Former Vespbar’s rebrand pays dividends for Glasgow operator
THE owners of a pub which was rebranded as Yes Bar ahead of the Scottish independence referendum plan to expand into other cities.
Jim and Suzanne McLaughlin, who renamed their Vespbar outlet in Glasgow earlier in the year, want to open further Yes Bars despite 55% of Scots voting no to independence.
They have already earmarked Dundee, Greenock and Inverness as possible locations for expansion.
The pair, who stock Freedom whisky and ‘45 IPA, are also considering opening a pro-yes nightclub in Glasgow.
“When we rebranded during the referendum, we took a risk,” said Jim McLaughlin.
“There was a chance we would alienate 50% of our customers, but trade doubled in the weeks running up to the referendum.
“The intention was to change the name back to Vespbar and we asked our customers on social networks what they thought. We then had over 1000 retweets on Twitter which was really incredible.”
The reaction to the bar’s name change has continued months after the September 18 referendum and McLaughlin regularly received emails, Facebook messages and Tweets asking when he was going to open a Yes Bar in their city.
He added: “I think people were surprised when they came into the bar that there weren’t Saltires all over the place.
“We’ve had such big support since the referendum.
“We are a commercial business and we are in it to make money. But we are not contrived about it; it’s a genuine political belief and something we want to happen.”
The McLaughlins hope to raise money for the expansion through a crowdfunding campaign.