City Diary — 18 November

By The PMA Team

- Last updated on GMT

City Diary — 18 November

Related tags: Pub company, Peach pub company, Public house

All the latest rumour and gossip from the City.

A Peach of a post is up for grabs

Peach Pub Company is offering a great opportunity for an ambitious individual with proven multi-site experience. It operates a 'Pod Partnership' system whereby managers run two or three pubs each. Adam Saunders, the guy that runs two successful Peach pubs in Oxfordshire, the Fishes in North Hinksey Village, Oxford, and the Fleece, in Witney, is leaving for a new life in Australia with his girlfriend at the end of this month — and needs replacing. Says Peach founder Lee Cash: "It's a relatively low-risk way of getting into partnership with us — they're both cracking sites. And it'd be sensible to be looking to open a third pub in the area within a year.

"We're looking for someone who might be running six or more sites for a pub company who loves the idea of becoming host-patron of just two sites. They'd be making as much money running two sites for us as they'd be making running 10 for a pub company." Interested? Cash's mobile number is 07970 757825.

Future is Orange for M&B venue

Mitchells & Butlers' plan to expand key brands takes one more small step forward. Diary​ hears that the managed operator has bought a laggard Chef & Brewer site, the Red Lion, in Handcross, West Sussex, from Punch Taverns. It is currently being converted into a Project Orange gastro venue — the 50-site project is being co-run with entrepreneurs Paul Salisbury and Paul Hales — and opens early December. "It's a one-off acquisition," a source says.

Brumby laps up MA200 awards

Langton Capital's Mark Brumby entertains the masses with a morning email aggregating sector news. But it's great to see him joining the ranks of retailers. He attended

the Morning Advertiser​'s recent 200 Club conference and awards in his non-executive director capacity at whizzy London bar operator Drake & Morgan. And he was on stage with company finance director Raoul Federman to pick up a gong for winning the Best Design category thanks to the company's eye-catching Anthologist venue.

Kiss of death for Perritt & Perritt

Ever helpful, Diary is bestowing the kiss of death on London pub operator Perritt & Perritt. The three-strong operator, run by brothers Andy and Jonathan Perritt, is Diary's pick for the company

most likely to follow ETM, Geronimo, Realpubs, Grand Union Group and Fiveeightzero in terms of graduating to a mid-sized London company. The company operates Enterprise's Stag in Hampstead and the Regent in Kensal Rise, a Trust Inns venue. In March this year,

it re-launched the Mall Tavern in Notting Hill. The chef at the Mall is Jesse Dunford-Wood, who used to work at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago and the best place for breakfast in New York, Balthazar. Great pedigree, great company. The Mall has already made it onto food critic Fay Maschler's list of London's top 10 gastropubs. And for the future? "The company has had a few approaches from private investors looking at freehold opportunities," a source tells Diary​.

Lifting the lid on breakfast hours

Diary​ was quizzing JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin on the decision to scale back breakfast opening hours at around 70% of the estate. Wetherspoon had decided to keep its head down on this one, but Diary​ chanced upon the move when he found the Horsham, West Sussex, branch is opening at 9am, not 7am. Martin said: "I'm not sure why Horsham is opening at 9am — it's directly opposite a McDonald's."

Multi-site universe is much bigger than we thought...

The Morning Advertiser​'s hugely popular 200 club for multi-site operators expands to 250 members next year.

The project is proving beyond doubt that the pub-sector universe of multi-site operators is much bigger than anyone thought — Diary estimates that there may be as many as 500 multi-site companies operating in the sector. CPL Training, a sponsor of MA200, is helping the MA expand its database.

Compliance director Paul Chase oversaw a forum on licensing issues a while back for nifty north-west multiples, many of whom the MA and the trade body Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) had never heard of. Among the companies attending were Tallulah Group, Flanagans, Pax Leisure, Aura, Bar Buddha Bars and Vincent Hotels. All in all, 12 cool companies running 141 outlets between them. The companies will become members of our enlarged group next year. Good work, CPL.

Related topics: Other operators

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