St Albans bar featured on prime time TV following social media success

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 May 2016

The Brickyard in St Albans being filmed for Good Morning Britain

The Brickyard in St Albans being filmed for Good Morning Britain


A little bit of tinderness can apparently go a long way … including onto prime time television!

The Brickyard's owner James Hanning in St Albans, with the district's leisure portfolio holder Cllr Annie BrewsterThe Brickyard's owner James Hanning in St Albans, with the district's leisure portfolio holder Cllr Annie Brewster

Local cocktail bar, The Brickyard, in Verulam Road, featured on ITV’s Good Morning Britain breakfast show last week, after being discussed on radio, and appearing in media – print and online – across the globe.

The venue’s owner James Hanning has, alongside his busy staff, been toasting success as the bar has continued being talked about worldwide after its Tinder sign went viral.

Last month the bar took the unusual step, which later turned into a genius marketing campaign, of trying to help customers out with a sign in its women’s toilet.

Aimed at those on a date after connecting online, it read: “Tinder Date Gone Wrong? Doesn’t look like his picture or just plain weird? If you’re on a date and it’s not going well, come to the bar and ask for Rachelle or Jennifer and we’ll get you out of it and/or get you into a taxi.”

The Brickyard in St Albans being filmed for Good Morning BritainThe Brickyard in St Albans being filmed for Good Morning Britain

Within days of an impressed customer spotting it, and posting a picture of the sign on Facebook, it went viral and aside from boasting thousands of page views, ended up being publicised as far as New York, India and even Down Under.

When a film crew descended upon the bar last Wednesday night and Thursday morning (27-28), joining staff and James was St Albans district council’s portfolio holder for leisure, Cllr Annie Brewster.

She praised James for ‘putting St Albans on the map’, adding “who would have thought that putting a sign in the ladies lavatory would go viral!”

Cllr Brewster pointed out that it was ironic that while so much effort went into publicising the city’s historic importance and links to sports legends, including Samuel Ryder, James’s simple sign 
had surpassed local efforts and unintentionally scored a publicity coup.

She said: “This has spread around the globe in minutes, so it’s an extraordinary achievement.”

James said that after pleas from The Brickyard’s male patrons, wording on the ‘Tinder Date Gone Wrong’ sign had been altered slightly to make it applicable to all customers – not just women.

He said the story had been repeated in Hong Kong, Nigeria, and translated across Europe.

James, who has now been interviewed numerous times about the sign, said: “It has just blossomed. Customers have really welcomed it, because it means they have that extra support, and it helps avoid embarrassing situations.

“I’m gobsmacked about the amount of attention my bathroom has received around the world.”

The service received the thumbs-up from customers Alastair Dell 
and Kirstie Taylor, who said: “It’s nice to have that safety net, especially if you are meeting someone for the first time through Tinder, and you haven’t got a friend with you.”

Alastair said: “I think it’s fantastic there is an option for guys and girls.”

Kirstie added: “It can be very confrontational meeting in a bar for the first time, if you are a woman. I would bring a friend along, but some people don’t – they don’t think that far ahead and meet up with random people.

“While it isn’t the venue’s responsibility, it is reassuring, and a nice gesture from The Brickyard.”

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