Monday saw the PamLloyd team out in force for the long-awaited launch of Hubbox on the Whiteladies Road here in Bristol. We’ve been working towards launch day with Hubbox for months and the guys at Hubbox themselves have been grafting to turn a tired Las Iguanas site into a sparkling new Hubbox for Bristol.
Established in Cornwall and Devon, this is the first Hubbox site north of Exeter and a big move for business owner Richard Boon. A Bristol boy born and bred, Richard has been exiled in St Ives for the past 20 years where he opened the hugely popular ‘Hub’ on the sea front and subsequent Hubboxes, originally housed in shipping containers in Truro, Pentewan Sands, Plymouth and Exeter. Richard always wanted a restaurant in his home city and he and his team worked tirelessly to get exactly the right site, fit out and team to make it fly. And fly it really will, these guys are set for success.
The PLPR team ran one of the most hectic launch nights we can remember. Olivia and Rosie put on Hubbox tees and ran the door. Heather was on the camera, capturing the whole event, Polly was all over the social buttons and I was pushing through the throng, making sure the Hubbox team met media and bloggers and trying to get food all the way from the pass at the back to the guests at the front, sometimes more successfully than others. (If you were there, and you didn’t eat, give me a shout and I’ll buy you a hot dog!) And Dieter? Well, someone has to make sure the beer is cold and the chicken wings are tasty, right?
It takes a village* to run an event like this, everyone really needs to pull together and the squad was in place to make sure this could happen. Hubbox has a terrific manager in Charlie, who has previously run the overperforming Truro site ‘it shouldn’t work as well as it does, but it does’ say the Hubbox crew.
Charlie has recruited a lively team of staff including the rather brilliant Helen, previously of Bambalan, to help her run the show and they were kept busy alongside established members of Hubbox staff, ferrying drinks and food back and forth, no mean feat when they could barely squeeze through the crowd, which included family and friends of Hubbox as well as suppliers and local neighbours.
Jonny who heads up operations, Martin overseeing the kitchen alongside the multi talented Lee, who also runs the Hubbox Pentewan site and Richard, running the bar were all on hand to make sure everything ran as it should on the night. Again, considering they only managed to get the doors open an hour or so before the event took place, this achievement is not to be underestimated!
What’s different about Hubbox and does Bristol need and other burger joint? These were the questions I was prepared for on the night. Well, it’s different because of the way its produce is sourced and its menu is devised. Hubbox has established relationships with all its key produce suppliers. Phillip Warren butchers, Baker Tom’s bread, Colwith Farm Potatoes, Matthew Stephens Fish, The Cornish Cheese Company, Origin Coffee Roasters, Cornish Sea Salt, Native Breeds Hot Dogs and West Country Fruit; all of which will be supplying the Bristol restaurant.
Richard says; “We’ve spent years obsessing about the perfect potatoes to make our fries, all of which are grown in Cornwall for us at Colwith Farm and are hand cut daily buy our chefs. We work constantly with Ian Warren from Phillip Warrens to source the right cuts of beef, which they then dry age for us. The cattle are grazed free range on the Moors of Bodmin and Dartmoor. Tom has a great bakery down in Redruth producing our cream brioche buns and Eddy from harbour brewery is brewing amazing beers which he sells all over the world. Its been a good journey finding a great group of west country producers that share our ethos. I’m delighted to bring all these friends of Hubbox to Bristol with us. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
And does Bristol need another burger joint? Well, Bristolians certainly love their burgers. Our friend Natalie Brereton has built a whole out of hours persona around this very obsession. And she has a tribe of followers who look to her for a steer on where the best burgers are to be found. But I wouldn’t call Hubbox a burger joint. It does great burgers, but it also does dozens of other things and does them brilliantly. You can get a cooler or a great coffee, a cocktail or a beer. You’re welcome at Hubbox for a blow out feast with your entire family/office/street but equally you can pop in for a quick snack and a warm welcome.
So, all of us here wish our friends at Hubbox every success here in Bristol. Onwards to the next launch. But that’s a story for another time…
Words by Pam
Photos by Lizzie Churchill (Instagram @lizzie_churchill) & Heather Munro
*It takes a village to do a lot of things in life. Alongside the amazing PLPR team, I was delighted to have my friends Karen and Katherine there on launch night, along with their husbands and kids, and my own kids too. They have nothing to do with PR or running restaurants in their day jobs. They have everything to do with supporting us, championing what we do and being cheerleaders for PLPR. The story of Hubbox is all about one guy having a great idea and surrounding himself with brilliant, positive people. I’m all about that!