Newcastle pubs raise the bar

Star Pubs & Bars, HEINEKEN’s pub business, has jointly invested £240K with local pub operators in two major transformational pub refurbishments in the Newcastle area, the Blackie Boy on the Groat Market and The Seven Stars in Ponteland, both of which opened recently.

The two already successful venues are upping their game and adding a new dimension for customers.

The Blackie Boy run by local entrepreneur, Oliver Vaulkhard of Fluid Group, has undergone a complete overhaul including the creation of a whole new awe-inspiring late night venue on its first floor rebranded the All Seeing Eye (ASE), which can be accessed from the Blackie Boy and Perdu Lane.  The former rarely used function room has had a radical transformation. Its interior has been stripped back to expose brickwork and opened up into the rafters to create an urban downtown New York vibe.

Says Dave Walker, Fluid Group Area Manager  “The ASE is a cutting edge late night venue and part of the evolution of the Newcastle nightscape.  Investment in the site has enabled us to create an amazing experience for customers that they won’t find anywhere else in Newcastle.  We’re excited by the extensive menu of cocktails, wine and premium drinks  including Heineken Extra Cold and have installed the latest Heineken Smart Dispense technology which guarantees exceptional quality beer and cider every time.”

The Seven Stars in Ponteland, run by experienced and award winning pub operator Paul Gibb, is getting a whole new contemporary look bringing a bit of city centre style to the village.  The refurbishment will include a new bar and the reconfiguration of the downstairs to provide comfortable seating and a lounge area.  As a result of the investment, the pub is broadening its food and coffee offer, focusing on what customers want, casual dining with sharing platters and burgers.

Says Paul, “I came out of retirement in 2011 to take on the lease of the Seven Stars and save it from closure.  I have succeeded in turning it around but now with the help of the Star Pubs & Bars it is time to take The Seven Stars to another level to keep attracting customers. The pub was last refurbished in 1993 when I was the manager.  By coincidence my name and telephone number were found by builders on the plaster when they dismantled the bar during building work.”

Chris Jowsey, Trading Director at Star Pubs & Bars says “Although very different, both pubs are run by experienced operators with high standards and an understanding of what their customers want, which has made them successful.  They both recognise the need to review, refine and continue to invest in their pubs to keep them current and attract customers in an increasingly competitive market.  It is no longer enough to open the doors and expect customers to come to you -  it is all about raising the bar, giving customers that bit extra and offering them the very best. 

“HEINEKEN is passionate about beer and cider quality, about service and the quality of pubs so we’re delighted to be investing to help entrepreneurs like Oliver and Paul realise their visions and create great pubs with long term sustainable futures.”