The second Haphazard innovation hub will open during March 2020 and slowly evolve over the coming 12 months from a traditional old British boozer into an innovation hub fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Video | First view of St John’s Head shortly after collecting keys. 07 February 2020 | John McKiernan,

St John’s Head | Great Yarmouth

In a town where retail is in rapid decline and most of the pubs, cafes and restaurants are struggling to survive, St John’s Head in Great Yarmouth will appear an odd and unusual venture. Initially only opening for a few hours during the middle of the day, in an attempt to enticed local office workers out for a coffee, repairing and refitting back house will be the priority during the early weeks. There will be random one-off evening pop-up audio, folk and sound-art events throughout the spring. A stripped back menu will offer limited high quality items from ethical-led suppliers and new kinds of products sourced as local as is practical.

Technologies and Work Hub

Little will seem different on first opening. Only as time passes will customers begin to notice a slow change and the appearance of new technologies, some aimed specifically at the licensed on-trade, others with a more general purpose. Fast broadband will be installed to encourage customers to use the hubpub as a work, meeting and collaboration space. A range of non-alcohol drinks will accompany a selected small quality range of beers and spirits.

Build Steadily

Some of the Haphazard Business blog posts document the difficult trading conditions for retail businesses in Great Yarmouth. This will be no different for the Haphazard hubs, which will need to build a customer base from scratch, no easy task in any circumstances and particularly difficult in this part of Norfolk.

Beyond Robots and Self-Driving Vehicles

The 4IR will not only be about self-driving cars and robots, there will be a fundamental change in how most people will go about their business during daily life. The way the UK now shops and banks is a prime example of the change to life that the creation of the World Wide Web (www) brought about. The next generation of transformation, from AI Supermarkets to immersive gaming will be equally transformative.

Hub Two at St John’s Head will focus on the work, leisure and community elements of the upcoming revolution, particularly on the way these activities are likely to merge as the distinction between work and play continues to erode.


Subscribe to the Haphazard Business blog to follow how this idea has formed and is becoming a reality.

John M

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