Indigo Leisure has taken on the business on a long-term agreement, after it was run as a ‘Cask Pub & Kitchen’ on a short term lease for three months, by London craft beer entrepreneur Martin Hayes.
Licensees Tony Leonard and Dominic McCartan handed back the keys of the pub, then the Spotted Dog, and their other Brighton premises, the Eagle, in March after failing to agree a rent with Greene King. Indigo are also operating the Eagle.
The pair had written a letter to Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand expressing their interest.
Leonard said: “Although we would need to do a big refurbishment to restore some of the character and atmosphere of old, we’ve kept the old pub sign and we’re looking forward to putting it back in its proper place."
McCartan said: “Despite our previous differences we are willing to bury the hatchet with Greene King and bring this historic Brighton pub back on track. Part of the problem was that Greene King treated our past turnover as standard rather than exceptional."
A spokesperson for Greene King said: “Following a refurbishment and return to its previous name, the Hop Poles will re-open its doors on 20 June with an outstanding local operator taking ownership of the business. We are proud to have this iconic Brighton business within the Greene King estate, and are confident that it will continue to be a land-mark site and a thriving and successful business.”
“We are in touch with Dominic McCarten and Tony Leonard, and we would of course be happy to discuss any future business opportunities with them. However in this instance, a long-term agreement had already been reached with Indigo Leisure prior to us receiving contact from Dominic and Tony about the Hop Poles.”