The latest recipients of Admiral Taverns’ Achievement awards – Martin Evans and his business partner Steve Morgan of the Hand & Dagger pub in Kirkham and Jamie O’Grady (below) of The Fighting Cocks in Kingston-upon-Thames - have shown that an innovative and creative approach to running a pub can pay dividends.
Martin and Steve have used their combined 38 years’ of experience in the catering industry to strengthen the pub’s food offering. Despite being at the pub for only four months, they’ve already seen a significant increase in profits.
Martin said: “We’ve overhauled the entire menu to offer a range of simple, home cooked food. We’ve also redecorated the pub throughout and made changes to the drinks menu to ensure we can offer customers everything they expect from a traditional country pub.”
Jamie, who has been at the Fighting Cocks for over 11 years, has focused on creating the perfect venue for rock music lovers. Customers can catch a live comedy act or band most nights of the week, play Guitar Hero for free at the bar, try their luck on the leopard print pool table or select a tune from the ‘Rock Box’ jukebox that’s jam packed with 10,000 hand picked songs.
Jamie said: “There’s been a pub on this site for over two centuries and, while we wanted to embrace its long history, we also wanted to bring it bang up to date by showcasing new and original talent.
“I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic team here and it’s the dedication of our staff plus the loyalty of our customers that has got us here. We’re all extremely proud of the pub and are really pleased to have received this award.”