Pub operator expands south-east estate

By Gemma McKenna

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Half moon, Public house

Talbot Inn: new licensees
Talbot Inn: new licensees
The owners of a Sussex gastropub have taken on a second site, and plan a £250,000 refurbishment — they also plan to have a third pub within three...

The owners of a Sussex gastropub have taken on a second site, and plan a £250,000 refurbishment — they also plan to have a third pub within three years.

James Amico and business partners Jonathan and Tracey Lea, have just signed a lease with a private landlord on the Talbot Inn at Cuckfield, West Sussex. The agreement also gives the group the option to buy the freehold at a later date.

They already run the Half Moon at Warninglid, which they took on five years ago.

Amico said: "The Talbot was the first pub we looked at before we bought the Half Moon, and at that time it was too big a venture to take on, but we had it in our business plan that we wanted to buy it within five years," said Amico.

"Over the next three years we plan to spend at least £250,000 on the refurbishment.

"We've spent £350,000 on the Half Moon and we still have another £150,000 to spend there."

"The business plan was always to have three pubs within a six-mile radius, all feeding into each other. But we won't take on a third site for another three years I'd say. Right now we turn

away around 200 people from the Half Moon every weekend, which is very frustrating. Now the Talbot will be able to cater for the overspill."

The Talbot Inn dates from the 1850s, and plans include bringing the 50-cover function room back into use and restoring the original Victorian features. The pub will be closed for eight weeks for a refurbishment.

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