Ei Commercial Properties, the Ei Group business that manages a developing portfolio of assets leased to third parties, has agreed a commercial free-of-tie lease for the former Pageant pub, in Southport, Merseyside, which has now reopened as the seventh Hickory’s Smokehouse.
The Southport site is the second Hickory’s has taken with Ei Commercial Properties; the company also operates its Rhos-on-Sea restaurant on a similar commercial lease basis.
According to Ei, the Pageant had proved "difficult" to let over the past five years and "failed to win the support of the local community".
Ei Commercial Properties commercial property director Greg Parkes said: “Our aim is to maximise the value of Ei Group assets using our commercial property expertise and partner with exciting high-quality operators.
"Hickory’s absolutely meets that criteria and the new site is a prime example of the approach we take to deliver the right proposition, with the right tenant prepared to invest significantly in the asset. We are proactively working with the team at Hickory’s to identify other potential sites across our estate for future projects.”
Hickory’s chief executive Neil McDonnell added: “We are absolutely delighted to have reached agreement with Ei Commercial Properties on this site.
"It was originally marketed as a tied tenancy but they were flexible in their discussions, which enabled us to agree a different approach and make a significant investment into this site for the benefit of our customers. The new site has had a very positive response from the local community in the early days of trading.”
The first Hickory’s was founded in Chester in 2010 by Neil McDonnell following an "inspirational trip around the US southern states".
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