Dark Star to open fifth site

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Dark Star: company plans to grow estate to 20 in next five years
Dark Star: company plans to grow estate to 20 in next five years
Brewer and pub operator Dark Star Brewing Co will open its fifth site in Crawley, West Sussex.

The new site will be named the General Store and will feature a bottle shop, tasting room and a delivery service, allowing customers to drink products on and off-site.

Heath Ball, head of the Sussex-based business, said: “Crawley has always been a priority for us, it was a case of finding the right site and then creating the right offer."

'Hybrid' site

This will be less of a bar and more of a hybrid between a great off-licence and a place where people can explore a great range of beer and wines with a little something to eat.”

The General Store – at 36 High Street, on the site of a former electrical shop – will not have a hot food offer but will serve a range of cheese and charcuterie.

Pub-Awards-Best-Wine-Winner-The-Red-Lion-Sun-Highgate-north-London_strict_xxl
Heath Ball: Dark Star has 'healthy pipeline' of sites to come

Ball, who also runs Great British Pub Awards Wine Pub of the Year 2016, the Red Lion & Sun​, in Highgate, added: “We’ll be introducing a huge range of beer on cask, keg, bottle and can as well as a growler fill station.

“Alongside the beer, we’ll have a world class wine offer and a great selection of spirits.”

Late last year Dark Star opened the Lockhart Tavern in Haywards Heath​, Sussex, which previously traded as a cocktail bar. After buying the site the duo rennovated it extensively.

Growth ambition

Dark Star has set its sights on growing its estate to 20 pubs – including the General Store – over the next five years.

Ball previously told The Morning Advertiser​: “The progression of the pub estate is going really well and it’s looking like we have a healthy pipeline of sites to come on line in 2017.

“There have been challenges along the way, not least getting staff of the standard we demand – the amount of people wanting to get into our sector is still pretty dire and is holding back faster growth.”

Dark Star recently closed its Brighton tap room, the Evening Star, for a significant refurbishment before reopening on 13 March. 

Related topics: Beer, MA500 Business Club, Other operators

Related news

Show more