Redcomb Pubs founders plough £1.75m into new venture

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Big prospects: (l-r) Dan Shotton and Mark Draper sold Redcomb Pubs to Young’s in January
Big prospects: (l-r) Dan Shotton and Mark Draper sold Redcomb Pubs to Young’s in January
The two founders of Redcomb Pubs have launched a new pub group and its first acquisition of a freehold site for £1.75m.

The new pub group, Prospect Pubs & Bars comes just months after the sale of Redcomb’s estate of 15 pubs to Young’s for £34m earlier this year (January)​ on a cash-free and debt-free basis in a deal that increased the Young’s portfolio of managed houses to 200.

Redcomb’s founders Mark Draper and Dan Shotton have announced the launch of Prospect with the acquisition of the Evenlode in Eynsham, Oxfordshire.

The pub dates back to the 1930s and is near to the A40, meaning it is well positioned to pull in locals and travelling clientele.

Site space

The 5,000sq ft site currently operates a 150-cover restaurant and bar, alongside space to serve up to 160 customers outside across two terraces.

As part of the acquisition, Prospect will invest a further £1.2m into the pub to further develop it, including extending the ground-floor area to enhance and extend the pub’s dining and event space. It will also add 24 en-suite bedrooms, which will be aimed at business and leisure guests.

Shotton said: “Following the successful sale of Redcomb earlier in the year, we are delighted to venture back into the exciting independent pub sector with the launch of Prospect Pubs & Bars.

“Our vision is to create a group of successful and profitable pubs and bars with rooms that provide a well-positioned, premium offering that is accessible to all.”

Development opportunities

Draper outlined more detail about the types of pubs he and Shotton are looking for and how the first site fitted this criteria.

He added: “Our acquisition focus will be on large free-of-tie leases and freehold properties that offer the scope and opportunity for us to develop, extend and capitalise on the site’s potential.

“Evenlode ticked all the boxes on this front. Currently operating as a good, solid business, the site – with our vision and investment – has huge potential to develop fresh and enhanced revenue streams through an improved dining, events and accommodation offer.”

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