I visited London last month and of course visited a few bars and restaurants all in the course of research…honestly! A trend which is very much in vogue in the capital at the moment are Sunday offers for ‘unlimited food, ‘unlimited drink’ or ‘unlimited food and drink’. It seems to have been an idea that has made its way across the pond from Dubai – where the all inclusive and unlimited Sunday brunches go down a storm. In London we had an amazing Sunday lunch at The Big Easy at Canary Wharf – unlimited BBQ and unlimited prosecco, beer, Mojito’s or house wine for the grand sum of £29.50. It was absolutely mobbed, and we were only the first sitting! I’ve heard that McPhabb’s in Glasgow have done a couple of unlimited Sunday brunch’s – and they have been mobbed. Worth thinking about?
I was really sorry to hear about the death of Jet Mayfair who was a real legend in Glasgow’s nightclubs and bars. Over the years I met him so many times, but I didn’t realise his legendary status until I read an article that Colin Barr posted online that appeared in the Evening Times in 2006. It said, “And before you can say ‘Jet’ who , it has to be said that the man born Stanley Frosman – he changed his name by deed poll – has done more to further the cause of nightclubbing than any other Scot.” And he got his name after disco goers saw how fast he could move across the floor. He met with, and became friends with, many celebrities from Noddy Holder to Billy Connolly. But it was his friends in Scotland’s bars and clubs who really appreciated his sense of humour and the fact that he was a true character. He will be missed by many.
Paul Burns of Belhaven has just celebrated 33 years in this industry. But just over a year ago he could have died after participating in a football game at Hibernian football ground. After the game went into extra time he collapsed . Says Paul, “Many thought that I was having an epileptic fit, but they weren’t to know that I was having a massive heart attack which resulted in a cardiac arrest. Hibs physiotherapist, Kitty Forrest was working that morning and was asked to help. She firstly administered two rounds of CPR and after I failed to respond she used a defibrillator to get my heart back into rhythm.” He continues, “ Thank goodness Kitty and the defibrillator machine were at hand otherwise I would most certainly have died.” He set himself a target to raise £5K to provide funds for 3 defibrillators along with the necessary training required through St John Scotland but he has already had great support and has raised in excess of £9K at time of going to print… however if you would like to support Paul’s initiative you can at www.justgiving.com/paulburnsdefibs
Bob Taylor is back on the beat… he is now looking after Boe Gin on a consultancy basis. And already stocks of Boe Violet Gin are selling out. What I love about Bob is that he keeps on working because he loves the trade, and the people in it. He tells me, “It’s more like a hobby than a job!”
Good luck to Mark Baird, until last month Head of Alcohol in Society for Diageo. Mark has been a force for good in the licensed trade for as long as I can remember. From supporting the BEN to backing Best Bar None and of course leading Diageo’s Learning for Life activity. He has also been heavily involved in lots of other trade bodies over the years. I really hope we are not going to lose him from the trade. Although I am sure his son in Canada would like to see a bit more of his dad. Another key Diageo employee leaving soon is Catherine Conaghan, UK Commercial Sales Manager, who is a well kent face in the trade. She wraps up in June. She is ready for new challenges…so she says, “feel free to get in touch!”
Congratulations to Mario Gizzi and Tony Conetta of the Di Maggio’s Group (DRG) – the company made it into the 18th annual BDO Profit Track 100 league – which ranks Britian’s private companies with the fastest-growing profits over three years. Their profits grew an average of 89% a year to £6m in 2016. These figures took them to 29th place in the UK. Martin Gill, of BDO in Scotland, commenting on the results said, “With Brexit and more uncertainty looming, it is companies like these with their natural energy, ambition and entrepreneurial spirt that will help the UK economy thrive.” He is not wrong.