Industry News, Premier Hospitality

The evolution of branding excellence

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Restaurant & Bar Design Show
Restaurant & Bar Design Show

Stonegate Pub Co

Growing from strength and seen as a great success, is the newly-evolved student bar design concept currently being rolled out at Stonegate Pub Company venues. 

The concept is being introduced in a wide ranging refurbishment programme which is transforming many of Stonegate’s student-focused public houses – as well as other pubs in the chain.

The new concept is billed as a student ‘home from home’, featuring fast Wi-Fi, craft beer and televised sport.

The pitch to design the new student bar concept was won by interior design practice Spatialized, who now individually design each venue, with the construction work at each site being carried out by main contractors PDS.

Vince Williams, Concept Development Director at Stonegate Pub Company said:

“We had a number of pubs in student areas trading under our ‘Scream’ brand which had become out of touch with the market. We primarily considered student lifestyles and needs, but also broadened this concept to appeal to a much wider population of younger affluent professionals.

“Students are now much more mature than they were in the ‘90s and, thanks to modern technology, are much more conversant with the modern world and the breadth of offers around them. ‘Scream’ was actually invented before people had mobile phones – which shows how much things have moved on.

“The new concept took into account what is trending in the market, from the usage and zoning of the new design, through to the food and drink offer.”

The first new concept venue opened last year at the Southfield in Middlesbrough.

Stonegate Pub Co

Eight more sites have followed, with another four in the offing in January 2015.

The most recent site to be completed was The Footage public house, situated within a Grade I Listed former cinema on Grosvenor Street, Manchester. The project was completed by PDS in just two weeks and has been a huge success.

The layout of the new pub is geared for eating, drinking, playing, relaxing and working.

Design features include a flexible furniture layout that can be moved around to accommodate big group seating; a dedicated sports area with table football and a multitude of board games; two huge drop down TV screens and a further 16 smaller ones positioned around the pub to show live sporting action, plus ‘Secret DJ’ – a brand new interactive system that allows the customer to digitally select a track from their phone or instantly download a song they’ve just heard.

Dan Cowgill interior designer at Spatialized said: “We have worked for Stonegate for a number of years designing their traditional branded pubs prior to successfully pitching to develop the new concept.

“Stonegate’s brief was to completely modernise the student pub market, with clear emphasis on creating an interactive, group-led space where crafted beers accompany a menu of ‘brilliant burgers and delicious dogs’.

Stonegate Pub Co

“Since the opening of the first new concept site within a former ‘Scream’ branded pub, the apparent broader appeal of the brand has meant that venues which are less dependent on the student market, such as the Faraday in Epsom, have been converted and are enjoying a big successes.

“Since the opening of the first new concept site within a former ‘Scream’ branded pub, the apparent broader appeal of the brand has meant that venues which are less dependent on the student market, such as the Faraday in Epsom, have been converted and are enjoying a big successes.

“It’s been great to see not only students but office workers enjoying the group trestle tables at lunchtimes, and the general public interacting with feedback walls and contributing to the chalk board mural.

“As designers it’s fantastic to be involved from brand inception right through to working with the team developing the venues throughout the UK. Stonegate’s thoroughness in the implementation of their new brand and their dedication to retraining staff in the ethos of the new concept venues means that working for Stonegate is a hugely satisfying experience. We anticipate many more of these successful new concept schemes developing throughout next year.”

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