Property round-up

Stonegate spends £400,000 at Epsom, St Austell adds two sites and palatial pub joins exclusive club

By Stuart Stone

- 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

Our latest property round-up features St Austell Brewery adding two hotels to its 182-strong south-west operation, Stonegate splashing the cash at Epsom and a Liverpool pub joining Buckingham Palace with Grade I-listed status.

Stonegate makes Epsom comeback after £400,000 fix

The Faraday in Epsom, Surrey, reopened its doors on 5 February after a £400,000 transformation by Stonegate Pub Company – creating 10 new jobs in the process. 

“We’re really excited about the new launch and can’t wait to welcome everyone to the new venue,” Tony Sadiku, general manager at the Faraday said. 

“Whether you’re a serial quizzer or new fresher, we’ve planned plenty of events for locals of all ages to take part in. Our brand new team are ready to launch and hope that customers enjoy the new surroundings, food and drink.”

St Austell adds two Devon hotels to managed estate

Cornish brewer and pub operator St Austell has added Dartmouth’s Royal Castle Hotel and the Royal Seven Stars in Totnes – both in Devon – to its 182-strong estate of pubs, inns and hotels across the south-west.

“Both award-winning hotels enjoy landmark locations and waterfront views over the River Dart,” Steve Worrall, managing director of St Austell Brewery’s pubs inn and hotels business commented. “Combined, the new properties will provide us with an additional 45 guest bedrooms, two award-winning restaurants and two contemporary bars – as well as private dining and event space. 

“The Royal Castle Hotel and the Royal Seven Stars remain open for business as normal, and we look forward to welcoming existing and new guests and to ensuring the hotels continue to play a key role in the towns’ respective communities and economies.”

St Austell’s new CEO Kevin Georgel – who succeeded James Staughton​ after five years as a non-executive board member – believes the addition of the two “iconic” sites supports the company’s plans to strengthen across the south-west following the addition of six new pubs in 2019.

“We are delighted to be announcing that the Royal Castle Hotel and the Royal Seven Stars Hotel are now part of our managed estate,” he added. “Both hotels fit perfectly with our existing portfolio – family-friendly venues, in popular locations, with unrivalled views and quality bedrooms.”

St Austell

Liverpool pub joins Buckingham Palace with Grade I-listed status

As reported by The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​), the Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool, has been upgraded to Grade I-listed status​ by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England – joining the likes of Buckingham Palace and Chatsworth House among the top 2.5% of protected historic buildings in England. 

A throwback to what’s being called the “golden age” of pub building in the late 19th century, the Nicholson’s pub was built from 1898 to 1900 and is the first purpose-built Victorian pub to receive Grade I status.

“We’re so thrilled to have received this listing,” Eamonn Lavin, manager of the Philharmonic Dining Rooms, said. “The Philharmonic Dining Rooms is one of the most famous pubs in Liverpool and to be granted Grade I-listed status we join a very small group of elite pubs across the country. It’s an incredible moment for us and is something we will always be proud of.”


Blind Tiger hunts down three new sites 

Multiple operator Blind Tiger Inns has grown its estate of wet-led pubs in the north-west to 18 by taking on the leases of the Station at Preston, the Park View at Burnley – both Lancashire – and the Victoria at Aigburth on Merseyside.

As reported by MA​, the operator – which works in partnership with Star Pubs & Bars on 17 of its sites – is also embarking on a £450,000 joint investment​ programme with Heineken’s pub arm across five of its venues. 

“It’s a buoyant market if you provide a great environment and experience,” Blind Tiger Inns’ managing director Chris Tulloch explained. “People tend to think of wet-led pubs as male-dominated, but we’re seeing a big increase in the percentage of female customers. 

“Customers want to see investment in their surroundings, so it feels special when they go out. The joint refurbishment opportunities provided by leased pubs are a major part of their attraction, and our good relationship with Star is one of the reasons we continue to take new leases with them.

“There’s a strong mutual trust, and we’re given the flexibility to use our own contractors. Plus their choice of brands works perfectly for our business model.”



£10,000 sought for Little Liverpool taproom 

Business partners Si Vanderbelt and Aggy Perreau are aiming to raise £10,000 to fund a complete overhaul of a former shop to create the Little Taproom micropub and distillery on Aigburth Road in Liverpool. 

Over the coming weeks, the pair will offer backers merchandise, discounted bar tabs and bottles of spirits distilled on site in exchange for their support.

“I got into this industry 25 years ago,” co-owner Vanderbelt explained. "Since then, I've evolved an idea of what the perfect little pub could be like. 

“Aigburth is the absolutely ideal spot for us to open, with a great sense of community and we've been overjoyed by the reaction to our plans."

More information on the Little Taproom crowdfund can be found here​.


Berkeley Inns breaks ground on £600,000 Derbyshire development

The operator of a handful of pub restaurants across Derbyshire and Staffordshire, Berkeley Inns, has unveiled plans for a £600,000 revamp of the Bluebell in Kirk Langley, Derbyshire. 

Two years in planning, the extensive refit will see the Bluebell close ahead of an anticipated reopening date on 1 May 2020. 

“I very much look forward to welcoming our regular customers back and creating what I hope will be a fabulous facility and experience for all,” Sophie Tillett, general manager at the Bluebell said. “In the meantime, our social media platforms and website will provide regular updates on these exciting developments over the next few months.”

Berkeley Inns managing director Howard Thacker added that the pub’s rebirth has been long overdue. “We are most grateful for the support received from locals over the past couple of years, while we have been through a long and laborious planning process,” he explained. 

“Hopefully, everyone will like what we do with the place, for sure, there will be a massive upgrade of the facilities and our ability to deliver the quality the customer demands.  

“We aim to provide a pub that serves the local community and the wider market, with great value in a welcoming and comfortable environment.”


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

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