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New café bar opens at Virgin Trains’ Stoke Station

Press Release   •   Oct 11, 2018 16:18 BST

Local MPs Ruth Smeeth and Gareth Snell raise a glass with Virgin Trains and Titanic Brewery to mark the launch of bod. Picture courtesy of The Sentinel.

A new café bar has opened at Stoke-on-Trent station, transforming the former First Class Lounge into a facility for both rail passengers and the wider community alike.

It will be the second Titanic bod bar, a new concept from the Burslem based brewery, and will be open from early morning until late in the evening.

Dave Bott, joint Managing Director of Titanic Brewery, said the development represented an £80,000 investment at the historic station building. 12 new jobs will be created.

“As a brewery, we are well known for our award-winning community pubs, but we see the bod concept as meeting a new need in the market,” added Dave. “bod opens early and is a comfortable space for coffee and a light breakfast or lunch before evolving into a craft beer café bar for visitors from lunchtime onwards.

“We are excited to acquire the prime site at Stoke Station following the decision of Virgin Rail to partner with a local company to bring extra facilities for passengers. We have designed the Stoke bod to appeal to both the local community and rail passengers, giving visitors to our home city a good and lasting first impression of Stoke-on-Trent.”

Darren Horley, Head of Commercial for Stations at Virgin Trains said: “We are incredibly excited to be working with Titanic Brewery who deserve great credit for their energy and passion. We have no doubt bod will be a great success and we look forward to playing our part in making this happen.

“It is part of our strategy to challenge the traditional views about station management and deliver a vision whereby they become more integral to the communities they serve. Our overarching aim in this instance is to improve the experience of all customers using the station, whilst at the same time partnering with a local business to bring new life to the station and the surrounding area. It will also create 12 new jobs and provide a boost for the local economy.”

About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the West Coast inter-city route under the Virgin Trains brand, revolutionising travel on one of the UK’s key rail arteries.

The network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains ahead of other long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

Virgin Trains has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme, introducing the industry-leading onboard entertainment streaming service, BEAM, and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

Virgin Trains operated the East Coast route between March 1, 2015 and June 24, 2018. In that time, we invested £75m to create a more personalised travel experience, including over £40m in the existing fleet. Customers have benefitted from 48 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2015.

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country whilst enabling further investment and improvement, and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.

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Press Office: 0845 000 3333.

About Titanic Brewery

Titanic Brewery is owned by Stafford born brothers, Keith and Dave Bott. The brewery was founded in 1985 and has grown to produce over 3.5 million pints of beer a year. It now employs around 150 people at the brewery and across the pubs and bod bars.

Titanic Brewery produces a range of multi-award winning beers, including Iceberg and Plum Porter, which are sold at pubs across the UK and available in bottles from many off licenses, supermarkets and online retailers. 

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