The concept of Pubs of Distinction was created by Phil Strongman having operated 15 years as the original "pub doctor". During this period he spent a great deal of time researching pubs and bars for major retail pub chains, as well as helping develop businesses for individual tenants across Britain. Working in different sectors of the business allowed Phil to gain a thorough insight into the pub world and when the opportunity arose to form Pubs of Distinction, through an external investor, it was the logical step to take.

Over 12 months were spent auditing the existing market-place against a severely declining traditional pub culture on a national basis. Many miles were covered and many focus groups and opinions were canvassed, until a picture started to form that our potential customers wanted a modern day pub, that retained the values and morals of the traditional British Pub presented in a more appealing and contemporary way, hence the "local beer house" was born.

This created the commitment to sourcing and selling craft beer and tasty food, served in a friendly amenable environment. These values and ideas form the core of the proposition and this has been the cornerstone of the initial two sites, which were acquired and developed to thoroughly road test the concept.

The Dean Swift SE1 was the first acquisition and after an extensive makeover has been rejuvenated into the first "local beer house". This outlet located in Butler's Wharf, Tower Bridge SE1 appeals to local residents, businesses, beer lovers and visitors alike and was followed by The Old Red Cow EC1 in Smithfield Market.

This is an historical part of London, the centre of which is still the meat market. This outlet is now famous in London's craft beer scene and has built a very good reputation for food. The development of craft beer has been universally accepted by the customers and this allied to interesting food has been a real recipe for success. The commitment to developing sites that support local and national micro breweries is helping to bring a quality product to our audience, as well as opening up the market to new flavours and experiences.

In addition, the pledge to stock interesting quality wine and spirits has given our concept greater appeal particularly amongst the discerning customer base that enjoys the range and quality of products that Pubs of Distinction offer.

With this in mind we are now ready to invest further and there are new sites opening soon in watch this space!

Mission statement:

Pubs of Distinction was developed to bring a contemporary flavour to the traditional pub without losing the "eternal values" associated with the great British Pub, the principal one being top class hospitality. Therefore serving craft beer as they would have done in the old beer houses of the mid 18th and 19th centuries formed the core proposition for the local beer house concept. Allied to this was a desire to produce fresh quality food that could be enjoyed by a range of customers in pleasant modern environments.


Our customers are typically discerning considered individuals who tend to seek out quality product. We attract a high percentage of women and professionals, who enjoy trying new beers and food that cannot be found in more traditional standard outlets. The quirky decor and high quality service complete the picture. We have built a regular clientele who interact with us through social media channels and enjoy, the various events that we regularly hold.


To convey our values and service culture we need intelligent interesting members of staff who take a pride in what they do and have a real passion for customer service. Because of the very nature of our products, staff are encouraged to meet the breweries, understand the process of brewing and suggest new suppliers. In addition, they are encouraged to learn about food and cooking methods, which in turn gives them an appreciation of the success of the business.

Pubs of Distinction is run on the basic premise of "treat others how you would like to be treated". This has manifested itself with strong teams operating the current sites where everyone, has a chance to contribute to the overall success of the company. Within this context many of our current employees have moved to more responsible jobs in the organisation and this policy of promoting within has worked extremely well.

As the company develops we hope even more of our current employees will have the chance to be promoted and work on other sites. In addition, we will seek to bring in high quality managers and chefs so we can nurture and develop their experience within Pubs of Distinction.

If you are interested in joining the company please contact Phil Strongman on 07850 790 204 or email


We take our environment seriously and as such source our drink and food offers from responsible suppliers.

As some sites will be located in areas of high residential occupancy it is our policy to treat our neighbours with respect and strive to be a part of the overall community.


Currently we are at a very exciting stage in the company's development as new sites are about to come on stream. These are situated in central London and will build on the platform that the Dean Swift and the Old Red Cow has established. We are looking at developing our bespoke new menu ideas, extending the range of exciting new dishes and of course continuing to search for the best newcomers into the beer scene. We will also be taking our experience and knowledge to other sites, and reinforcing our relationship with some of the finest brewers in the country.

Our pioneering approach to the industry means we are always looking at new ideas and concepts so…

There just might be a local beer house opening near you soon! Or an exciting spinoff of this idea!

Have you a site for us?

As we are looking to expand our portfolio of offers we are always interested in new sites. These typically are free of tie pubs based in areas with a healthy lunch time trade as well as appealing to local office workers and residents in the evening. A good residential base also gives the chance for us to provide what our customers want at the weekend. Currently we are keen to continue to acquire sites in central London, but may consider a site further afield if the criteria were right.

Contact us:

Phil Strongman: New Business Development Director []
Vanessa Hamer: Group Finance Director []

87 London Street, Southport, PR9 0TX. Tel: 01772 458400.