Newcastle pubs raise the bar with transformational investment

18th June 2014

Newcastle pubs raise the bar with transformational investmentStar Pubs & Bars1, HEINEKEN’s pub business, has jointly invested £240K with local pub operators in two major transformational pub refurbishments in the Newcastle area, the Blackie Boy on the Groat Market and The Seven Stars in Ponteland, both of which open this May.

The two already successful venues are upping their game and adding a new dimension for customers.

The Blackie Boy run by local entrepreneur, Oliver Vaulkhard of Fluid Group2, has undergone a complete overhaul including the creation of a whole new awe-inspiring late night venue on its first floor rebranded the All Seeing Eye (ASE), which can be accessed from the Blackie Boy and Perdu (also owned by Fluid Group) lane. The former rarely used function room has had a radical transformation. Its interior has been stripped back to expose brickwork and opened up into the rafters to create an urban downtown New York vibe.

Says Dave Walker, Fluid Group area manager: “The ASE is a cutting edge late night venue and part of the evolution of the Newcastle nightscape. Investment in the site has enabled us to create an amazing experience for customers that they won’t find anywhere else in Newcastle. We’re excited by the extensive menu of cocktails, wine and premium drinks including HEINEKEN Extra Cold and have installed the latest Heineken Smart Dispense technology which guarantees exceptional quality beer and cider every time.”

The Seven Stars in Ponteland, run by experienced and award winning3 pub operator, Paul Gibb is getting a whole new contemporary look, bringing a bit of city centre style to the village. The refurbishment will include a new bar and the reconfiguration of the downstairs to provide comfortable seating and a lounge area. As a result of the investment, the pub is broadening its food and coffee offer, focusing on what customers want, casual dining with sharing platters and burgers.

Says Paul, “I came out of retirement in 2011 to take on the lease of the Seven Stars and save it from closure. I have succeeded in turning it around but now with the help of the Star Pubs & Bars it is time to take The Seven Stars to another level to keep attracting customers. The pub was last refurbished in 1993 when I was the manager. By coincidence my name and telephone number were found by builders on the plaster when they dismantled the bar during building work.”

Chris Jowsey, trading director at Star Pubs & Bars says “Although very different, both pubs are run by experienced operators with high standards and an understanding of what their customers want, which has made them successful. They both recognise the need to review, refine and continue to invest in their pubs to keep them current and attract customers in an increasingly competitive market. It is no longer enough to open the doors and expect customers to come to you - it is all about raising the bar, giving customers that bit extra and offering them the very best.

“HEINEKEN is passionate about beer and cider quality about service and the quality of pubs so we’re delighted to be investing to help entrepreneurs like Oliver and Paul realise their visions and create great pubs with long term sustainable futures.”

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Editor’s notes:

1) HEINEKEN UK is the UK’s leading cider and beer producer and a passionate supporter of the great British pub. Its leased pub business, Star Pubs & Bars, consists of 1285 of the top pubs and bars in the best locations in the UK.

Star Pubs & Bars owns 120 pubs in the North East which it leases to independent businesses. In July 2013 it won the much coveted Business in the Community Enterprise Growth Award for its lessee support programme, which includes offering a low entry cost for people taking on a pub, help reducing overheads, business development support and funding.

2) Fluid Group runs Newcastle city centre coffee houses, gastro-pubs and bars such as Barluga, Central Bean, Perdu, Mushroom and Quilted Camel and Fluid Bar.

3) Seven Stars, Ponteland beat off competition from 1285 pubs in 2012 to win the Best Beer Pub in national awards run by Star Pubs & Bars.

Issued on behalf of:
Star Pubs & Bars

For further information:
Siobhan FitzPatrick
PR: Star Pubs & Bars
07956 542558