Sisters act to breathe new life into Windsor

Siblings at helm of new-look Hamilton bar after Manorview Pub Partnerships completes root and branch refurb

REVAMPING and repositioning a traditional bar so that it appeals to a broader clientele while retaining regulars can be tricky to pull off.

But it’s a balance sisters Ann Laughlan and Clare Paterson, together with their landlord Manorview Pub Partnerships (MPP), appear to have struck at The Windsor in Hamilton.

The Windsor exterior

The pub reopened late last month following a £110,000 root and branch refurbishment by MPP, which acquired the outlet last October.

And, according to Ann, the new-look Windsor is going down a storm.

“The launch went extremely well and it’s been really busy since then,” she told SLTN .

“We’ve had loads of amazing comments – from regulars and new faces.

“We couldn’t be happier with how it’s going.”

Not that the sisters – or MPP for that matter – were ever in any doubt over the bar’s potential.

Ann and Clare, who have run a number of pubs and hotels during their 15 years in the trade, hail from Hamilton originally and said they jumped at the chance when they learned the lease for The Windsor on Castle Street was available.

Manorview Pub Partnerships – the leasehold division of Manorview Hotels & Leisure Group which was set up early last year – had big plans for the 120-capacity unit when Ann and Clare came on board.

And an extensive refurbishment of the venue – by Thr3 Design, Stellar Building Contractors and Manorview’s own in-house maintenance team – was already underway.

MPP business development manager Mark Hannah said the revamp was intended to give the bar a contemporary new look.

The Windsor Mark, Clare, Ann

The project saw the premises stripped back, rewired and replumbed, and a small kitchen installed before work on the decor began.

Original features, like the ceiling cornicing and columns, have been picked out in crisp white and grey and sit alongside ‘3D’ wallpaper, featuring designs that resemble exposed brickwork, grey quilted leather and white tiles.

Four industrial-style light pendants are suspended over the bar, which has a wooden frontage and top; the floor features both grey and white tiles and dark wood parquet; and the outlet is furnished with round and square dark wood tables, loose chairs and bench-style seating with bright striped fabric cushions.

New full-height windows, which carry the new Windsor logo, flood the space with natural daylight, while the crisp white facade features contemporary new signage; there will be seating for around 12 people outside during the summer months.

Mark said the new-look Windsor was designed to appeal to a broader clientele.

“It was quite a traditional pub before and now it’s more contemporary and female-friendly,” he told SLTN.

“On this occasion we had already agreed the design before Ann and Clare came on board but we showed them the plans for the place and they loved it.”

The Windsor 2

It’s not just the look of The Windsor that’s been overhauled under MPP’s ownership.

A new drinks offer, which includes a range of bottled and draught beers, wines and spirits, all sourced from Wallaces TCB, has been introduced; food is set to be added in the coming weeks; and there’s a programme of entertainment, including live music at weekends.

It’s clear Ann and Clare are delighted with the new-look Windsor.

“We love it,” said Ann.

“We’re from Hamilton, we know the area and we’re both very hands on.

“It’s going really well so far.”

MPP is equally pleased with the project, which Mark said is the first of many.

“This is the first one to have the full Manorview treatment,” he said.

“We now have four freeholds in MPP and that’s where we wanted to be at this stage.

“As with everything in Manorview, it’s quality over quantity.

“We’re not reinventing the tenancy model; we’re offering a fair and flexible partnership with our tenants and a strong business support package so they can concentrate on what they do best.

“We’re taking a long-term view.”

Pub equipped for a bright future

WHEN it came to kitting out The Windsor with audiovisual and back-bar equipment, Manorview worked with Glasgow-based Sims Automatics.

The firm’s Craig Straton said: “We are always looking for opportunities to assist ingoing tenants and Manorview on the product mix we can offer their clients in any way to enhance their business and let it grow.

“We strive to continue to grow our strong relationship with Manorview and wish their tenant every success with their new venture.”