Property round-up: Robinsons plots Welsh expansion plus Dead Man’s Fingers founders open venue

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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Halewood Wines & Spirits has unveiled a 7,500sq ft site in Bristol while Stockport-based brewer and operator Robinsons has acquired three more sites in Wales.

Punch pub reopens after £480,000 revamp

The operator of 1,300 pubs across mainland Britain, Punch, has unveiled the recently refurbished Rock House in Eccles, Greater Manchester, after a near £500,000 makeover.

The project, which will see new publicans Lee Godfrey and Ben Seed manage the transformed venue, is part of a planned £32m investment by Punch in its pub estate.

“It’s great to be here at the Rock House, the pub looks fantastic and I can’t wait to welcome all customers old and new into their new look pub,” new publican Lee Godfrey explained.

“We have lots of exciting plans to really create a pub, which sits at the very heart of the community it serves.”

Punch managing director Andy Spencer added: “This is a significant investment by Punch in a well-established community pub and we are extremely pleased with the business we’ve helped created.

“Matching this fantastic pub with great people like Lee and Ben, who bring a wealth of experience and expertise will ensure the Rock House continues to operate at the very heart of its community.”

Rock House

Rum distillery opens in Bristol

Halewood Wines & Spirits, the company behind Cornish spiced rum Dead Man’s Fingers – producer of the world's first CBD hemp rum – has opened a bar, distillery and rum school in Bristol.

The 7,500sq ft Bristol & Bath Rum Distillery boasts two production stills – one producing Dead Man’s Fingers’ products – as well as a bar offering cocktails featuring the Cornish rum, Rum Sixty-Six and super-premium Colombian rum Dictador, which sells at £1,300 per bottle in Harrods.

“Bristol has a rich rum heritage and one of the UK’s most vibrant food and drink scenes,” Bristol & Bath Rum Distillery’s general manager Chris Hotson explained.

“It was a natural choice for Halewood’s new bar and rum distillery – it’s an exciting place to be and we’re looking forward to welcoming locals and visitors from across the UK and further afield to enjoy immersive experiences where they can learn more about provenance-led craft rums.

“Dead Man’s Fingers Spiced Rum, the fast-growing brand that originated from Cornwall’s Rum & Crab Shack in St Ives, is disrupting the rum category – it really strikes a chord with people looking to discover adventurous flavours.

“The new distillery will make Dead Man’s Fingers more accessible, allowing visitors to distil rum themselves and learn about rums from around the world, which are also defined by fine ingredients, flavours and distilling methods.

“This fits perfectly with Bristol’s pioneering and eclectic appreciation of food and drink.”

Fifth site for Dodo Pub Company

Founded in 2009 by Leo Johnson and Chris Manners, Oxford-based neighbourhood pub restaurant operator Dodo Pub Co is poised to open its fifth venue, the Last Crumb, in late October 2019.

The new site, found in the Reading suburb of Caversham, Berkshire, will feature a 200-cover restaurant and joins venues including the Rusty Bicycle in Oxford and the Bottle of Sauce in Cheltenham in Dodo’s pub portfolio.

Formerly the Prince of Wales pub, the Last Crumb has undergone a major refit and will become Dodo Pub Co’s second site outside of its home city.

Robinsons acquires three Welsh pubs

Family brewer and operator Robinsons has added three Welsh sites to its estate of 260 pubs spanning Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and north Wales.

The Stockport-based brewer has added the Four Alls in Caernarfon; the Seacroft in Trearddur Bay, Anglesey; and the George III Hotel on the banks of the Mawddach Estuary bordering Snowdonia National Park; to its growing stable. 

Robinsons, which now owns 30 pubs in Wales, has invested £27m in more than 130 pub refurbishments in the past five years with plans afoot to revamp new acquisition the George III.

“As a business, we’ve been working really hard to strengthen our award-winning estate of pubs, inns and hotels across the north-west,” according to William Robinson, Robinsons pub division’s managing director.

“As part of our ongoing acquisition and investment strategy, we were delighted to have the opportunity to acquire the Four Alls, the Seacroft and the George III Hotel.

“These pubs are an excellent fit for Robinsons and reinforce our presence in north Wales; a place we’re very passionate about.”


Barworks plans east London pub revamp

Independent London-based pub and bar group Barworks has revealed plans to reopen a former Beef & Brew site in east London after acquiring the venue in July.

The operator of sites such as the Commercial Tavern in Spitalfields, and the Exmouth Arms in Exmouth Market, has revealed its latest site will reopen under its original name, the Duke of York.

The new venue on Downham Street in Haggerston, was previously owned by Beavertown and operated as the Duke’s Brew & Que.

It will open in mid-November under Barworks’ management and revolve around an expansive drink offer supplemented by pizza and nibbles.

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