Bar Profile November 2016 – The Vintage Rooms, Hillsborough
Robert Emerson, supervisor at The Vintage Rooms, talks to HRNI
Robert Emerson, supervisor at The Vintage Rooms
TELL US ABOUT THE BAR
The Vintage Rooms is a newly renovated bar space located in the heart of Hillsborough. The historic building has been owned by the Patterson family for the past 30 years. The new bespoke space, now known as The Vintage Rooms Whiskey Cellar, has been designed primarily around the theme of Irish whiskey. We offer comfortable surroundings, a heated outdoor space, and casual small plate dinning and lounge music on Friday and Saturday. Although we are whiskey themed, we are dedicated to perfection when it comes to drinks, especially cocktails. We offer a fantastic range of cocktails, with spirit blends and syrups made in house.
HOW DO YOU DRIVE SALES?
We have a vast collection of Irish whiskey, and having the knowledge to promote the product is important. We remain knowledgeable through tastings surrounding flavour profiles and what process has been used that changes the whiskey’s characteristics. We like our staff to pick out two of their favourites to add that personal judgement and opinion when selling whiskey. We also use whiskey in some of our cocktails to encourage beginners to train their palate for the unique taste of whiskey. For our cocktail menu, we use a variety of Jameson products such as Caskmates, Crested Ten and Black Barrel so that we can encourage our consumer to try a selection of products.
WHAT MAKES THE VINTAGE ROOMS A WHISKEY BAR?
What makes us stand out as a whiskey bar is that we continue the theme throughout; the design has been based on an old whiskey cellar. We have reclaimed Jameson barrels that scale the walls and the bar; we have used the tops of barrels for whiskey display shelves; we have an extensive range of whiskey including Jameson and Middleton, all visible for the consumer; and we have that relaxing Irish atmosphere and also use handcarved ice for those who like to chill their whiskey. The old copper piping with lights attached and Jameson bottles used as lamp shades is my personal favourite.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST-SELLING BRANDS, AND PERSONAL FAVOURITES?
Our best selling brand at The Vintage Rooms would have to be Jameson. We see it drank in many different ways; straight, with ice, ginger ale & lime. Second to that, it would be Caskmates. It is interesting how two Irish traditions, stout and whiskey, can be paired so well with the smooth creamy finish; this would also have to be a personal favourite of mine. I also enjoy Jameson Black Barrel, being aged in sherry casks, Bourbon barrels and twice charred sets this whiskey off for me.