Chris Maclean: a question of location

By Chris Maclean

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Real estate

I've just come back from the opening night of a pub taken over by a friend of mine.This is a rural pub, in the middle of nowhere, which has managed...

I've just come back from the opening night of a pub taken over by a friend of mine.

This is a rural pub, in the middle of nowhere, which has managed to survive.

Some years ago it languished, unloved, on a prime piece of real estate. It is a marvel that it wasn't turned into residential property. Then another friend of mine, a seasoned licensee, bought it for a song and developed his own food-led trade. His son is an exceptional chef and their reputation, through running a succession of very successful tenancies, gave them the momentum to create this business. Their magnum opus.

They decided to sell it, and for a figure with seven digits in it was suggested. I heard tonight that, despite considerable offers from some unsavoury characters, the winner, my friend, got it at a fair price because of his pedigree in business. I hope so.

Anyway, this evening I got to see the great and the good locals go and visit this new venture. It is clear from my friend's heritage that he intends to make it the supreme wedding/function venue in the district. There are acres of land and the setting is exquisite. Tonight I saw the sun set over the rolling apple orchard hills with the trees in full blossom. This is, truly, the Garden of England and my pal has a great slice of it.

But you cannot help but wonder who these people visiting are. They are, most likely, never going to use this facility. Were they, like me, curious to see if he can pull off the same achievement he had done so well in the local golf club?

The jury is out. It is a tough call. There is no doubt the venue is beautiful and the potential is there. And he has maintained the exceptional team he had before that elevated the golf club to its premier position as the local function venue.

If I have reservations it is only because the location is somewhat awkward. It is fine for ambling pensioners touring the countryside looking for a place to eat. A quirky restaurant for an assignation. But for one hundred wedding guests or a rotary dinner I am not so sure. It is so difficult to find.

Another friend told me the estate agent's mantra - 'location, location, location'. I don't think this place has it. I may be wrong.

I wish my friend well in his venture but it is going to be a tough challenge.

Related topics Legislation

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