Robinsons Brewery acquires Individual Inns
Cheshire-based brewer and operator of more than 260 tenanted and managed pubs across northern England and Wales, Robinsons Brewery, has acquired six-site operator Individual Inns.
As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA), the deal increases Robinsons’ managed pub estate to 20 sites, strengthens its portfolio in Cumbria and yields its first pubs in Yorkshire.
“We aim to offer great experiences through food, drinks or overnight stays, and see Individual Inns as a great example of a company that shares our values and standards and so hope the customers and the team at Individual Inns will feel that joining our family is a home from home,” William Robinson, the managing director of Robinsons’ pubs division explained.
“Ewan Harries and his management team have built a fantastic business over many years, and we look forward to working with them all as their great pubs join ours in a successful future.”
Individual Inns’ managing director Ewan Harries, added: “I am delighted that a family business has become the owner of Individual Inns. Our award-winning group (Best Pub Group, The Good Pub Guide 2018) is ripe for expansion and a continued desire for excellence. Robinsons has that desire.”
Urban Village Pub Company purchases former Epic site
Independent pub company, the Urban Village Pub Company, has added a seventh site to its portfolio with the purchase of 185 Watling Street Pub & Kitchen in Towcester – its first venue in Northamptonshire.
The former Epic Pub Company site joins Urban Village’s estate, which spans London and the Home Counties, after leisure property specialist Fleurets was instructed by Epic’s administrators to handle the marketing and sale of its estate.
The deal follows the sale of former Epic pub, the Golden Ball in Maidenhead, Surrey, to Brakspear in October.
“I am delighted to be able to welcome 185 Watling Street and the team, into the Urban Village Pubs group, and be able to bring the site out of administration, saving some 20-plus jobs in the process,” Ian Grundy, who co-founded the Village Pub Company with Gavin Drew, explained. “We believe this is a great opportunity in a lovely town and have plans for a refurbishment in the new year.
“We are very much looking forward to working with the team and the local community, to make 185 Watling Street a really strong addition to the centre of Towcester.
“I am sure the team will have a great Christmas in the meantime. They are very much looking forward to seeing many familiar and new faces over the next few weeks.”
Punch pub reopens after £360,000 revamp
The Coach & Horses in Freckleton near Preston, Lancashire, has reopened after a £360,000 makeover from 1,200-site operator Punch.
The rejuvenated site will offer regular live entertainment and regular live sport alongside a new seasonal menu with an extensive range of vegan options.
“The Coach & Horses is a fantastic pub and we are really pleased with the new look created through this epic investment,” Punch’s managing director, Andy Spencer, added.
“With licensees Jamie and Beth at the helm, we are confident that the pub will go from strength to strength, creating a real hub for the community to enjoy all year round.”
JDW eyes £200m pub investment
JD Wetherspoon (JDW) will launch a £200m spending spree as the giant pubco eyes new pubs, hotels, and improvement of its existing sites across the UK and Republic of Ireland over the next four years.
The venture is also set to open thousands of job opportunities, as reported by MA.
“We are looking forward to opening many more new pubs as well as investing in existing pubs over the next four years,” JDW founder and chairman Tim Martin explained.
“The fact that we will be creating approximately 10,000 jobs is great news too.”
£100,000 facelift for 16th century Kent pub
Kent-based pub operator and brewer Shepherd Neame has given the Queens Head in Boughton-under-Blean, a facelift to the tune of £100,000.
Built in 1590 and located near the historic brewer and operator’s Faversham headquarters, the new-look site will be run by husband and wife team Kate and Reuben Love, who have previously managed Shepherd Neame pubs in Dartford, Grove Green and Chislehurst.
“Kate and I wanted to try something new, so three years ago we decided to move to Spain and open a bar and restaurant,” Reuben explained. “It went really well but, this year, we decided to come back to the UK for family reasons, so we contacted Shepherd Neame to see if there were any opportunities available.
“When they showed us the Queens Head, we fell in love with its unique character, and could see it has massive potential.
“We enjoyed working with Shepherd Neame in the past and are really pleased to be back with them again. We have lots of plans for the coming months, but our primary aim is to ensure that our pub is at the heart of the local community, and everyone feels welcome here.
“We love what we do, and we are really excited about this new challenge.”
Thronbridge unveils new sites in Leeds and Birmingham
Yorkshire-based brewer and pub operator Thornbridge has rounded off 2019 by opening new sites in Leeds and Birmingham.
As reported by MA, the Colmore, on Colmore Row in Birmingham, opened on Monday 9 December while the Bankers Cat in the heart of Leeds city centre began serving today (Wednesday 11 December).
“We have been working towards our Birmingham opening for a little while now, so are delighted to see it coming to fruition,” Thornbridge Brewery CEO Simon Webster explained.
“To have Leeds opening at the same time and both in advance of what we hope will be a busy festive season is just brilliant. We can’t wait to unveil both venues because they are looking fantastic.”
There are also plans in the pipeline to expand the estate further into Manchester and Sheffield next year.
Punch invests close to £300,000 in West Midlands pub
The Birch Tree pub in Brierley Hill near Stourbridge, West Midlands, has reopened its doors after a £283,907 revamp breathed new life into the community venue.
“We are excited to be working with Punch to bring this beautiful pub back into the heart of the community,” licensee Diane Burton explained. “The response on Facebook has been overwhelming – 220 likes in 48 hours totally blew us away. So many positive messages of support have got us really excited to take on the new adventure.”
Punch managing director Andy Spencer added: “This is a significant investment in a traditional community pub, and we are really pleased with the new look created. We are excited to be working with Diane and Mark who bring a wealth of experience and expertise, which will ensure the local community will benefit from a terrific pub for many years.”
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