Property round-up: reality TV hot spot to relaunch plus new sites for experiential leisure concepts

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Property moves: which sites have been reopened, revamped or changed hands in the past week?
Property moves: which sites have been reopened, revamped or changed hands in the past week?

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Made famous by The Only Way is Essex, the new-look Sugar Hut night club in Brentwood, Essex, is to reopen under new management while Flight Club, Ballie Ballerson and Junkyard Golf Club outlined expansion plans.

Sugar Hut to relaunch under new ownership

Sugar Hut in Brentwood, Essex – a regular backdrop for reality TV show The Only Way is Essex​ – is to relaunch on 30 November following an extensive makeover by its new owner, club promoter Dan Perrin.

“This will include giving the venue a serious facelift and installing a world-class sound system and lighting to provide the ultimate clubbing experience,” Perrin explained.

“It is a beautiful, maze-like, listed building with hundreds of years of history, an incredible courtyard and an aura inside that feels like you have arrived home.

“In short, it has all the potential and heritage to make it one of the best places to party in this country.

“There will be an Instagrammable, dedicated gender-neutral powder room and dressing area complete with vanity areas, full-length mirrors and lounge seating for a quick touch-up during the festivities. We see the new Sugar Hut as the place where Essex meets Ibiza.”

Property roundup - Sugar Hut

Bolton Inns takes third site with Star Pubs & Bars

West Midlands-based multiple operator Bolton Inns has added the Railway at Lye in Stourbridge to its portfolio – its third site with Heineken’s pub arm Star Pubs & Bars in a year.

Bolton Inns and Star will now embark on a joint £465,000 refurbishment project that will see the pub close for around six weeks while food and coffee operations added to its offer.

Bolton Inns managing director Edward Bolton said: “Expansion is at the forefront of what we’re doing. We plan to open five more community pubs in the West Midlands in the next two to three years.

“We have been able to grow quickly due to Star Pubs & Bars’ flexibility and the great relationship we have with our BDM. We have worked closely with him to pinpoint sites that would work for our brand and offer communities strong, well-maintained pubs offering affordable food and drink.”

Railway (1)

South Wales pub to reopen after £88,000 refurb

Admiral Taverns has announced the New Inn in Llantwit Fardre, south Wales, will reopen under a new name and licensee after a £88,000 refurbishment.

Under new operator David Phillips – who worked for 10 years as the marketing manager at Garry Evans Fishing Tackle Centres – the Brown Trout will feature an expanded live entertainment schedule and benefit from interior and exterior makeovers before reopening.

“I’m thrilled to be taking over the Brown Trout and excited to make the most of the opportunity,” Phillips said.

“Admiral has been very supportive throughout the entire process and its business support agreement has given me the help I needed to get the business up and running.

“We want to make it a pub for everybody to enjoy, whether that’s a group of friends, family or even your dog, we cater for everyone at the Brown Trout.

“I’m also really excited about the newly fashioned garden that, historically, was an unused space and Admiral has helped me turn it into a cosy outdoor area, which should be fantastic with the Rugby World Cup on.”

Fourth London site for Flight Club

Social darts bar concept Flight Club has revealed that it will open its fourth venue in London at the end of November – joining existing capital sites in Bloomsbury, Shoreditch and Victoria.

The concept, which also boasts venues in Birmingham, Manchester and Chicago, will open its new 150-capacity outlet on Upper Street in Islington.

“We’re on a mission to get the whole country playing social darts and we’re so excited about the response we’ve seen so far,” Flight Club’s CEO and co-founder Steve Moore explained.

“It has been an incredible year for us. From the Birmingham Launch; celebrating the 100 millionth dart; to revealing our exciting new concept, Electric Shuffle. But the excitement doesn’t end there.

“We are delighted to bring Flight Club to Islington and continue spreading the unexpected, ridiculous joy of social darts around the world.”

Flight Club

Portobello Pub Company acquires second site

Portobello Pub Company has completed on a second pub – City of London pub the Hack & Hop – just seven weeks after purchasing King & Co in Clapham.

The nascent pubco was launched by former We Are Bar chief executive Richard Stringer in tandem with Portobello Brewing Company founder Rob Jenkins.

“We are delighted to welcome Hack & Hop into our young family,” Stringer commented. “It’s a warm and friendly, traditional, beer-led city pub with a loyal following and a strong team, all of whom have found a warm welcome with Portobello.

“We will enhance the range of craft beer with our own core line-up of Notting Helles and London Pilsner but hope to work with existing brewery suppliers to maintain the reputation Stan and his team has earned.

“I look forward to a very active Christmas quarter developing our offer in our two pubs and stabilising the business before looking to our next stage of growth in the new year.”

Punch pub reopens after £350,000 investment

The 15th century Six Bells pub in Fulbourn village near Cambridge has reopened under a new publican following a £350,000 revamp by Punch.

Boasting new signage, a full internal makeover and improved function room facilities, the venue will be operated by new licensee Donna Perry – who, with her family, runs an award-winning taxi firm in nearby Thetford.

“We are really excited to be here at the Six Bells and the investment has really done the pub proud,” Perry said. “We are looking forward to welcoming customers old and new back into their local and to sharing our plans to ensure it remains at the very heart of the community.

“We are going to show regular live sporting events as we now have BT Sports in the lounge, plus regular family fun days, games nights and race days.”


Soho expansion for ball pit bar concept

Ball pit cocktail bar Ballie Ballerson has unveiled both a new site in London’s West End as well as plans to refurbish its original Shoreditch site.

The concept’s new 6,000sq ft Soho branch opened on 27 September while its Shoreditch site will reopen in early November 2019 following extensive renovation – which will see the venue double in size.

“Ballie Ballerson was born from humble, pop-up roots in Dalston and really captures the imagination of London’s experience lovers,” the concept’s founder and CEO Wenny Armstrong explained.

“To see how the brand has grown and how we have become synonymous with London nightlife, excites us for what lies ahead”.


Junkyard Golf Club to open first permanent London site

Four years after launching its first pop-up in Manchester, crazy golf cocktail bar concept Junkyard Golf Club has announced its first permanent home in the capital featuring four cocktail bars and 36 crazy golf holes.

Its sites in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Oxford will be joined by a 12,000sq ft venue in Broadgate Quarter – near London’s Liverpool Street Station – following the success of the concept’s Truman Brewery pop-up which attracted more than 400,000 visitors per year.

“We are delighted to be working with Blackstone and finally find a permanent location in London,” Junkyard Golf Club commercial director Sam Jones said.

“After three hugely successful years as a pop-up in the Truman Brewery, this move begins the next step on our journey to make crazy golf epic.

“The London Yard will be the biggest and weirdest to date and we can’t wait to open the doors and show off our new home.”

Property roundup - Junkyard

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