The Grafton will be the eighth pub for Hippo Inns – the joint venture between Geronimo Inns founder Rupert Clevely and Enterprise Inns, The Morning Advertiser (MA) can reveal.
Joel and Suzie Czopor, the former licensees at the Enterprise Inns pub, will leave the pub this week. The couple had relinquished the lease of their second site - the nearby Gipsy Queen – in October, just over a year after opening.
'Look and feel will remain'
Clevely said: “The Grafton is a very successful pub and we love it. The look and feel will remain exactly as it is and the manager, assistant manager and chef who have been running the pub so successfully, will all stay in place. We’ll be there to support them but we don’t want to change it, it’s an iconic pub.
“We are still very much in touch with the previous tenants, it’s not a takeover, they wished to move on and we were delighted to take the reins.”
Nathan Wall, operations director for Enterprise’s managed investments division, said: “The site became available when former publicans Susie Clarke and Joel Czopor decided to leave for ‘a new journey in life’.
'Fabulous community pub'
"We’ve enjoyed a positive working relationship with them and they have worked tirelessly to create a fabulous community pub which has a strong and loyal customer base and we wish them all the very best for the future.
“We are delighted to be working with Rupert on ensuring the pub continues to thrive. It will be the latest development in what has become a very successful partnership with Rupert, through which we continue to invest in and open excellent pubs in and around London.”
The first Hippo Inns site, The Signal in Forest Hill, opened in October 2015.