Destination Coventry
Destination Coventry

The power of partnership: Creation of the Dhillon’s Lounge

Dhillon’s Brewery opened the ‘Dhillon’s Lounge’ at Coventry Building Society Arena this year.

The space is already proving hugely popular among visitors to the stadium, whether that is for a meeting, conference, exhibition or football match.

The new bar was the result of three Destination Coventry members joining forces and combining their expertise.

Alongside the Arena and Dhillon’s, Blacky Ivy Design was involved in the design of the new 400-square metre bar.

The origins of the multi-year-deal to create the bar can be traced back to senior figures from the stadium and brewery being brought together by Destination Coventry.

Dal Dhillon, Founder of Dhillon’s Brewery, set up the brewery in 2015 and has always been based over the road from Coventry Building Society Arena.

Paul Michael, Managing Director of Coventry Building Society Arena, has been Chairman of Destination Coventry since its launch in December 2021, and the two business leaders met for the first time because of Destination Coventry.

Dal Dhillon said: “A couple of years ago, I was introduced by Chris Hartley to Destination Coventry and that led to me sitting down with Paul Jones, managing director of Destination Coventry.

“Paul invited me to join the board as a representative of businesses in the city, and that was the first time I met directly with Paul Michael from Coventry Building Society Arena.

“He came over to the brewery, we shared some initial ideas and the relationship started from there. Ultimately, our two businesses share the same customers and there is an inherent connection there.

“When the new owners came in at the Arena, there was a real buzz about using local suppliers, so Dhillon’s working with Coventry Building Society Arena ticked a lot of boxes.

“When the opportunity arose to open the Dhillon’s Lounge, it felt like a natural step. Partnerships have been hugely beneficial for the growth of our business, and with our existing relationship with Coventry City FC, this was the perfect opportunity for us."

The partnership between the two organisations has flourished over the last year, with Dhillon’s now having a strong presence at the Arena – including a kiosk, mobile-bar and the newly opened Dhillon’s Lounge.

Paul Michael said: “We are committed to working with local and regional suppliers and you can’t get more local than Dhillon’s Brewery, but it is much more than that – they have a fantastic range of high-quality products.

“The Dhillon’s Lounge is already proving to be a real asset to the venue on matchdays for fans and for conference and exhibition organisers looking for a versatile space to host events.

“Without Destination Coventry, we may not have made the connection with Dhillon’s and over the last year it is a partnership which has continued to go from strength-to-strength.”

The Dhillon’s Lounge features a mural that weaves together iconic Coventry landmarks, the history of Coventry City FC, events that have taken place at the Arena and the journey the brewery has been on since launching in 2015, alongside other features that reflect Dhillon’s Brewery’s range of products.

The bar was entirely designed by fellow Destination Coventry member, Black Ivy Design, who had previously designed Sky Blue Tavern and Dhillon’s Spire Bar for the microbrewery.

Leanne Armstrong, Creative Director of Black Ivy Design, added: “Our membership with Destination Coventry has proven to be a game-changer for Black Ivy Design, opening doors and forging powerful relationships.

“This organisation has played a pivotal role in Coventry's regeneration, especially in the wake of the pandemic, and being a member has been instrumental in driving the growth of Black Ivy Design.

“Having previously collaborated with Dhillon’s Brewery, our journey reached its culmination when we successfully connected the dots between Dhillon’s and Coventry Building Society Arena. This natural pairing brought together an iconic Coventry brewery and a beloved sport and entertainment venue. We consider ourselves exceptionally fortunate to have facilitated this partnership, breathing life and purpose into the Dhillon’s Lounge concept.

“Destination Coventry has been at the forefront of Coventry's regeneration, particularly in these challenging times, and our membership has been indispensable to the growth of Black Ivy Design.”

To find out more about Destination Coventry membership visit