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Monthly Archives: May 2017

  • Fun in the summer sun

    In the words of one of the best songs ever written – Throw Those Curtains Wide! It’s summer and we all need a breath of warm fresh air.

    It’s the season for emerging from our sitting rooms and finally getting around to jogging in the park (for a few weeks anyway!) and it’s the season for our pubs and restaurants to introduce Summer season food and drink. Prosecco is flying off the shelves and as customers stray further and further from the bar into the street or into the garden the Pub Stuff Party 9 really comes into its own.

    Fill the lightweight tub with eight pints of your customers’ favourite beer or punch, clip it back onto the stand over the ice cooler block and watch them have a ball as they help themselves from the three separate dispensing points.

    Why your customers love the Party 9:

    • Only one person has to do the journey to the bar
    • Drinks stay cool for well over an hour
    • It’s FUN!

    Why you love the Party 9:

    • You sell 9 pints in every transaction
    • Only one person at your bar instead of 9
    • There’s an instant party atmosphere where there’s a Pub Stuff Party 9

  • Differences between and Irish Bar and an English Pub

    It seems that every city all over the world has their own Irish Bar: there’s Healy Mac’s in Kuala Lumpur, Emmet’s in Boston and you’ll find the aptly named Shamrock in Rome.  You know what you’ll get at these venues making them totally great for customer confidence and comfort and ensuring a perfect pint of Guinness – whatever the weather.

    The décor is usually pretty predictable (not a bad thing!) with dark wood poseur tables and high stools, chunky dining tables and mix of padded and wooden seat chairs. Big portions of traditional fayre such as Pie, Battered fish, and very often the international staple of pizza.

    Add lots of bric-a-brac and pictures on the walls, great staff with big smiles and open all hours and you’ve got an Irish Bar.

    An English pub is a whole different ball game. There are so many variables but there are definitely some consistent features which would be ‘typical’.  In the main English pubs tend to have different zones for different activities such as drinking, dining, gaming and lounging.  By breaking up the space visitors will know what is expected in each area adding a comfortable confident feel to each. Harder edged chairs and stools in the bar with High table and stools in the gaming areas, dining height tables and chairs for the restaurant and lower comfy chairs and coffee tables for a casual lounge. It’s a natural descendant from the past distinction between the tap bar and the ‘lounge’ which were quite separate both in terms of décor and clientele. By the 20th century, the saloon, or lounge bar, had become a ‘middle-class’ room carpets on the floor, cushions on the seats, and a penny or two on the prices, while the public bar, or tap room, remained male blue collar dominated with bare boards, sometimes with sawdust to absorb the spitting and spillages (known as "spit and sawdust"), hard bench seats, and cheap beer.

    Later, the public bars gradually improved until sometimes almost the only difference was in the prices, so that customers could choose between economy and exclusivity (or youth and age, or a jukebox or dartboard). With the blurring of class divisions in the 1960s and 1970s, the distinction between the saloon and the public bar was often seen as archaic, and was frequently abolished, usually by the removal of the dividing wall or partition. While the names of saloon and public bar may still be seen on the doors of pubs, the prices (and often the standard of furnishings and decoration) are the same throughout the premises, and many pubs now comprise one large room. However, the modern importance of dining in pubs encourages some establishments to maintain distinct rooms or areas.

  • Lets’ Dance around the maypole this weekend

    May Day is still celebrated in many villages with the crowning of the May Queen. The gentlemen of the village may also been found celebrating with Jack-in-the-Green, otherwise found on the signs of pubs across the country called the Green Man.

    May Day traditions in southern England include the Hobby Horses that still rampage through the towns of Dunster and Minehead in Somerset, and Padstow in Cornwall. The horse or the Oss, as it is normally called is a local person dressed in flowing robes wearing a mask with a grotesque, but colourful, caricature of a horse.

    In Oxford, May Day morning is celebrated from the top of Magdalen College Tower by the singing of a Latin hymn, or carol, of thanksgiving. After this the college bells signal the start of the Morris Dancing in the streets below.

    Further north in Castleton, Derbyshire, Oak Apple Day takes place on 29th May, commemorating the restoration of Charles II to throne. Followers within the procession carry sprigs of oak, recalling the story that in exile King Charles hid in an oak tree to avoid capture by his enemies.

    The May Day festivities all but vanished following the Civil War when Oliver Cromwell and his Puritans took control of the country in 1645. Describing maypole dancing as ‘a heathenish vanity generally abused to superstition and wickedness’, legislation was passed which saw the end of village maypoles throughout the country.

    Dancing did not return to the village greens until the restoration of Charles II. ‘The Merry Monarch’ helped ensure the support of his subjects with the erection of a massive 40 metre high maypole in London’s Strand. This pole signalled the return of the fun times, and remained standing for almost fifty years.

    Maypoles can still be seen on the village greens at Welford-on-Avon and at Dunchurch, Warwickshire, both of which stand all year round. Barwick in Yorkshire, claims the largest maypole in England, standing some 30 meters in height.

    It is important to remember that without ‘The Merry Monarch’ May Day celebrations might have come to a premature end in 1660. So if you are celebrating this heathenish vanity next weekend at the Green Man or The Royal Oak ensure your customers are comfortable with sturdy chairs such as the Pub Stuff Luigi or Lisbon in a green fabric. They look great in a country pub or restaurant especially paired with traditional painted tables.

  • How fabric can change the look of furniture

    Far away are the days when all pubs, clubs and bars wanted matching chairs and stools covered in a dark maroon dralon. With the advent of more female and family friendly spaces our pubs have been transformed by the fabrics on the furniture chosen by the modern landlord or contract designer.

    A fine selection of seating fabrics

    From humble plains, leathers and swirls our customers are now demanding more and more choice.

    It’s true that our customers are Mad for Plaid! And we have responded in the best possible way with the introduction of a beautiful range of Abraham Moon wool designs.

    In soft charcoals and rich reds this coordinating palette suits modern and traditional venues adding warmth and style to everything it touches.

    From the most traditional stool or bar chair through to more contemporary cubes and side chairs our Abraham Moon wool tartans soften the hardest hearts (and bottoms!). Introducing Aspen in Charcoal or Natural, Banff in Red/Black and Red/Natural, Fernie Red, and jasper in Red/Black or Red/natural- a great range of choices which can be paired with plains or other designs from the Pub Stuff Fabric range (Fabrics from many other manufacturers are also available)

    There’s no easier way to create the perfect environment and delight your customers than by introducing either an eclectic splash or a full on assault of this traditionally Gaelic covering.

  • Sharing and Caring – whatever the weather

    We’re hearing all the time about the new fashion for ‘sharing platters’.  Whether in restaurants or pubs and clubs they seem to be all the rage.

    rio-outdoor-furniture-range

    But I was thinking that it’s not really a new concept at all. After all, the cheese board and the picnic have been around forever and there can be no better examples of sharing than these two firm favourites.  As our spring season continues over the next few weeks we have two Bank Holidays to look forward to so whether it’s “Picnic Hot” or “Cheese Board Chilly” let’s celebrate with our traditional British Sharing Platters.

    If it’s warm enough to eat outdoors then look at the Pub Stuff Florence garden furniture set with 4 stacking arm chairs and a sturdy table they are essential for any garden setting:

    The fabulous metal Rio Bistro set will cheer up even the plainest patio on the dreariest of days and certainly won’t break the bank at these great prices.

    And if the weather doesn’t behave cosy up in our beautiful leather Chesterfield Sofas and Wing chairs an ideal spot for relishing the quintessential cheese board. Here’s the Co-op best tips for the perfect board:

    • Cheese should be enjoyed at room temperature as it brings out the best in the flavours.
    • If the cheese feels a bit cool, crumble the cheese with your fingers and rub it in to help bring it up to room temperature.
    • There are usually five categories of cheese:  Soft, Fresh, Blue, Hard and Flavour.
    • Look out for the strength of the cheese on the labelling.
    • Crackers are an absolute essential for your cheeseboard.
    • To be more original, dried fruits such as raisins and grapes are good.
    • It’s also nice to have a stick of celery, some quince jelly or some pickles and relishes.
    • Serve your cheeseboard after your main meal but before dessert.
    • Bring cheese out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you serve it.

    Yummy!

  • Through the front door

    As suppliers of all types of furniture to pubs clubs and restaurants we’ve gone through the front door of pubs thousands of times.  But how many times do landlords and managers take the same route as their customers?  The answer is that most landlords and managers are so busy making sure the food and drink is just right their time is spent Behind the bar area and in the kitchen and cellars.

    The front of house is the domain of customers.

    At the forefront of a customers’ journey through the front door is the humble bar stool all lined up and ready to greet.  Will your customers be smiling or beating a hasty retreat when they see them?

    Whether it’s a traditional turned wood stool perhaps with a deep padded top or a more modern bar chair with a back, there are certain rules that cannot be ignored:

    The fabric shouldn’t be ripped or grubby and the sturdiness shouldn’t be in question!

    bar-stoolsNext to the bar is the favourite position for regulars and first time visitors, and the temptation is to completely fill the front of the bar with stools.  However, being ‘faced’ with a wall of backs or being unable to get some service without reaching over someone’s shoulder is really off putting or indeed quite intimidating for those customers less robust in confidence. Small groups of stools at either end of the bar will create a welcoming look without making an obstacle course for other customers.  And this is where poseur tables really come into their own.  Try placing one of the chunky leg or traditional round poseur tables just away from the bar with some bar stools around it.  You customers will love the fact they still feel high up and part of the Bar Vibe but they won’t be blockers for others.

    So we encourage our customers to Walk through their own Front Door.Take a look at their pub from their customers point of view. It’s amazing what you’ll discover when you put yourself in your customers’ shoes.

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