Walkabout (pub chain)
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Walkabout is an Australian themed pub and restaurant in the United Kingdom owned by Intertain UK. Walkabout hosts live performances regularly and has Australian sports shown regularly like Australian Football League, National Rugby League, Super Rugby and Cricket World Cup. The food menu offers also Australian cuisine themed food such as kangaroo burgers, steaks Australian Wild Boar Burgers, Barramundi Fish and Chips and homemade Meat pies and beer like Coopers, Victoria Bitter, Little Creatures Pale Ale and Bundaberg Rum, Bundaberg Ginger Beer.
Walkabout employs 821 employees and their head office is based in Hemel Hempstead.
The first Walkabout bar was opened in 1994. Since the first opening, Walkabout has continued to expand their estate, throughout the UK. In the two years to 2003 the number of Walkabouts had doubled in size, with 47 pubs across the UK.
In 2009 Walkabout's parent company went into administration. A number of unprofitable sites were closed and the company refinanced itself.
In the 2010s Walkabout came under pressure by boroughs keen to clean up and gentrify their high streets. 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. There were 30 Walkabouts left operating at this time. Shepherd's Bush Walkabout, one of their best known branches, closed in October 2013, leaving only one branch of Walkabout left in London.
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 Newquay, Sheffield and Newquay. Also the first new Walkabout for 6 years opened in Brighton (in the former Walkabout site); other new venues popped up in Solihull and Lichfield (following the purchase of two former Apres sites). 2015 finished with the opening of a brand new Walkabout in Manchester's Printworks just before Christmas.
2016 began with the refurbishment of the iconic Walkabout Birmingham on Broad St.
Barnsley, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Carlisle, Derby, Exeter, Glasgow, Hanley, Lichfield, Lincoln, Liverpool, Manchester, Newquay, Plymouth, Reading, Sheffield, Solihull, Swansea, Temple and Watford
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- The Backpacker. "What happened to London's Aussie expats?". Traveller.
- "England ban Joe Root from celebrating at Walkabout". Mail Online. 31 July 2015.
- Neil Macdonald-READ (19 September 2015). "Reading's Walkabout pub packed with England fans for Rugby World Cup opener". getreading.
- "Pub chain Intertain goes walkabout in hunt for investors". This is Money. 30 August 2014.
- "Walkabout pubs spread Aussie spirit". Sydney Morning Herald. 7 November 2003.
- "Iconic Walkabout pub to shut its Covent Garden location in London". News.com.au. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2016.