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Airport pubs to be converted into 'ale and coffee houses'

By Georgina Townshend , 19-May-2017
Last updated on 22-May-2017 at 12:17 GMT2017-05-22T12:17:41Z

'Continued passion': Casual Dining Group takes on airport pubs
'Continued passion': Casual Dining Group takes on airport pubs

Casual Dining Group (CDG) – operator of Bella Italia, Café Rouge – has moved into pub operations after winning a competitive tender process to run two Heathrow airport pubs, which it plans to turn into “ale and coffee houses”.

The company has assumed management control of the two pubs, located at Terminals 3 and 5.

The “ale and coffee house” concept has been developed with the design support of “celebrated” pub entrepreneur Joanna Clevely, co-founder of Geronimo Inns, the company said. 

Under the new format, the pubs, which currently trade as the Three Bells and the Five Tuns, will be renamed the Darwin and the George.

Both pubs will focus on delivering an all-day offer, featuring high-quality food, premium drinks and coffee to travellers passing through the airport terminals.

Forefront of hospitality sector

CDG managing director of concessions and franchising Mark Nelson said: “We’re delighted to have secured these sites and our new partnership gives us huge credibility as we enter the pub sector.

“It demonstrates our continued passion to be at the forefront of the hospitality sector, not just as an operator of casual-dining restaurants but food-led pubs too.”

Clevely said he “looks forward” to growing the business and seeking further opportunities to build on this collaboration, such as in other airport locations and transport hubs, including major train stations.

The partnership will see CDG assume responsibility for the day-to-day management of the sites. 

The pub refurbishments are scheduled to take place later in the year – when the pubs will convert fully to the new branding and updated operation. 

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