’.
The investment programme continues to roll out throughout February with openings of the Kings Head in Chingford, the Minster Tavern in Ely, Squirrel in Farnborough and Popworld in Swansea.