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Published on March 6, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour

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Doing himself proud

One of the region’s most progressive pub groups has undergone a management restructure as future developments rapidly pick up pace. Newcastle-based Ladhar Leisure already operates some of the city’s prime pubs and venues with the likes of Pleased To Meet You, Lady Grey’s, Red House, Hop & Cleaver and Central Oven And Shaker.

A massive development at White Hart Yard – behind the facades of Grey Street, Moseley Street and the Cloth Market – is running alongside plans for a sister Pleased To Meet You in Morpeth, so new roles have been created to monitor the burgeoning chain’s pulse.

One of these is front-of-house bar manager where experienced operator Tom Proud has taken the lead – Tom has been with Ladhar Leisure since 2012, starting at the Red House when it was a pie, mash and beer venue then managing Pleased To Meet You on High Bridge when it was but a building site.

“The place has been jumping since,” says Tom. “We developed alongside the zeitgeist of gin, which everyone says is now slowing down, but we can’t see that at all. But Grey Street was up and coming at that time, the Bigg Market is changing for the better and High Bridge has now got a lot of individual designer shops, bars and eating places and I’d like to think we as a group have been a big part of creating that atmosphere. I actually take a bit of personal pride in that regeneration.”

Tom’s new job is to look at everything from standards right through every venue to training staff internally and alongside various external industry experts.

“There’s a lot to the job – it’s pretty much full-on – and I’m really looking forward to it,” he says, while concocting a recipe for a coriander-infused gin. “I’m not going to be an area manager looking at bar lighting levels and barking orders but looking at things like showing staff how to make cocktails the right vway and keeping and pouring beer properly. These things are important – the way one person makes a coffee might differ from how another one will make it. It’s vital for the group to have high standards which we do have anyway.

“The job will grow – and I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be bigger that any of us envisaged. For myself, it shows how hard work and dedication can pay off, although I’m now looking forward to having the odd weekend off.

“We’ve got a great central management team that covers brand management, human resources and compliancies. I’m just one cog in a great team. I’m also looking forward to all the new venues which are planned – White Hart Yard in Newcastle and Pleased To Meet You in Morpeth – but I’d love to know when they’re all happening.”

Tom does reveal it will be during 2018, however, which isn’t that long a lead-in in the grand scheme of things.

“And Central Oven And Shaker is up for a design award next month, so we’re hoping for great things there. It’s all great, it’s all very encouraging, and it’s also very hard work.”


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Alastair Gilmour



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