After the Q&A on Thursday night, my ‘behind the scenes’ Blues week continued this weekend as I was one of five media socialites recruited to cover the launch of Bar 8 - the re-vamped Trevor Francis suite at St. Andrew's.
Upon arrival we were treated to a free pint and pork bap as we all took in the new surroundings. For those who were worried about it losing the Trevor Francis vibe, you'll be pleased to know the whole bar is dedicated to the man: it's covered in pictures and stats about the Blues legend, as well as a signed shirt taking pride of place on one wall of the bar.
As the launch event got fully into the swing of things, Tom Ross introduced an abundance of former players who had been invited to the launch, interviewing both Kenny Burns and Bob Hatton, who then went on to cut the ribbon to formally open Bar 8.
The layout of the bar itself is really quite impressive. Blues along with Fosters have done a great job of keeping the tradition of Trevor Francis and combining it with a completely modernised look to make for a great pre and post-match bar – not forgetting half time too!
As for the game itself it was the only damper on what was otherwise a brilliant day! I, along with the other four competition winners and our guests, was treated to a box in the Main Stand; our faces when they asked when we wanted our hot food delivered to our box said it all! It was definitely a different match day experience and one I’ll definitely remember; although the game itself left a lot to be desired with Chris Burke’s goal the only real saving grace of a poor ninety minutes from Blues.
Post-match the bar wasn’t as full as it had been before the game which is something I think Blues will have to work on with incentives to get the bar full after the game. Although granted it was invite only today, so obviously more people should be there for the Sheffield Wednesday game and for the games thereafter.
However, Paul Robinson was in attendance after the match, having a short interview with Michael Johnson before signing autographs and having pictures taken. Although a hard nut on the pitch he was a pleasure to meet, and topped the day off nicely. I think the post-match player appearance is something Blues are planning to do, so it's definitely worth heading the after the match if they decide to make it a permanent fixture at Bar 8.
Bar 8 really was a great match day experience and I will definitely be going there again, and I’d like to thank Blues for the opportunity to cover the launch and for the VIP experience – definitely a day to remember.