Property round-up

Birmingham set for trio of experiential sites, Roxy Leisure expansion, and a nurse’s first pub venture

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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Here are updates on a handful of new openings in Birmingham, plus Punch, Robinsons and We Are Bar reveal site news.

Roxy Leisure to open ninth site in January 2020

Multiple-operator Roxy Leisure is poised to open its ninth venue, Roxy Ball Room Birmingham, in Digbeth, in January 2020 following the successful launch of sites across northern and central England throughout 2019.

The competitive and social gaming concept has a site in each of Manchester and Nottingham, four in Leeds and two in Liverpool – the newest of which opened in May.

Roxy Ball Room Birmingham will offer leisure and gaming facilities, including a 10-lane bowling alley, Olympic standard ping pong tables, American pool, 18ft tournament standard shuffleboard and traditional arcade games.

“Digbeth shares our rebellious spirit and as the creative quarter of the city with a really interesting retail, food, drink and leisure offer it feels like the perfect home for us in Birmingham,” Roxy Leisure’s director Matthew Jones said. “We can’t wait to get our ‘game on’ in the second city, in 2020.”


We Are Bar Group acquires former Balls Brothers site

Multiple operator We Are Bar Group has acquired the site of former Balls Brothers venue Rocket near Bank in Central London – its 10th site in the City of London.

The group’s City of London sites comprise the Jamies Wine Bars chain, We Are Bar in Bishopsgate, Number 25 at Birchin Lane, Willy’s Wine Bar on Fenchurch Street, and the Crosswall, Minories.

“We are delighted that this transaction completed in time for the busy Christmas period,” Andy Frisby of leisure property specialists Fleurets who brokered the transaction on behalf of Balls Brothers explained. “The City of London is a vibrant area with a very strong midweek trade and, therefore, sites in the City are in high and constant demand.

“The unit is in the shadow of 22 Bishopsgate, the ‘vertical village’. This 912ft tall building will host 1.3million sq ft of offices but also a marketplace, London’s largest cycle park as well as gym facilities, boasting the highest climbing wall in the country.”

Local nurse to run revamped Birmingham pub

The Foaming Tankard in Nechells, Birmingham, is reopening under new licensee Sylvia Ferron following a £50,000 investment by Admiral Taverns.

Ferron, a nurse in her local community, is making her first inroads into the pub trade at the Foaming Tankard. While continuing to work part time as a nurse, she views the pub as a new opportunity to contribute to her local community.

“I am very excited to be taking on this new adventure and be able to give back to my community in a whole new way,” she explained.

“I want the Foaming Tankard to be a special place for people of all ages to come relax and enjoy themselves in a warm and inviting setting.

“Being a nurse, I am passionate at providing care to my patients. With the support of my pub staff, we will be able to extend this and provide care to a wealth of people in the community.”

Taking inspiration from Ferron’s family’s Caribbean roots, the pub will launch with a British and Jamaican fusion menu, with décor inspired by Caribbean climes.

Foaming Tankard

Daventry pub undergoes £150,000 Punch makeover

No 4 Brook Street at the Dun Cow in Daventry has been transformed by a £150,000 investment from Punch – the operator of around 1,300 pubs across the UK.

“I’m really excited to be here at No 4 Brook Street, working with Punch to bring this amazing bar back to life giving it a whole new identity as well as a sophisticated, quality look and feel,” licensee and multiple operator Steven McGeachey explained.

“The feedback we’ve had from customers so far has been brilliant and we have lots of plans to bring Daventry something a little different through premium cocktails and world beers.” 

“The transformation at this pub is fantastic and it’s great that we have an experienced operator in Steven taking it on,” Punch managing director Andy Spencer said.

“With Steven at the helm, we are confident No 4 Brook Street at the Dun Cow will go from strength to strength operating at the very heart of the community it serves.”.


Trio of experiential venues open in Birmingham

A trio of experiential venues – gaming concept Chance & Counters, social sports bar the Floodgate, and interactive baking experience the Big Birmingham Bake – have opened in Birmingham’s Creative Quarter, Digbeth.

The three businesses bolster an already eclectic mix of leisure, retail, hospitality and live entertainment venues in Digbeth, which includes Digbeth Dining Club, Baked in Brick, the Mill, the Arena, Dig Brew, the Mocking Bird and Ridding & Wynn.

The Floodgate brings ‘pit-pat’ table golf, baseball cages, curling and cocktails together in an ultraviolet-decorated former warehouse, while Chance & Counters offers more than 500 board games, local beer and cider.

What’s more, the Big Birmingham Bake sees award-winning concept the Big London Bake hit the Midlands, boasting 12 bake stations, a treasure trove of customisable decorations and guidance from a team of professional bakers.

The three concepts launch as Oval Real Estate, owners of the Custard Factory and 98 other buildings and sites in Digbeth, announce plans for a consultation on long-term plans for the area.

“We’re excited to welcome Chance & Counters, the Floodgate and the Big Birmingham Bake to Digbeth,” James Craig, founder of Oval Real Estate said. “We’re really proud of the eclectic and rich leisure offer we’re building across Digbeth; with so much to see and do the area is fast becoming a destination in its own right.”


Robinsons reopens Cheshire pub after £150,000 revamp

The Red Lion in Little Budworth, Cheshire, has reopened after undergoing a four-week, £150,000 transformation by Stockport-based brewer and pub operator Robinsons Brewery.

“The pub is a traditional village inn and with the help and support from Robinsons, we have worked together to lovingly carry out the refurbishment of the bar, restaurant and kitchen,” the Red Lion’s licensees Alan Duckworth and Carol Knott explained.

“We have been careful to maintain the pub’s quaint and traditional atmosphere but with a slightly modern twist while at the same time holding onto the building’s incredible past. In the first week, we saw customers old and new, all of whom love the new look and agree that it still feels like the traditional country inn that it always has been.”

Robinsons Brewery business development manager Trevor Strickley added: “The Red Lion pub has always been a great attraction in Little Budworth, and it was in need of a substantial investment to bring it back to life.

“The whole area, internal and external, has been freshened up, and is a pub for all types of customers to visit for some lovely pub food or a few drinks.”

Red Lion

Independent pub opens at Leeds development

Independent pub Hoist House has opened at the Wellington Place development in Leeds, West Yorkshire, taking 2,784sq ft of retail space on its ground floor.

Currently serving local ales, craft beers and lagers – plus an extensive non-alcoholic drinks offering – Hoist House will launch its dining offer in early 2020, which will feature Asian street food courtesy of Little Bao Boy.

Owner Geoff Thornton, who has operated Buca di Pizza, Epernay, the Pour House and Atlas in Leeds over a 20-year period, said: “My latest venture is all about going back to the heart of what a pub offers its community – a great selection of drinks, tasty bites to enjoy with friends and a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.

“We’ve set out the venue to put the bar at the heart of the space, surrounded by occasional furniture, comfortable sofas and, when the warmer weather returns, an outside seating area.”

To find out more about pubs for sale, lease and tenancy visit our property site​.

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