Industry News Premier Hospitality

Developing The Slug and Lettuce

Written by Roma Publications

Slug and Lettuce, Canary Wharf, London

 Serving up good quality food, a fantastic array of cocktails and an extensive list of wines, beers and lagers, The Slug and Lettuce is a brand which has a great reputation for service.

Owned and operated by leading pub operator, Stonegate Pub Company, The Slug and Lettuce venues are dotted across the UK, from Epsom and Hove to Manchester and Harpenden.

With over 70 bars in its collection, The Slug and Lettuce provides the perfect place for guests to unwind, whether it is for a relaxed daytime meal or for a lively evening out on the tiles. Each venue offers something a little different, but each retains its core values of excellent hospitality.

In order to further The Slug and Lettuce offering to even more guests, Stonegate Pub Company is continually developing its portfolio, with new venues and refurbishment schemes taking place in key locations. Recent projects for The Slug and Lettuce include refurbishment works at Canary Wharf, Nottingham and Edinburgh OMNi Centre, as well as two new openings in Cardiff and on George Street in Edinburgh.

Keen to find out a little bit more about the schemes, Premier Hospitality recently caught up with Faith Beckingham, a Company Director at Lawrence Beckingham Field Architects to ask her about the practice’s involvement with these sites. Faith has a long-standing working relationship with Stonegate Pub Company and during our discussion, Faith detailed how efficient the roll-out programme for refurbishments and new openings is.

Slug and Lettuce, Canary Wharf, London

Faith said:

“I’ve been working with The Slug and Lettuce since around 2009 and our relationship with Stonegate Pub Company goes even further back, because we have worked on a number of their other brands too.

“The five sites we recently worked on were completed in quite a close timeframe, with all of them taking place back-to-back.”

The first of the venues which Lawrence Beckingham Field Architects has been involved with recently was Canary Wharf. The venue – which is situated right in the heart of the South Colonnade – underwent a £400,000 transformation, which not only introduced a fresh new décor scheme, it also added a number of enhancements, including an extended bar, an eye-catching mirror ball and some stunning crystal lighting.

Faith commented:

“Historically each Slug and Lettuce has a similar design theme, but we broke the mould with Canary Wharf. The brief was to make this a different Slug and that’s exactly what we did.

“In terms of the colour scheme we created a neutral background; however we added variety by incorporating different textures.”

Slug and Lettuce, Canary Wharf, London

The Slug and Lettuce Canary Wharf reopened to the public in February 2015 and has proved a big hit with guests ever since. With work complete, Lawrence Beckingham Field Architects moved swiftly onto Nottingham, this time to tackle a £320,000 refurbishment at The Slug and Lettuce which is located with the city’s Cornerhouse.

During the works a dedicated cocktail masterclass station was introduced, whilst new lighting was added in order to unlock the potential of the site.

Faith said:

“This is a smaller site, which receives little day light, so the challenge was to highlight all the areas of the unit, ensuring that guests make use of the back of the venue as much as they do the front.

“We introduced a palette of lighter materials at the rear of the venue – along with big feature lighting – as well as some mirrors, in order to play with the available space.

“This was one of the first Slugs to have a bespoke cocktail unit – where staff can conduct cocktail masterclasses – and this is a new aspect to what the brand has to offer.”

Following completion of the East Midlands-based project, Lawrence Beckingham Field Architects’ next stop was in Edinburgh, to tackle the first of two venues for the city. The first was in Edinburgh’s OMNi Centre – which was handed over in early April – whilst the second was on George Street and was completed at the end of April.

Slug and Lettuce

As The Slug and Lettuce OMNi Centre is an internal unit within an entertainment complex, the bar receives no natural daylight, so a key aspect of the project was to brighten up the venue through the introduction of new materials and lighting. Highlights of the project included the installation of a mirror back bar, a significant amount of feature furniture, some patterned floor tiles and feature lighting.

In contrast to the OMNi Centre project, the George Street project, meanwhile, involved the introduction of a new Slug into the ever expanding collection. This new site for the Slug brand is housed within a Listed building and is another perfect example of how Stonegate Pub Company choose great venues which add character to their portfolio.

Faith said:

“Before we began work on this project the venue had not previously been a Slug, so instead of implementing a refit this project was about undertaking a complete change. The site was given a new shop front and we also opened up the entrance.”

Although the projects took place back-to-back, Lawrence Beckingham Field Architects still found time to slot in another scheme, this time in Cardiff, with work taking place in between the two Edinburgh-based projects.

As with the George Street site, Stonegate Pub Company had recently acquired the Cardiff site, so the project comprised a completely new fit-out. Mirrors were a key aspect of the design, whilst neutral colours and the introduction of playful fabrics rounded out the works.

Working with Stonegate Pub Company is very important to Faith and it is a relationship which she truly values.

Faith said:

“I have a long-standing working relationship with the team at Stonegate, which is very important to me and of course, with a rolling-programme, working on these projects is also important from a business point of view. The time scales and the constant evolution of the design is of course very challenging, but at the same time it is incredibly exciting.”

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