Jones Bar Group is set to unveil their latest venture; Roxy Lanes in Leeds city centre in May 2014.
Brothers and entrepreneurs Ben and Matthew Jones currently own and manage eight venues across Leeds and the surrounding areas including Brooklyn Bar, Bar 166 & Bistro , 51% Bourbon and Roxy Ball Room. Roxy Lanes is the duo’s ninth venture and is akin in its design and feel to Roxy Ball Room, a cocktail-bar-come-games- venue that has taken the Leeds hospitality market by storm.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Matthew Jones to find out more about Bar Jones Group and their latest business. Mathew said that the company formed in 2004 after the brothers gained the opportunity to take over a failing restaurant in Leeds which they were living just above.
The duo, who have worked in bars and restaurants the majority of their adult life, bought the venue and transformed it into a suburban bar and restaurant; now known as Bar 166 & Bistro. Since December 2004, when Bar 166 & Bistro was opened the Group have continued to expand steadily by opening one new venue every year.
The Groups eighth venue, Roxy Ball Room, was opened in December 2013 and is situated on the first floor of a multi used development on Boar Lane / Albion Street in Leeds city centre. Matthew and Ben converted the space, which was previously being used as a storage room for other retail units, into Bar with Ping Pong and Pool.
“Roxy Ball Room has been inspired by Elbow Rooms which is an American themed pool bar with dining services. Recently there has been a resurgence of these types of companies in Manchester and London in the form of Black Dog Ballroom, Dog Bowl and All Star Lanes. We realised that there was big gap in the market in Leeds, there is an Elbow Rooms but it has been here for a considerable amount of time, so we thought it was time for a fresh outlook. So Roxy Ball Room comprises a cocktail bar, a food offer and leisure activities such as ping pong and pool.
“Roxy Lanes, located 150 metres up the street from Roxy Ball Room, will offer everything that Roxy Ball Room does including cocktails, pizzas and craft ales. The only difference will be that there are four bowling lanes instead of ping pong and pool tables.”
The bowling venue is also located on the first floor within a mixed use development sandwiched between Tesco’s on the ground level and a car park above. The space had been being used as a canteen for contractors working on the new Trinity Shopping Centre, which is now completed, and so was a prime location for the new venue.
Works began on Roxy Lanes in February 2014 and currently the bowling lanes, which have just arrived from America, are being installed. Moor Developments Ltd is acting as the main contractors and IIDP are the architects. Matthew said that he and Ben are always heavily involved in the design process and building works to ensure that the end result is exactly as they desire.
Matthew worked on the layout of the venue with IIDP and then sketched the interior fit out process for the contractors. Matthew has been at the Roxy Lanes site every single day since February to make sure the venue is transformed into the industrial space the team want. Matthew added:
“We wanted it to look like an unused space, a warehouse that’s been left abandoned for quite a while. We envisaged stained graffiti on the wall, lots of metal and steel and this is what we have achieved.
The space comprises an array of steel work, timber cladding, blacked out walls and ceiling, corrugated steel sheets on the wall and white brick tiles. Light blue is a feature colour of Roxy and light blue accent lighting can be seen throughout the venue. Guests can access the bowling venue via a separate foyer area that leads to a grand set of stairs and a disabled lift.
The stairs are decorated with an impressive graffiti mural on one of the walls and after ascending the stairs guests will walk through a grand pair of double doors. The four bowling lanes lie directly in front of the double doors and to the left is the gaming desk, the bar sits on the right hand side and to the left the kitchen and restaurant is situated.
Matthew said the team faced a few challenges at the beginning of the construction process. He said once the layout had been formalised and the construction team begin the strip out they discovered a couple of unexpected columns that they were unable to move. The team initially believed the columns were hollow and so could be relocated but further exploration illustrated that this was not the case. Therefore the entire layout out of the venue had to be redesigned to work around the structures.
The venue only covers 5,500 square feet and so the task of positioning four bowling lanes alongside food and drink facilities was a challenge. Despite the challenging nature of the build, works are progressing well.
“The development of Roxy Lanes just shows how far we have come in the last 18 months. We have expanded our company and employed middle management which has allowed us to take a step back from managing the individual branches and focus on developing our ideas.
“Roxy Ball Room has been a sensation in Leeds and we know there is no reason for Roxy Lanes not to be as successful. The concept is new to Leeds city centre and we are actively looking to expand the Roxy concept across other cities in the UK in 2015; in the North of England.”
Identity Interior Design
Identity Interior Design specialise in the provision of interior design services to residential and commercial schemes throughout the construction industry. The company has been in operation for 25 years and within this time has worked on many high profile projects, including East Bar Lounge & Grill, Jackpot Café and Enigma Bar & Restaurant.
Working on Roxy Ballroom & Lanes, Identity Interior Design provided all design consultancy services. Identity Interior Design worked closely with the client and the project was very important to the practice.
Identity Interior Design Interior Designer, Matthew Fletcher, said:
“The project allowed us to help maximise our client’s space as well as their business operation potential.”
“At identity Interior Design we provide an excellent and thorough service to all our clients.”