Video: Stonegate’s student takeover continues to sweep Leicester

By Chanell Wallace, Ollie Gibbs, Perry Johnson, Callum Faulds and Bethany Spence

The UK’s largest private pub company is steadily making its mark on Leicester’s night scene, and you probably don’t even know who they are.

With Slug and Lettuce, Yates, Common Room and a variety of free houses throughout the nation under their belt, the chances are you’ve drunk in a Stonegate pub.

Now here in Leicester, the Walkabout bar is back from a two-year hiatus.

Set up in Belvoir Street, the company has removed its former Yates site in favour of Walkabout, which hosts it’s VIP launch party this Friday (DEC8).

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The Walkabout bar in Leicester targets students with its urban interior

The site’s general manager Anna Winterton hopes to “push more towards the student clientele” in this branding transition.

However, there is a question on how this move will have an impact on the street’s antisocial behavioural problems late at night.

“Most of the pubs here let out at three, and every time, it’s absolute carnage, but we have a really good relationship with the police so we work together to make sure things don’t get too out of hand,” said Winterton.

Belvoir Street is currently bound by a Cumulative Impact Licensing Policy issued by Leicester City Council, preventing more licences from being granted in the area, which also includes Granby Street.

The bill aims to combat ‘crime, disorder and public nuisance’ and to protect businesses in the area.

Stonegate, which owns Walkabout, aims to reach a more student clientele, compared to its predecessor, Yates.

The company had made moves to buy the Revolution Bars chain but this was turned down by its shareholders a few weeks ago.

After falling through in the bidding war over the popular student bar chain, Stonegate is still pushing forward to establish itself as the UK’s leading drinking retailer…and hoping public nuisance and street drinking will not tarnish its image.


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