Mitchells & Butlers eyes Scottish sites
Birmingham-based operator of more than 1,700 managed pubs, Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), is gearing up for expansion into the Scottish market in 2020.
Advised by real estate services provider Savills, the business behind All Bar One, Miller & Carter, Ember Inns and Premium Country Pubs has opened seven new sites this year and carried out 239 conversions and remodels in the present financial year.
Having already established Miller & Carter in major Scottish cities, M&B is now looking to grow into new-build and out-of-town locations.
“The licensed sector is proving resilient in the current market and best-in-class operators with a strong and differentiated offer are seeking to grow,” John Menzies, director in the national retail team at Savills in Glasgow explained.
“There are now five Miller & Carter Steakhouse restaurants in Scotland across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The format is proving versatile for the business with all the existing restaurants trading well. The business is now seeking new opportunities to grow the brand further with particular interest in busy roadside locations.
“Depending on the site location, the business will also look at opportunities for Ember Inns and Premium Country Pubs in Scotland, which can typically be accommodated on a site of between 0.6 acres to one acre.”
Former Restaurant Group directors complete £750,000 refurb with Star Pubs & Bars
Manchester and Birmingham-based multiple operator Green & Salmon has taken on its first site with Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars, following a joint investment of more than £750,000.
The group’s third site, the Greyhound in Worsley, Greater Manchester, has been rebranded as Coal & Cotton and will create between 25 and 30 full and part-time jobs. The venue has been given a complete overhaul with its eclectic interior featuring a micro gin distillery.
Green & Salmon’s founders Jason Green and David Salmon also outlined plans to grow their Midlands and north-west estate to 12 pubs in the next five years.
“We’re delighted with the look of Coal & Cotton, a new concept we’re developing to sit alongside our Cock ’n’ Bull.Co brand, which will allow us to grow more quickly,” Green explained. “Working with Star Pubs & Bar on this venture, we’ve been impressed by their slick operation and professionalism.
“Living in the area, I believe there is demand for a great local pub like this that creates that something special. Before we’ve even opened the doors, we have had well over 2,000 bookings from people wanting to come and eat with us.”
Robinson’s gives Greater Manchester pub £160,000 ‘complete overhaul’
The Grapes in Hyde, Greater Manchester, has been reopened by its licensee of 15 years, Marcello Tansella, following a £160,000 refurb by Stockport-based pub operator and brewer Robinsons.
“I have run the Grapes for 15 years now, and it is a great community local that just needed to be refreshed and modernised,” Tansella said. “It became quite outdated over the years, and I really wanted to give our loyal customers somewhere nicer to relax and dine, while also creating a pub to welcome new customers too.
“The Grapes is a lot more spacious now, and the whole area feels brighter and friendlier. I look forward to welcoming all customers to the newly refurbished Grapes.”
Robinsons Brewery business development manager Alan Chapman said: “The Grapes sits in a prime location in Gee Cross, Hyde, and needed a complete overhaul to give it a new lease of life, and to modernise the whole pub.
“The pub now looks up-to-date with a refreshed classical feel and is a real asset to Gee Cross.”
Shepherd Neame renovates 18th century London pub
Kent-based brewer and pub operator Shepherd Neame has given one of Soho’s oldest pubs a modern facelift.
The Grade II-listed Coach & Horses on the corner of London’s Old Compton Street and Charing Cross Road, dates back to 1731. After purchasing the site in April 2019, Shepherd Neame restored the site’s original name after it was rebranded Molly Moggs in 1996 then the Compton Cross in 2017.
“The Coach & Horses is a beautifully restored, traditional pub in the heart of London,” pub manager Lisa Jones explained. “It has been refurbished to a very high standard and already customers are pouring in.
“All day long there’s a nice, vibrant atmosphere to the pub and, given where we are located, we are attracting a really diverse range of customers, including locals, after work drinkers and theatregoers.”
Shepherd Neame director of pub operations Nigel Bunting added: “We were delighted to add this unique pub to our growing London portfolio and are really pleased with the result of our refurbishment project.
“The pub looks fantastic, and we are confident that this investment will ensure it goes from strength to strength.”
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