Kitchen designer and installer Tamar Industries of Ivybridge, Devon has completely refurbished a one-time social club and turned it into an all-day, go-to destination.
Formerly known as Stoke Social Club, the Stoke Bar & Grill in Plymouth is owned by Kim and John Mayer and is first and foremost a public house – but now with added benefits for the local community.
However, prior to the refurbishment the pub still retained its reputation as an ‘end of the night’ venue which the owners needed to move on from.
The couple also wanted to cater better for the daytime, early evening and dinner clientele that had been somewhat overlooked – while continuing to provide a great venue for large groups and late night entertainment.
By investing in a new layout, equipment and technology the venue underwent a transformation to ensure that the diverse demographic of the visitors are catered for with a new layout, new and improved menu, including special dietary meals.
Full venue hire for events (corporate, weddings and parties and other social events) as well as live entertainment evenings.
A large investment was made in extending and redesigning the main bar on ground level as well as refurbishing and reinstalling the cellar cooling system.
Kim Mayer explains: “John and I were complete novices to the whole process and didn’t quite know where to start.
“We were discussing our development ideas with our brewery representative and they recommended that we get in touch with Tamar Industries.
“We also asked around and a fellow publican, Ivor at The Notte Inn in Plymouth had worked with Tamar Industries in the past and recommended them.
“After meeting with managing director Simon Atkinson and catering project manager we were impressed with their knowledge and at the variety of what they could offer.
Atkinson takes up the story, saying: “The beating heart of the business is the kitchen and it should be healthy, free from congestion – a strong working muscle providing power to the rest of the business.
“This is where real return on investment is shown-when the kitchen is working to its optimum level.
“A clean, well-thought out, equipped kitchen can bring all kinds of success –top hygiene ratings, staff retention, varied but manageable menu and attracting top chefs.”
“Food-safe wall-cladding was installed throughout the kitchen, wash area and extension as well as steel fabrication behind the cookline, thus ensuring optimum hygiene and ease of cleaning.
“The existing kitchen was passable and housed some great equipment already, so the owners decided to make a big investment in the building structure itself.
“A contractor was employed to incorporate two unused outbuildings into the existing kitchen, acting as an extension.
“This created a huge additional space for preparation, large refrigerators and general storage.”
As the catering equipment onsite was purchased just a few years ago, Tamar Industries refurbished and installed all the cooking and refrigeration equipment to ensure its longevity and ongoing maintenance.
Tamar industries also assessed, supplied and installed a new commercial kitchen ventilation system that includes an extraction canopy and associated ducting and fan speed controllers.
“A gas interlock system was also installed, ensuring that the extraction system is fully functioning before the gas is started.
“This meets with the current gas safe regulations.
“This whole process was particularly challenging considering the age and layout of the kitchen,” says Atkinson.
The owners also asked Tamar Industries to repair and reinstall their cellar cooling system to a high standard and provide the scheduled maintenance of the system.
Tamar still wasn’t finished – the existing CCTV layout also needed redesigning due to the repositioning of the toilets and the changes made to the entrance where double doors and a ramp were added for disabled access.
And because so the kitchen was extended at the rear of the building to incorporate two unused outbuildings these also required suitable camera coverage.
Tamar redesigned the system using the original infrastructure of the existing system and relocating cameras and putting in new ones where required.
“Throughout the project, Tamar’s team of engineers worked in a tidy and organised manner and acted as advisors to us.
“They held our hand through each step and at no time were ever pushy or tried to convince us to purchase something we didn’t quite need,” says Mayer.
The compete project entailed:
•New signage and frontage
•New entrance with double doors and ramp for disabled access
•Relocating and renovating toilets
•Installing new sound and visual system
•Brand new extended bar downstairs
•New balustrade along mezzanine floor and down the stairs to the ground level
•Improved CCTV system
•Building extension at the rear to extend kitchen and incorporate outbuildings
•New extraction and ventilation system
•Refurbishment of all catering equipment
•Steel fabrication and plastic wall cladding throughout kitchen and prep areas
•New outdoor garden balcony furniture