Property round-up

Yummy Pub Co disposal allows ‘freehold focus’ and first-time operator buys CAMRA award-winner

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

Yummy Pub Co announced the sale of a historic London pub, while Priory Inns North West, St Austell, Grace Land and Bear gave updates on site makeovers.

Yummy Pub Co to focus on freehold acquisition

Yummy Pub Co has sold the Clarence in Stoke Newington, London, off an asking price of £125,000 to multi-site operator Robert Webster Shaw.

Shaw, who operates Wells & Co site the Anchor & Hope in south London, as well as the Canton Arms and the Magdalen Arms, both in Oxford, will take on the 19th century pub that has been owned by Yummy since 2015.

“An efficient sale process means that we can now focus our continued growth through freehold acquisition,” Yummy Pubs co-founder Anthony Pender explained.

“This has been a great opportunity for the purchaser to add to his portfolio and shows that the pub market is still strong when we are looking at selling quality pubs,” Christie & Co director Stewart Harkness who handled the sale and added.

Former CAMRA pub of the year sold to first-time operator

The 16th century Bell Inn in Romney Marsh, Kent – CAMRA Pub of the Year in the Ashford, Folkestone and Romney Marsh area on four occasions between 2010 and 2016 – has been sold to first-time publican Sarah Litchfield from an asking price of £545,000.

The pub, which hosts an annual three-day beer and cider festival, was sold by previous owners Vanda and Mark Rolfe after 13 years at the helm after making the decision to sell and retire from the on-trade.

“We are happy that the pub sale has now completed and would like to thank James and Christie & Co for their help throughout,” they explained. “They have helped to push the deal through and were always on hand when needed. We now look forward to being able to do all the things we would like to.”

The Bell

Priory Inns North West hits double figures with Star site

Priory Inns North West has taken on its third site with Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars, after taking on canal side watering hole the Big Lock in Middlewich, Cheshire, with the 2,700-pub operator.

Based in Warrington, Cheshire, the multiple operator will revamp its 10th site – the seventh in its home county – to the tune of £480,000 in tandem with Star.

The new and improved Big Lock will be closed for six weeks while work takes place, before reopening in time for Easter and creating 16 new jobs.

“The Big Lock has a fantastic canal-side setting and so lots of passing trade from walkers to boaters,” Priory Inns North West’s director Neil Sparkes said.

“It just needed some TLC to bring it back on track. The area has also had a lot of new houses built recently so is ripe for the pub and coffee shop that we’ll be opening at Easter.”

North West

Parish council buys former Greene King pub

Closed since 2017, when it was sold by Greene King, the Station in Knebworth village, Hertfordshire, has been purchased by the local parish council off an asking price of £595,000.

Built in 1883, the Station was originally built as part of the Knebworth village development by the Lytton family of Knebworth House and is considered both a historic landmark and a potentially valuable community asset as Knebworth’s only pub.

Found opposite the village’s train station – which sees 500,000 travellers passing through every year – it is hoped the recently reopened site can be established as a regular haunt for visitors and locals alike.

“We received a large amount of interest in the property that led to several offers being put forward,” according to Christie & Co business agent Tim Widdows, who handled the sale.

“We were pleased that the eventual buyer was the local parish council, which will ensure the future of this important community asset.”

The Station

St Austell reopens Grade II-listed Harbour Light

Cornish beer maker and operator of 182 West Country pubs, St Austell Brewery, has unveiled a new look for Paignton pub the Harbour Light after a six-month transformation.

One of St Austell’s 35 pubs in Devon, the Harbour Light is part of Torbay Council’s port masterplan devised to upgrade the historic harbour-side area for residents and visitors to Paignton.

“We’re delighted that the Harbour Light is now officially open,” Steve Worrall, managing director of St Austell Brewery’s pubs, inns and hotels said.

“Having worked closely with town council, harbour committee and the Torbay Development Agency throughout the restoration, we’re so proud of the finished result – a family-friendly venue, in an amazing position with unrivalled views across the harbour.

“It’s perfect for people looking to recharge and refuel, whether they’re taking a break from a sailing trip, exploring the town, or taking a walk along Paignton’s seafront.

“We look forward to welcoming local residents and visitors to the area.”

Harbour Light

Grace Land to open sixth site

London-based pub operator Grace Land is poised to open its latest site, the Bethnal Green Tavern, after adding the east London pub to its now six-strong pub portfolio.

Backed by the founders of Barworks, Grace Land has transformed the site previously known as the Misty Moon ahead of its reopening in mid March.

“We have got the Kings Arms just down the road and this is a prominent corner site we’ve had an interest in for a while,” managing director Anselm Chatwin said ahead of the venue’s relaunch.

Bear announces sixth site

Coffee house, kitchen and bar brand Bear has announced its sixth site will open in Northwich’s Barons Quay development.

Offering seasonal fresh food, cocktails and craft beer in addition to speciality coffee, Bear’s Cheshire launch joins its four sites across the Midlands and outpost in Paperchase’s flagship store on Tottenham Court Road, central London.

"We are excited to announce the opening of our new store in Barons Quay on 16 April,” Bear Northwich’s store manager, Sam Nowzady, said. “This will follow an exciting family-focused pre-launch event, which will be publicised in the coming weeks. The store fit-out is well under way, so it won't be long before the espressos (and Espresso Martinis) are flowing.

"We want to work closely with the community of Northwich, so we encourage people to pop in, speak to the team and let us know what we can do to support your business, charity or local event. I can't wait to become a familiar face to you all, along with the rest of my team."


Chestnut acquires first pub in Norfolk

East Anglian pub and restaurant operator Chestnut has added the Globe Inn in Wells-next-the-Sea to grow its pub estate to 11 sites.

As Chestnut’s first venue in Norfolk, the Globe boasts a pub, a restaurant, and 19 en-suite bedrooms.

“We are really excited to welcome the Globe Inn into the Chestnut Collection,” founder Philip Turner said.

“Having been looking to extend our East Anglian footprint into Norfolk for the past two years, we were extremely pleased to discover the Globe Inn with its great location, successful business and talented team all sharing our vision and values to champion the best of the region.

“I always enjoy visiting the area, which is fast becoming a go-to destination.”

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