|As Chiswick Moran Hotel Celebrates Its First Anniversary|
Emma Brophy Talks Shop With Tommy Moran and Robert Russell
It’s hard to imagine that The Chiswick Moran has only been open a year. How has it been for you?
Tommy Moran “We’re very pleased with our first year. Of course we had preconceptions of how we would fit in, but these were based on gut instinct rather than any real market research. But the response has far outstripped our expectations which means that it’s been a case of firefighting this first year as we have been far busier that we anticipated.”
Robert Russell “And because of the volume of business we’ve had to be more reactive than proactive.”
Tommy Moran “It was hard at the beginning. You hear of places opening with dry runs, but when you’re dealing with contractors and opening dates moving constantly, it's impossible to run month long training programmes, we had to hit the ground running. But we have a fantastic team here, the majority of which is still intact from day one. They've all really settled into their roles. ”
What brought the Morans to Chiswick initially?
Tommy Moran “My father came over from Ireland in the 1960s and lived in the area. After opening the hotel in North London, we were looking for a second site within easy reach from a managerial perspective. We chose this area because it was one that we were familiar with.
"We are currently in the planning stages for a third hotel in Kingston which will be part of a larger development.”
The hotel has attracted some big names from the world of sport, most notably the England Rugby Team, was this all part of the plan?
Tommy Moran “The Irish are known for their eclectic tastes in sports and this was certainly an area we targeted. As a business, we have enjoyed a long association with sports organizations and I believe it’s this experience that teams’ players and their management appreciate. We know what they are looking for and are able to provide it. Not being a chain, we are able to provide a more personal service which has resulted in many of the teams returning for second and third visits.”
Coventry, Barnsley, Oldham and Cardiff City Football Teams have all chosen to the hotel as a base as well as Rugby’s Sale Sharks and Leicester Tigers. Triumphant Wasps Team opted for the Globe Bar to host their celebrations after winning the Heineken Cup earlier this year.
Chiswick is known as a dining destination, what’s it been like trying to establish The Napa Restaurant in such a tough market?
Tommy Moran “It has always been our aim to establish both Napa and The Globe Bar as destinations in their own rights. The reaction to Wayne [Dixon Head Chef] has been tremendously positive. His passion for food really comes across not just through the menu but also through staff and the fact that he is present in the restaurant talking to guests.”
Robert Russell “It’s our aim to breakthrough the ‘hotel’ image and make it clear that the bar and restaurant very much have their own personalities. We have plans for weekends at The Globe which are currently being finalized for example we intend to feature local DJs on certain Saturday evenings who will be playing easy listening lounge style music which is perfectly suited to this area.”
What’s in store for year two of The Chiswick Moran?
Tommy Moran “The grander plan! Year one is all about survival, year two is about consolidation. We want to build on what we can offer local people in terms of Napa Restaurant and Globe Bar which will hopefully be evident in the exciting events we have coming up."
(Keep an eye out here for further details as well as special Rugby World Cup events, live music events and offers from Napa Restaurant.)
August 24, 2007