A pub experience at the Ninth Life in Catford is the cat’s whiskers.

Katy Moses, Managing Director

I had the pleasure of visiting Ninth Life in Catford this week, on recommendation from a friend in the industry. I say ‘pleasure’ because I had a delicious lunch with said friend, and it’s only 12 minutes from my house.

Why is Ninth Life so ‘of the moment’? Well, as we know from countless news articles, Millennials & Generation Z are drinking less. So need to be entertained in different ways when they do go out. This generation doesn’t necessarily want to go out just to get drunk – that doesn’t mean they don’t ever end up doing exactly that, mind. So their attention needs to be captured in other ways and by other things.

We are also aware that there are many more “distractions” now for Millennials and Generation Z; social media and other online entertainment opportunities. All of which are cheaper than going out. Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, the older generation has more disposable income.  A night out can be more of an event than a few pints down the local. Why not go to Junkyard Golf or play a few games at Flight Club THEN go out for dinner? The over 50’s especially, are looking for new, different experiences.

Ninth Life is a pub that plays perfectly to that oft spoke about trend “experiential”.

It’s not just a pub. Upstairs, spread out over two floors is an immersive theatre experience. A kind of souped-up escape room that opens twice a week to entertain a trendy South London crowd.

Ninth Life Catford

We already know from KAM research, that customers are increasingly looking for an experience that they can’t replicate at home.

As part of Ontrade Outlook, we asked 1000 pub/bar goers; To what extent are you looking for pubs to provide you with an experience that you can’t get at home? 73% of 18-24 year olds replied “to a great extent”- that figure was 70% for 25-34 year olds, 66% for 35-54 year olds and still a high 55% for 55+.

Ninth Life, as well as providing an interesting space for people to eat and drink in, has a great atmosphere- and knowing, as we do, that 3 in 4 pub customers believe it’s the pub/bar’s responsibility to ensure that they have a memorable experience when they visit, it’s another box ticked for Ninth Life

Photobot at Ninth Life

Sweating your assets is key to a successful business.

The pub is doing a great job of sweating its assets and utilising every space and day part- their “what’s on” board was jam-packed with everything from Yoga to kids craft workshops, making great use of an old function room that would otherwise sit empty during certain day parts.

And also we know that pub customers are actively looking for events and activities in their local pubs and bars- in fact 84% of them told us that they want to see events and activities in their local.

What's on at Ninth Life

Alongside the 80’s memorabilia (did anyone else out there have this Teapot house??), there’s a CD jukebox, a photo booth that creates gifs, and artwork by local artists, all of which adds to the interesting atmosphere and provides talking points and entertainment. I recommend a visit if you find yourself in South London at any point.

After a long day and a late finish at the cricket last night (my first ever match by the way, it was an eye opener!), I’ll be having a quiet evening in tonight.

Tomorrow, some training and house stuff, followed by an evening out in London with friends. On Sunday, Mr Katy and I are heading into London to The Churchill War Rooms and home via a pub -recommendations near St James’ Park/Westminster for a great Sunday lunch are welcome!