Aberdeen operator bets on a bright pub future

Former bingo hall manager relishing new challenge.

Alistair Tares took over The Wig Bar & Kitchen in Aberdeen last September.

FOR Alistair Tares, the decision to take on his own pub wasn’t so much a gamble as the next logical step.

A career managing bingo halls and leisure outlets across Scotland for national operators had given him plenty of experience running venues.
It had also fuelled his desire to be his own boss – an opportunity that presented itself when he was made redundant.
After checking out what the different pub companies had to offer, he settled on the lease of the former Tilted Wig pub on Aberdeen’s Castle Street with Star Pubs & Bars (formerly S&NPC) last September.
Speaking to SLTN last month, Alistair admitted making the move was daunting.
“I’ve worked in the gaming sector, mainly managing bingo halls, for most of my life but I really wanted to take up the challenge of being my own boss and shaping my own future,” he said.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
“I looked around and Star Pubs & Bars came across well and impressed me.
“I saw the pub as a great opportunity with lots of potential, given its position just off Union Street.
“I’ve worked for large companies for most of my life and you’ve got them as back up so it is a bit of a worry to go out on your own, but the support I’ve had from Star Pubs & Bars and my BDM Matt Dyson has been great.”

Alistair Tares took over The Wig Bar & Kitchen in Aberdeen last September.

Part of that initial support involved Alistair completing Star Pubs & Bars’ Innside Knowledge training course, which he said complemented his existing customer service and accounting skills.
He also worked closely with the pubco to revamp the pub, which is next to Aberdeen Sheriff Court Annex.
A root and branch refurbishment, carried out ahead of Christmas, saw the pub’s interior stripped out, apart from the bar and gantry, and rebuilt in keeping with its traditional style.
New fixed and loose seating, including Chesterfield-style sofas, was brought in and a new kitchen installed.
Alistair said he relished the chance to put his own stamp on the pub, from planning the new interior to compiling a new menu of homemade food.
And he’s confident the changes at the bar, which has been renamed The Wig Bar & Kitchen, will go down well with customers.
“Everyone’s worked really hard to get the bar up and running and I really can’t wait to get stuck in,” he told SLTN last month as the bar was relaunched.
“It’s got a warm, friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
“My mantra throughout my career is that I want to provide excellent service to customers and through that I’ll cultivate business.
“I’ve always wanted my own pub and I’m really glad I made the move.
“I can’t wait to get to the pub every day; it’s exciting.
“It’s great to be able to make your own decisions and have that freedom but also to know that Star Pubs & Bars are there if you have any questions.
“So far it’s everything I expected from having my own pub and more.”

Images – Alistair Tares took over The Wig Bar & Kitchen in Aberdeen last September.