Walkabout (pub chain)

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Walkabout Sign

Walkabout Sheffield
Walkabout's vast Australian drink range
Walkabout's kangaroo burger
Stadium seating in Walkabout Reading

Walkabout is an Australian themed pub and restaurant chain in the United Kingdom owned by Stonegate pubs since December 2016.[1]

Walkabout employs 821 employees and its head office is based in Hemel Hempstead.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The first Walkabout bar was opened in 1994. In December 2016, it was reported that the brand had 30 outlets, down from a peak of about 50.[1]

In 2009 Walkabout's parent company went into administration. A number of unprofitable sites were closed and the company refinanced itself.[2]

In the 2010s Walkabout came under pressure by boroughs keen to clean up and gentrify their high streets.[3] Its iconic Covent Garden branch, which was the first to open in the mid '90s, was closed in March 2013 with the company saying the site was too small.[2] There were 30 Walkabouts left operating at this time.[2] Shepherd's Bush Walkabout, one of their best known branches, closed in October 2013, leaving only one branch of Walkabout in London.[3] This closed in 2017 and was replaced by Bar Salsa! [4]

Commencing in 2013, Walkabout embarked on a refurbishment programme across the estate, with the following sites being refurbished; Derby, Carlisle, Lincoln and Blackpool. They have moved away from the 1990s 'outback' style fit out and closer to a modern venue. Following a hiatus in the refurbishment programme works began in earnest in 2015 starting in March with Walkabout Bristol, followed by Sheffield and Newquay. Also the first new Walkabout for 6 years opened in Brighton[5] (in the former Walkabout site); other new venues popped up in Solihull and Lichfield (following the purchase of two former Apres sites[6]). 2015 finished with the opening of a new Walkabout in Manchester's Printworks just before Christmas.[7]

2016 began with the refurbishment of the iconic Walkabout Birmingham on Broad St.[8]

Throughout the year, Walkabout's journey continued to evolve with the refurbishment of many existing venues now functioning as new concept Walkabouts. They also have continued to acquire a variety of new sites across the UK and close others.[9]

The most recent opening was in Chelmsford,[10] where the site transitioned from a Wetherspoons to a new Walkabout bar in under three weeks.[11] In contrast, Walkabout's Liverpool venue closed on New Year's Day 2018 after 20 years.[12]

Walkabout has also evolved through innovation.[13] From collaborations with Pieminister[14] and Kilner,[15] to developments in their food offering and stadium seating being added to the Reading venue for watching sports.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2016/12/06/Stonegate-buys-Walkabout-owner-Intertain
  2. ^ a b c "Iconic Walkabout pub to shut its Covent Garden location in London". News.com.au. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b Alex Ivett (20 September 2013). "Shepherd's Bush Walkabout to close its doors in October". AustralianTimes.co.uk.
  4. ^ https://barmagazine.co.uk/stonegate-transform-former-walkabout-second-bar-salsa/
  5. ^ "Bar news - First new Walkabout bar in six years set to open in Brighton". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  6. ^ Jones, Tamlyn (14 August 2015). "Walkabout bars to open in Solihull and Lichfield". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  7. ^ Evans, Denise (10 December 2015). "First look: Tuck in to a wild boar burger and sip a Bundaberg rum at new Walkabout in The Printworks". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Bar profile - Intertain transforms flagship Walkabout in Birmingham". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  9. ^ Begum, Shelina (2016-02-02). "Printworks looks forward to an exciting year". men. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  10. ^ "When is the new Aussie bar Walkabout opening in Chelmsford?". Essex Live. 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  11. ^ "Walkabout to replace Chelmsford Wetherspoons pub". Essex Live. 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  12. ^ https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/walkabout-concert-square-closing-doors-13939532
  13. ^ "Bar news | New Walkabout food menu adds lighter options". barmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  14. ^ "£450,000 refurbishment for Broad Street's Walkabout". visitbirmingham.com. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  15. ^ "Walkabout Reading Official Instagram account". imgrum. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  16. ^ "iNTERTAIN completes second refurbishment of the year in Reading - Hospitality & Catering News". Hospitality & Catering News. 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-11-03.

External links[edit]