Opinion

Published on August 28th, 2014 | by Kevin Lawson

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A Chain of bars it’s ok to like?

Whisper it quietly but there’s been something of a revolution happening in some of the bigger towns and cities across the UK – the arrival of the “ok” to like chain bar.

Hiding in plain sight as what appear to be independently owned businesses, their parent company Fiveeightzero have managed to craft a chain of establishments which are as distinct as they are similar. Pandering to the needs of your local town’s hipster communities by offering craft beers, homemade food, live music from local and nationally recognised bands they have become epicentre’s of cool.

View the gallery to find out if your favourite is actually part of a this chain:

Often working in partnership with Mitchells & Butlers, the group tailor their commercial offering to the needs of the local community, in what is a refreshing approach to the one-size fits all approach of cheap booze/food that Weatherspoon’s offers (not that I don’t take advantage of their low prices from time to time).

That said, for me this is the new format for large groups/retailers to follow. None of these venues look or feel quite the same, even if their menu/drinks are similar, they just feel and look cool. Big franchises need to be more than just one model for every location they inhabit and should actually contribute to the community they service, rather than just take from it. It’s this key difference that makes Fiveeightzero’s approach very refreshing indeed.

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