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Brakspear acquires 16th pub, Bale announces mini-golf bar plans and Fuller’s £2m investment

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

New openings: Fuller's and Ei Publican Partnerships were among those to make investments in reopening pubs last week
New openings: Fuller's and Ei Publican Partnerships were among those to make investments in reopening pubs last week

Related tags: Property, Brakspear pub company

Brakspear added its 16th site to its managed portfolio, while Fuller’s and Ei Publican Partnerships reopened sites after major refurbishments.

16th pub for Brakspear 

Pub operator and brewer Brakspear announced the purchase of a site in the Cotswolds, with the acquisition of the Egypt Mill in Nailsworth, near Stroud. 

This takes the total number of sites on the group’s roster to 16 sites across the Cotswolds and south-east.

The pub has 32 bedrooms and can cater for weddings and large events of up to 150 guests.

Brakspear said it had no immediate plans to make any changes to the pub and would retain the current staff team, who worked under the previous ownership of the Webb family.

Gareth Bale mini-golf venture

Wales and Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale announced he will launch an underground mini-golf bar and restaurant space in his home city of Cardiff.

It will be called Par 59 and be situated in the basement of the Capitol Shopping Centre in the city centre. Plans include two adults-only, mini-golf courses, and two large bar and dining rooms.

It comes after a new partnership between Bale’s company Elevens Group LTD and Welsh entertainment provider The Depot.

There will also be two independently run kitchens, offering sushi and Japanese food as well as buttermilk-fried chicken from local traders.

The project was initially hoped to open this summer.

Christchurch pub gets £2m refurb

Pub group Fuller’s reopened the Bear of Burton in Christchurch, Dorset, last week following an extensive facelift.

The pub has been revamped with changes including a horseshoe bar and additional areas for informal and formal dining, including rooms for hire.

The site contains 10 bedrooms, which contain four-poster beds and feature roll-top baths.

Interior design within the pub has been inspired by the story of Goldilocks & The Three Bears​ because its author, Robert Southey, spent time living in Burton.

Newly appointed head chef David Basher hopes that food will be a big part of the pub’s offer, with a new menu. The pub’s breakfast menu includes three types of porridge in homage to Southey’s connection to the area.

16th century pub reopens

The Woolpack in Stonehouse, near Stroud, Gloucestershire, reopened after a £190,000 joint investment between publican Denise Jeffreys-Jones and Ei Publican Partnerships.

Ei Publican Partnerships, the leased and tenanted division of Ei Group, invested £150,000 in the revamp, which restored many traditional features.

The refurbishment included the restoration of a taproom bar area, snug and 36-seat dining area.

It is the operator’s second pub with the division, having taken over the high street site after operating the Cheese Rollers in Cheltenham since 2016. She will run the pub with her daughter Louise.

Six figure boost for Harpenden site

The Wheatsheaf site, located in the centre of Harpenden, Hertfordshire, received an investment of £200,000 towards its reopening.

The pub had planned a grand opening party to celebrate its new look launch on Thursday 19 March, however, it is unclear whether this will still take place.

Its offer will focus on sports viewing with five bookable booths and 12 TV screens for pubgoers.

The site has also introduced food offers including Wingin’ It on Mondays, Pie & A Pint on Wednesdays and Great Grills on Thursdays, in addition to a variety of vegetarian and plant-based dishes, such as meat-free masala and meat-free sausage rolls, on the menu.

New look for Lobster Smack 

A Stonegate-operated pub situated on Canvey Island, in the Thames Estuary in Essex, reopened this month (Monday 9 March).

The pub was refurbished with a new outside bar by the sea and the introduction of a children’s play area.

The bar features cask and real ale from local brewery Lea alongside premium ciders and spirits. Pubgoers can also create their own serves with a ‘build your own G&T’ menu that gives them options on glassware, tonic flavour, gin blend and garnishes.

Lobster Smack general manager Tom Odell said: “This significant investment has completely changed the feel of the venue both inside and out. 

“While the new-look décor is lovely and gives homely and cosy ambience, the transformation of our outdoor areas for me is astounding.”

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