Property round-up

Hawthorn Leisure buys Bravo Inns, Inn Collection Group’s Lake District debut and former Churchill favourite reopens

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?

Related tags: Property

NewRiver REIT's pub arm bolstered its managed estate, The Inn Collection Group opened its 10th site, and Robinsons, Stonegate and Brucan pubs revealed pub revamps.

Hawthorn Leisure acquires Bravo Inns for £17.9m

The pub arm of retail investment trust NewRiver REIT, Hawthorn Leisure, has added 44 wet-led community pubs to its estate with the £17.9m purchase of Bravo Inns.

The addition of Bravo’s sites to Hawthorn’s 660-site portfolio increases the number of pubs in its operator managed stable to 98 – 14% of its pub estate.

“The UK pub sector has experienced a recent revival in transaction activity and, as an early investor into community pubs, we have been tracking the success of Bravo Inns for some time,” Mark Davies, chief executive of Hawthorn Leisure commented. 

“The transaction will increase our portfolio weighting in community pubs and demonstrates the value of our Hawthorn Leisure platform in identifying acquisitions that can deliver high yielding sustainable cash flows with scale driven synergies.

“A further attraction of this acquisition is the quality of the pub estate and the pub partners. We look forward to welcoming Bravo Inns and its pub partners to Hawthorn Leisure.”


Inn Collection Group opens first Lake District site

Northern pub operator The Inn Collection Group has opened 30-bedroom site the Ambleside Inn in Ambleside, Cumbria – its first venture in the Lake District.

“After an immense refurbishment, we have breathed life into the fabulous building, which is buzzing with its new lease of life,” general manager John Cecchini said. “We’ve brought it back to being a local for people in the heart of the community, as much as for visitors from afar, adding another fantastic level of experience for visitors to the Lake District.

“It has long-been a vision for the company to operate in the Lakes,” The Inn Collection Group’s managing director Sean Donkin added. “The opening of the Ambleside Inn in one of the best addresses in the Lake District marks the end of a long chapter searching for the right unit in a winning location to add to our estate.

“The Ambleside Inn has been well worth that wait. We’re looking forward to customers in the Lake District enjoying everything that makes The Inn Collection Group pubs superb places to eat, drink, sleep and explore from.”

While the reopening of the 300-year old pub after a multimillion-pound renovation marks the group’s Lake District debut, plans are afoot to double its presence in the region with the Coniston Inn in Coniston scheduled to reopen in spring 2020.

Inn Collection (1)

Surrey pub reopens after £1.3m facelift

Kent-based pub operator and brewer Shepherd Neame has reopened the Woolpack in Banstead, Surrey, after a £1.3m makeover.

Closed for three months during the extensive renovation, the remodelled Woolpack has been transformed inside and out and will reopen with refreshed food and drink offers.

“The pub can now accommodate around 125 covers throughout the snug, bar area and restaurant,” according to manager Ken Coetzer. “During the summer, we will also be able to seat around 250 people in the garden. As we are situated in the heart of the village, lots of locals walk to our pub, and we are lucky to have a large car park with 45 spaces behind the pub.

“We are delighted with the finished results of this project,” Shepherd Neame’s director of retail and tenanted operations, Nigel Bunting, added. “The Woolpack is one of our most popular pubs, so this investment is aimed at providing much needed additional space and improved facilities. We are confident Ken and his team will ensure that this pub goes from strength to strength in the coming months.”


Former Winston Churchill haunt reopens

An 18th century pub in Marylebone, west London – said to be a favourite of Winston Churchill – has been reopened by renowned sommelier Xavier Rousset and head chef Mark Jarvis.

The Gunmakers – which boasts a 40-cover restaurant and six letting rooms – is a joint venture between Rousset, who opened Trade, a members’ club for the hospitality industry, in Soho in 2018, and Jarvis, who opened Anglo in Farringdon in 2016.

Former chief sommelier at the Hotel du Vin and at the Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons where he worked with chef Raymond Blanc, Rousset co-founded Cabotte Wine Bar & Restaurant on London’s Gresham Street. The Gunmakers is his first London pub site.

181-year-old pub reopens after £300,000 transformation

Stockport-based brewer and pub operator Robinsons has reopened the Drum & Monkey in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, after a £300,000 revamp saw the pub close for seven weeks.

The 181-year-old site, formerly known as the Moss Rose, was purchased by Robinsons in 1949. The site now boasts an extension to accommodate more than 45 extra customers.

“I’m excited to be a part of the new Drum & Monkey, and look forward to meeting all our guests, although I have already seen some familiar faces who visited my previous pub, the Ship at Styal,” Nicci Winsor, general manager at the Drum & Monkey, commented.

“The vision of the job was to keep it simple, and build on the pub’s relaxed charm and character,” Wayne Roach, business development manager at Robinsons Brewery, added.

“It was important to retain the quality pub feel with real fires, traditional ambience and atmosphere. Making it comfortable for drinkers and diners alike and growing the local trade.”

Drum and Monkey

Ferry Boat reopens after £250,000 revamp

The Ferry Boat Inn in Tottenham, north London, will reopen on 6 December after Stonegate Pub Company completed a £250,000 refit of the 17th century, riverside site.

“This exciting investment will really help to boost our appeal to locals, having refreshed our homely and cosy feel with distinctive features throughout the site,” Hannah May, general manager of the Ferry Boat Inn, said.

“We’ve really listened to our customers and so are excited to be launching a bigger and better cocktail list when we reopen, alongside updating our beer garden so that our loyal customers can truly make the most of it in the new year.

“We are really looking forward to showcasing our new look and are sure that the Ferry Boat Inn will continue to be a warm and welcoming pub that the whole community can enjoy.”

Brucan Pubs acquires Surrey site

Founded by former-ETM Group operations director James Lyon-Shaw and ex-Ivy head chef Jamie Dobbin, Brucan Pubs has revealed that its second site will open in January 2020.

Formerly known as the Mayford Arms, the Drumming Snipe in Woking, Surrey, will join the Greene Oak in Windsor in the Brucan Pubs fold after a complete refit.

The site will boast new kitchens, garden terraces and dining areas – including a 24-cover private dining space.

Staffordshire pub reopens after £140,000 revamp

The Merchant in Cannock, Staffordshire, has reopened its doors after a £140,000 refurb by Stonegate Pub Company.

“The pub has had a welcome refurb that has given it a new lease of life, and we are looking forward to opening the doors to see what everyone thinks of the its new look,” Anna Marie-Jones, general manager of the Merchant explained.

“Our refurb ensures there’s something for everyone and we are sure the Merchant will fast become known as the place to visit in Cannock.”

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