A new members-only gastropub at the heart of Wembley stadium has opened. The Lioness follows on from The Three Lions, which opened to great acclaim in 2017.
Part of the renowned Club Wembley experience, The Lioness is situated on the north-west side of the stadium and launched ahead of the England v Spain fixture on 8th September. The Lioness is a contemporary space designed by leading architecture and design specialists KSS in partnership with Design Coalition. It delivers a relaxed atmosphere and a delicious gastropub menu, while the members area seats offer stand-out stadium views to ensure a truly memorable match day experience with friends or colleagues.
With a capacity of 1,000 people (500 seated), The Lioness boasts three bars as well as an innovative self-serve beer station. A unique installation of graphic displays, photographs, trophies, models, and football memorabilia, showcasing some of the greatest Wembley moments sits at the heart of the pub. This installation and The Lioness will also now form part of the Wembley Stadium Tour Experience.
Premier Hospitality recently spoke to KSS and Design Coalition about the project. Rafael Silva, Associate at KSS, began:
“The brief was very clear, and the Three Lions had set a successful benchmark, but there had to be a clear difference in personality, as well as the extra layer of embedded artefacts to support the Wembley Tours. Wembley do not have a museum space, but they have so have much history, the vision for this new dual use venue was to create an immersive experience to showcase the wide- ranging events on offer. The FA also wanted to display some of their treasured memorabilia to create new features and attractions.”
Roy Kirby, Director at Design Coalition, spoke to Premier Hospitality about this latest project:
“Last year we successfully completed The Three Lions gastro pub at Wembley. It was such a success that by the nature of the architecture and the bowl shape, there was another spot exactly the same. They wanted to replicate a further gastro pub at Club Wembley level. It was a very similar brief really to the Three Lions because the layout already worked for them. We really just looked at a refresh and a rethink on the design for the interior finishes and materials.
“Significantly, what we also had to add in this time was the Wembley Tours group. The tours were looking at the route that would take their guests around Wembley and include this new bar. We had to work with Mather & Co from Manchester who were the exhibition specialists and Simon Wickham from the FA.”
Making sure the new space was flexible was a key element of the work. It needed to fit in with the rest of the tour experience but also evolve in a hospitality venue so it didn’t feel like you were sitting in a museum space. Different lighting levels and drop down screens help create a successful tour experience then at a flick of a switch the display memorabilia becomes a backdrop when the gastro pub is in operation. Roy added:
“Apparently it’s been very well received. I was walking the Club Wembley level recently with KSS and as with The Three Lions, the Lioness also meets the FA operational requirements and guest needs and expectations. Historically, most of our work is a continuous relationship with great clients who believe the same as us that ‘Great Design can Inspire, Engage and Enrich’. Although our involvement was different this time we found KSS Design Partnership understood our strengths and allowed our partnership to complement each other. It is obviously appreciated that our expertise is valued and by a company as well respected as KSS. Hopefully there will be other opportunities where we can come together and work on more great projects.”
Reflecting on the early success of The Lioness, Rafael added:
“The team knew how well The Three Lions had been received, so we were not surprised by the positive response to the latest extension of the gastro pub offer at Wembley. The Lioness creates a point of difference adding a fresh appeal and status to the Club Wembley offer.
“When you work with Wembley, every project is a privilege. They are very dynamic client, with strong ambitions for the future, on a personal level these latest summer works have been very exciting!”
Design Coalition was established in 1982 and is home to a team of experienced professionals. The company’s focus is offering interior design and architectural services to provide creative value to projects, brands and businesses. Design Coalition is experienced in new concept, brand development, multi-site developments, conversions and new builds. In-house expertise facilitates project management and contract administration from concept to completion.
The Lioness is the latest addition to the well-established Club Wembley line-up of exclusive match day experiences, with the Three Lions and One Twenty launching over the last 12 months and the Centre Circle Members’ Lounge, which also launched ahead of England’s UEFA Nations League opener against Spain.
Access to The Lioness and Three Lions is included in Inner Circle membership which also provides premium seating in the stadium so that fans can join the roar of the crowd at some of English football’s biggest events including: England Senior Men’s Internationals at Wembley, Emirates FA Cup Semi Finals and Final, Carabao Cup Final and FA Community Shield.
Charlene Nyantekyi at Club Wembley said:
“We’re really excited to bring The Lioness to Club Wembley especially as its opening coincides with the much talked about return of the England team to the stadium. The Lioness offers our members a less formal approach to matchday hospitality in line with feedback from our existing members for this type of experience. Our attentive team and the interior design ensure a relaxed environment that’s available to all Club Wembley Members making it the perfect space to enjoy a pre or post-match pint with friends or colleagues and make meaningful connections.
“We’re committed to the ongoing development of Club Wembley and continue to invest in the experiences members can have, all while enjoying some of the biggest sporting and entertainment events at the stadium. Alongside our more premium Club Wembley offerings such as One Twenty and Bobby Moore, we’re confident that The Lioness will prove as popular as our Three Lions pub situated on the opposite side of the stadium.”
When it opened in 2017, The Three Lions was the first pub in Wembley Stadium’s history. At the time, The Three Lions was though to be the UK’s largest pub in terms of square meterage and capacity.
For more information on the complete hospitality offering at Wembley Stadium, please visit www.clubwembley.com.
Pacific Building are proud to have completed their second major project at Wembley Stadium as principal contractors.
Following on from the Three Lions bar complex, which was signed off in October 2017, Pacific delivered The Lioness gastropub and Centre Circle members’ lounge.
The experience of masterminding the Three Lions – reportedly the largest bar in the United Kingdom in terms of area and capacity – stood the firm in good stead as they handed over this latest project to the clients on time and on budget.
Pacific also drew on their vast experience of working in high-profile public environments where tight tolerances and demanding schedules are paramount.
The company’s managing director Brian Gallacher said: “Pacific have played a great one-two at Wembley, and I am proud of the performance our team put in on The Lioness and Centre Circle.
“This project required some considerable thought and application on the part of our staff, as we were effectively creating a bar and exhibition space in one – it’s unlike anything else we have completed before.
“In 2017, the Three Lions opened to great acclaim – no doubt The Lioness and Centre Circle will be just as well received, especially bearing in mind the fact that they have been wound into the Tours experience at the stadium.
“I am pleased that so many hundreds of thousands of people will get to witness at first hand the results of Pacific’s expertise and dedication in the years to come.”
Plasloc specialises in supplying unique hoarding solutions for major infrastructure and construction projects. The hoarding is designed for quick installation and easy removal.
The company, founded in 2007, has been an essential component in more than 5700 projects and is a recognised brand amongst the UK’s leading retailers and building contractors.
Recent projects include the refurbishment of Channel 4’s head office and work at Reading University. Last year they delivered several complex projects, including St Thomas’s Hospital and the University of Cambridge, part of a £1bn development.
For The Lioness, Plasloc was asked to supply and set up their hoarding to provide segregation between the construction site and the huge number of visitors to the venue.
Director Leigh Matthews commented: “Wembley is one of the most iconic sporting venues in the world and we are absolutely thrilled to have been one of the lead contributors on this exciting development. We are delighted that our hoarding provided a safe environment for both construction staff and visitors.”
High on Wembley’s list of priorities is sustainability and Plasloc shares this philosophy. After their hoardings are removed they are recycled to produce more Plasloc in a process that creates zero waste and sets them apart from other hoarding providers.