Stonegate Pub Company hires Longbottom as chief executive: Stonegate Pub Company has hired Simon Longbottom as chief executive in the wake of the departure of Toby Smith. Longbottom, who was formerly managing director of Greene King’s tenanted division, brings with him a wealth of experience in the pub and bar sector having held senior positions at Mitchells and Butlers and Mill House Inns and will take up the position on a date to be agreed. Toby Smith has agreed to work with Longbottom to ensure a smooth handover of the business and build on the growth that Stonegate has delivered this year.
Brewery seeks government funding for visitors’ centre: Titanic Brewery of Burslem, in the West Midlands, has applied to the Regional Growth Fund for cash to build new beer tasting rooms for visitors as part of a £300,000 expansion. If it wins the funding, it will create two new rooms for visitor tours at its current offices in Lingard Street. The rooms will include seating areas where visitors will be able to enjoy beer tasting, along with a new kitchen facility and a cellar to store the beers. Brewery director Dave Bott said: “We already hold tours at the brewery but we are a bit embarrassed that up to now, we haven’t got a facility where visitors can actually sit down and sample the beers properly. Currently we have a monthly tour, which is usually attended by between 25 to 50 people and a weekly tour for private parties. When we are not holding tours, we are hoping the facility can be used as conference rooms and places where companies can bring their employees for work functions. This is a much needed expansion so I hope we will be successful with the funding bid.” Titanic currently runs eight pubs, after taking on the Cheshire Cheese in Buxton, Derbyshire, which is owned by the Leicester brewer Everards.
‘UK’s first meatball bar’ opens: What is claimed to be the UK’s first meatball bar has opened in Harrogate, Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Meatball Co on Station Bridge serves hand-rolled Yorkshire Balls, Hit Balls, gluten-free Birdie Balls, Fish Balls and Fake Balls for vegetarians. David Atkinson, who has started the meatball restaurant with his son Gareth, said: “Our research suggests people love meatballs and while many cuisines, including Italian, cater for this humble dish, with the company we wanted to create something truly unique. While we may all enjoy a good plate of spaghetti and meatballs, we wanted to offer Harrogate diners something quite different. We’ve sourced local ingredients, beers and ciders, and offer Yorkshire classics with a new meatball twist.” The meatball dishes are served with Yorkshire beers sourced from the region’s microbreweries and a range of Yorkshire-produced cordials. Gareth Atkinson said the company aimed to source the majority of its ingredients from Yorkshire traders.