Fuller’s first foray in creating an independent brand, Barrel & Horn was launched in December 2011. A complete re-brand of a South-East London wet-led pub, the ambition was to create a venue that was equally popular with younger clientele and the local community.
Barrel & Horn was conceived as an up-beat, neighbourly and worldly personality. The name was a pairing of its specialty beer and whiskey offering and the showcasing of raw musical talent - a statement of the brand’s authenticity, with word-of-mouth and social media attracting a local, sociable and music-loving crowd.
Visibility of the range of craft beers and whiskeys available was paramount to attracting novelty-seeking drinkers. This was achieved through the eye-catching backdrop of the bar and promotions played out on butcher paper signs, chalkboards and online. A team of well-trained, knowledgeable staff and tastings helped customers overcome a lack of knowledge and the higher cost attributed to specialty drinks.
The kitchen was revised to cater for better quality ingredients and fresh food preparation, visible through a new serving hatch. The new menu included complimentary popcorn, the most attractive toad-in-the-hole ever seen and antipodean-style coffee wet customers’ appetites for something different, something familiar and for quality. Tasty home-style favourites at value for money prices proved popular amongst groups and families, often caught marvelling over the potted herb centrepieces and mismatched vintage crockery.
The makeover resulted in intimate campfire style spaces, each with a distinct theme, such as the Collector’s Room, the Music Room, and the Granny Flat. A nod to post-war optimism, the interior design featured individually sourced vintage pieces, unique wall coverings and unusual lighting. The clientele felt at home in expressing their individuality through their favourite area or chair - a sign of a successful space.
Commitment to quality in every facet of the brand has earned Barrel & Horn a loyal following of clientele of all ages. The venue’s average turnover increase of 360% (and 10 fold high the following Christmas) proves that embracing trends in the market needn’t be at odds with tradition.