Saffron Leisure, the pub company set up by former McMullen general managers and husband and wife team Aaron and Cheri Clayton, has purchased its second site.
The new pub, the Grandison in the Hertfordshire village of Bramfield, had been empty for six years when the couple agreed a deal to buy it from a property developer for around £400,000. The couple have now spent a further £300,000 on renovations including the conversion of a barn to a shop and deli, and are set to open the pub on October 14.
Aaron said: "Developers were planning to convert the pub to housing so it had sat empty for years as the council had refused permission. We are after rural pubs and we think this one can do a good trade."
Saffron Leisure was set up in September 2007 with the purchase of the leasehold of Punch Taverns pub, the Fox and Hounds in Barley, Hertfordshire. The pub was trading at £1,000 per week when they took it on, but now has weekly sales of about £7,000.
The couple plan to trade their new pub for a year and then look for further freehold sites in Hertfordshire. They say the delay in the company's expansion has been down to the reluctance of banks to lend.