Greenalls Inns’ theme division is to test its first Australian pubs under the name “Roo Bars” – after rejecting the name “Didgereedon’ts”.
The first Roo Bar will open in Bristol in May and will be aimed at students, with attractions including a boomerang-shaped bar, a surf simulator, a fake Aborigine cave and a dentist’s chair for drinking shots.
A Greenalls spokeswoman says: “This is for a young target market looking for something different and a lot of fun. We are catering for a relatively fickle market.”
The move comes shortly after news that Scottish & Newcastle Retail is to launch the first nationwide chain of Australian theme bars, called Bar Oz (MW February 7).
Other concepts to be tested this year include piano bars, offering live music, and dance bars. The first of these is due to be opened in Newquay in March with features which include bar staff who double as entertainers; a dance floor; and karaoke machines.
There are more than 150 pubs in the Greenalls theme division, with around 40 planned openings or refurbishments this year. Together with the food and taverns division, it makes up the retail side of Greenalls Inns which has more than 930 pubs and bars.
The parent company also manages 1,200 houses through the Inn Partnership, its franchise operation.