The company that runs the Abandon Ship bar in Dundee plans to create hundreds of new jobs as it expands across the UK.
A second in the franchise of bars – which take inspiration from a clothing brand set up more than a decade ago – opened in Glasgow last week.
Macmerry300, the firm that runs Abandon Ship, also has plans to open a third pub in London before the end of the year.
The group, which has more than 100 staff across a range of pubs in Dundee, has taken on around 50 new employees.
A change of plan post-Covid
Operations director AJ Mcmenemy said opening in Glasgow hadn’t been on their radar 18 months ago.
He said a change in people’s drinking habits changed their plans.
Mr Mcmenemy said: “We had taken a property in Camden in London, but we just had to let that go when lockdown hit.
“We moved to Glasgow and coming out of the pandemic, we saw a shift towards people drinking in neighbourhood bars.
“People are drinking closer to home rather than in the city centre. On the back of that, we saw the demand.”
He was equally pleased to have created new jobs.
Staff were furloughed when lockdown restrictions meant venues were forced to close, he said.
“It has been really encouraging for us. We made it right through the pandemic without making any redundancies.
“That was one of our goals throughout all of this.
“We have been able to build on that by creating new jobs.”
The 3,500 sq ft bar on Mitchell Street has neon-lit frontage in the windows with a huge custom slogan ‘not everything sucks’ sign.
Plans for expansion
Creative director Richard Davies started Abandon Ship as a clothing brand before looking to branch out into hospitality.
He said: “There is nothing quite like Abandon Ship bar anywhere.
“We’re always looking to innovate with the brand and our new concept is something that all of our team are really proud to be part of.”
About four years ago, Macmerry300 got involved to help set up the bar in Dundee.
Now there are plans to launch 10 Abandon Ship bars across the UK in the next three years.
“We get the keys to our next property in Covent Garden in London on October 1.
“We hope to have that open in late winter.
“Phil [Donaldson, managing director] was in Leeds looking at properties there. I think that is going to be the next step.”
While plans to open bars across the UK develop, the team is also working on expanding further into Abandon Ship Airbnb’s.