Founded in 1995 by husband and wife Jo and Rupert Clevely, Geronimo Inns is a series of gastro pubs situated throughout London.
With sites in Chelsea, Putney, Shepherd’s Bush, Whitehall and Islington, Geronimo – now owned by Young’s Brewery – offers customers fantastic food, delicious drinks and a great atmosphere.
What makes Geronimo stand out from the crowd is individuality, meaning Geronimo is not seen as a chain, instead it is a collection of individual pubs with individual menus. The chefs and their teams at each Geronimo for example write their own menus, tailoring them to the tastes of the surrounding areas.
Although Jo and Rupert Clevely have recently taken a step back from running Geronimo, they are still instrumental in the design of each site, working closely with Young’s Brewery to maintain the concept they developed 18 years ago.
Discussing the success of Geronimo, Jo Clevely of Jo Clevely Design, said:
“The initial idea behind Geronimo Inns was to create a restaurant that I, myself would like to visit. Our first site was The Chelsea Ram, which I spent three months refurbishing.
“The concept behind The Chelsea Ram was to provide a new venue that was light and airy and could offer fantastic food alongside a really good wine list. One key factor in the refurbishment of the pub was to retain the existing customer base. There have been customers coming to The Chelsea Ram for years and we didn’t want to alienate them post-makeover, so these are things we must always consider when working on a site such as this one.
“Following the success of Chelsea Ram we opened another site and then worked towards fine tuning the concept in order to elevate it to the next level. In 2011, once we had built up 26 sites, we sold Geronimo to Young’s Brewery, but remained with Geronimo as design consultants.”
“Young’s Brewery has been fantastically supportive of all the work and we continue to develop Geronimo pubs in the same way that we always have.”
Geronimo has a great selection of 32 pubs, which includes The Chelsea Ram, The Oyster Shed, The Calf, The Castle, The Duchess of Kent and The Coat and Badge, amongst others. The imaginatively titled, The Curtains Up is an interesting site in West London where theatre goers frequent, whilst The Eagle in Shepherd’s Bush boasts open fires, an open kitchen and a large garden, ideal for relaxing with a beverage during the summer.
Geronimo works with the Sustainable Restaurant Association in order to source the best quality ingredients, whilst the wine list is compiled by Geronimo’s Master of Wine, John Clevely, who has chosen three suppliers to give a wide variety of individual wines.
In addition to its traditional gastro pubs, Geronimo Inns also has three sites in Heathrow Terminals 1, 3 and 5. The pubs, The Five Turns, The Three Bells and The Tin Goose provide travellers with the perfect place to enjoy some traditional pub grub and delicious drinks before jetting off to their dream destinations.
Moving forward, Jo Clevely Design is currently looking at new sites within the Geronimo estate, although at the moment Jo remains tight lipped about which pubs are on the horizon. Regardless of Geronimo’s next move it is fair to say that Jo will be firmly behind the future of the gastro pubs and is very proud of her role within its unique history.
“Working with the Geronimo series of pubs is like watching your own child progress through school. I take all of my work very seriously and I have a great working relationship with all of the people that work behind the scenes on Geronimo. It is great to see Geronimo continue to be so successful.”
For more information about Geronimo, please visit: www.geronimo-inns.co.uk.
The Chelsea Ram
The Chelsea Ram is where the Geronimo story began and after a brief spell under the banner of Young’s Brewery, the site is now back within the Geronimo estate. The 80-cover pub is situated on Burnaby Street, in the middle of a residential area in Chelsea and includes a first floor club room and an external seating area.
The Chelsea Ram includes many traditional features, which make it seem a home away from home for customers. Walls are decked out in interesting pictures, shelves are lined with books and bench seating is topped off with cushions. Lighting is dimmed to create the right mood for the pub and wooden seating and tables are spread out across the site, where customers can sit, converse and eat.
Work was completed on The Chelsea Ram in March 2011, with Jo Clevely Design as the lead designer, working with a team of specialist subcontractors. The team was handpicked for the job, with companies being selected based upon a tried and trusted relationship with Jo.
Commenting on the work undertaken at The Chelsea Ram, Jo Clevely of Jo Clevely Design, said:
“The building was in good shape when we brought The Chelsea Ram back under the Geronimo umbrella, however it needed some redecoration works and a little TLC.
“The Chelsea Ram benefits from a strong customer base that has been coming to the pub for the last 30 years. Many of its customers are local, often living around the corner and when reworking the site we were very eager to maintain these patrons. We have kept the core values of the pub, yet have updated it accordingly.
“Ironically the carpet has the same design as the one which we fitted back in 1995 and is the perfect example of how we have adhered to the same design values that we originally set out with.”
The Oyster Shed
Located on Angel Lane, St Paul’s, London, The Oyster Shed opened in January 2012 and is one of the Capital’s best kept secrets. The Oyster Shed looks out across the Thames towards The Tower of London and The Shard, and offers customers stunning views and everything that they have come to expect from a Geronimo pub.
The Oyster shed has a scrumptious menu which includes Jersey rock oysters, deep fried goats cheese with beetroot salsa and roasted salmon fillet with purple sprouting broccoli, toasted almonds and lemon oil. The kitchen is open from 12pm until 3pm and then re-opens for evening meals from 5:30pm until 9:30pm.
The drinks menu at The Oyster Shed is not too shabby either and offers up a wide range of craft beers, cask ales and fine wines. Although the pub is not currently open on weekends, the venue is available for private hire should guests want to partake in a murder mystery party or even a wine tasting event.
The main contractor on The Oyster Shed was Doncaster based company Elite Shopfitters, whilst Jo Clevely Design was the lead designer.
Jo Clevely of Jo Clevely Design, said:
“We had The Oyster Shed in our sights long before we started work on it, however initially we were not chosen during the tender process. When the company that was selected decided not to go ahead we were very pleased to get involved.”
“We were asked by Young’s Brewery to tackle this project and working from a shell we were given a blank canvas to work from. There were a few challenges, including underground drainage and the installation of a kitchen extract system, but work ran smoothly.
“The Oyster Shed is effectively a pod, which had a planning condition attached that stated that it could have a life expectancy of three to four years. The site has now been open for a year and is doing very well.
“The Oyster Shed had a fantastic start and during the occasional spells of good weather that we receive it is extremely popular with customers.”
The Calf was a pop-up Geronimo site which was installed within Westfield Stratford’s shopping centre during summer 2012. The Calf was designed by Jo Clevely Design and was erected in time for the London Olympic Games 2012.
The Calf closed in February 2013 following a successful six month operating period, however whilst it was in operation the pub featured a comfortable, welcoming, rustic design which included reconditioned bars and a delicious deli bar. In keeping with The Chelsea Ram and The Oyster Shed, The Calf stocked an extensive selection of drinks, from wines and beers, to cocktails.
Discussing the installation of The Calf, Jo Clevely of Jo Clevely Design, said:
“Westfield wanted additional bars and restaurants installed into their empty units on the run up to the Olympics. We were given this site with the idea of creating a pop-up pub, however with all the regulations required for a site such as this one, The Calf involved quite a lot of work.”
Additional design features of The Calf included Hessian sack-covered walls, tables made from straw barrels, and a collection of vintage milk churns and pottery. An outdoor seating area completed the pop-up pub.
Elite Shopfitters Ltd
Elite Shopfitters Ltd is a bespoke joinery manufacturer and fabricator. The company has been in operation since 1990 and within this time has worked on many prestigious projects including St Martin in the Fields – Trafalgar Square, Mandarin Oriental, London Coliseum and Betjeman Arms at St Pancras Station.
For the past 16 years, Elite Shopfitters Ltd has provided full fit-out services for many Geronimo Inns, from joinery and electrical works, to the installation of flooring and decoration. Elite Shopfitters Ltd first became involved with Geronimo whilst working on The Builders Arms in Chelsea and has continued to develop a strong working relationship with the gastro pubs.
Elite Shopfitters Ltd Managing Director, Adrian Stockhill, said:
“At Elite Shopfitters Ltd we pride ourselves on excellent, quality workmanship at a great rate. We are reliable and do exactly what we set out to do.”
NBE Services ltd
Operating for nearly a decade, NBE services is a family run business which designs, supplies, and installs commercial kitchens. The firm also offers 24/7 maintenance and breakdown cover with engineers always on hand to ensure any emergencies are dealt with quickly and efficiently.
The company recently supplied and installed the complete two floor kitchen layout for the Oyster Shed, which is part of Geronimo Inns.
Speaking about the development, Director, Neil Brodie said: “The works on the Oyster Shed progressed smoothly as it always does; we have a lot of experience and a good personable approach.
“We endeavour to build a good working relationship with our clients and ensure they are always happy with the end result.”
Sideland Projects ltd
With over 20 years experience in the industry as a consultant for BAA and later Head of Retail Facilities Management for Heathrow Airport, Phil Prosser set up Sideland Projects ltd a decade ago.
Phil’s role is that of Director and Project Manager, building teams to meet the specific challenges of each individual project.
The company mainly specialises in retail fit outs within complex environments such as airports and railways. Previous work includes the delivery of all Geronimo’s airport projects at Terminal 1, 3 and 5, and their pub and restaurant at London St Pancras, the firm also delivered The Tin Goose pub at Terminal 1 Airside and the first Giraffe restaurant at an airport.
Sideland are currently engaged in retail development work at Eurotunnel, East Midlands Airport and Heathrow’s new Terminal 2.
Most recently Sideland Projects were contracted by Gernomino Inns in their development of The Oystershed. Speaking about the development, Phil said:
“This was a complex services led project, a new build in a fantastic location, we needed to design and build a scheme that kept the open feel of the space yet harnessed the benefits of the eco-friendly building. We worked closely with the landlord and local authorities to deliver this scheme in a live operational environment.
“Clients tend to involve me on day one of a scheme, giving me a great opportunity to evolve with the project and really get immersed. I will assemble the key delivery suppliers based on an in depth understanding of their strengths; I will also act as key liaison with landlords and internal and external stakeholders. I will set the project milestones and support the team to deliver timely projects that are value for money.”
When asked what the company prides itself on, Phil added:
“Sideland thrives in challenging and dynamic environments, having a services background we build with life cycle maintenance at the forefront of our decision making. We also pride ourselves in the concept of delivering great projects cost effectively, on time and most importantly compliantly.”
Associated Cooling Services
Formed in 1991, Associated Cooling Services specialise in the installation and maintenance of air conditioning and ventilation systems. Since then ACS have expanded and now include services such as heating, electrical and mechanical installation, service and maintenance.
The firm has worked extensively in the hospitality and commercial sectors, for pubs, restaurants, bars and offices. Most recently ACS completed works for Geronimo Inns on the Calf and Oyster Shed.
Speaking about the Oyster Shed, Director, Mark Powell said: “On the Oyster Shed we were very involved from the beginning.
“It was a services lead project with various hurdles to overcome we had the challenge of the drainage design as the site had no suitable drainage connection so a fully pumped drainage system was designed and installed.
“The kitchen extract had to discharge at low level so the discharge air needed to be clean and free from smoke and smells this was achieved with the use of Firestorm Canopies and A Halton Pollustop system.”
When asked what the company pride themselves on, Mark added: “We pride ourselves on being big enough to cope and small enough to care; we are a medium sized company so there is no higher management tier. We aim to understand our clients’ needs.”