Shepherd Neame sinks £1.5m in sea change for waterside pub
The Wharf in Dartford’s Crossways, Kent, reopened on 29 August after brewer and pub operator Shepherd Neame invested £1.5m into transforming the waterside pub.
Work on the refurbishment began in January, however it was suspended in March due to the lockdown which saw contractors barred from the site until July.
A new wrap around terrace and outside bar have been added to take advantage of the pub’s location overlooking Cotton Lake while its large garden has been fully landscaped with new plants, furniture and lighting.
What’s more, the Wharf’s interior has been reconfigured with the removal of a mezzanine dining area and overhauling its bar to create a more spacious, open feel.
“We are absolutely overwhelmed by the Wharf’s new look,” manager Marc Watson said. “This investment has completely transformed the site and allowed us to make the most of our unique waterside location.
“We have already received an amazing amount of positive feedback from customers and hope that this refurbishment will encourage more people to visit and discover our fantastic offer.”
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame added: “We are incredibly proud of this project, which represents a significant investment not just in the Wharf, but the local area, supporting local suppliers and contractors.
“During these challenging times our priority is to protect our team members and customers, while continuing to offer an authentic and engaging experience in distinctive and individual pub environments.
“We are confident that with its unique location, stylish new look and premium food and drink offer, the Wharf will prove a popular destination for customers from across Kent and farther afield.”
Inn Collection Group acquires 15th site
The Inn Collection Group has added a 15th site to its stable of pubs with rooms across the north east with the purchase of the Churchill Inn in Ambleside, Cumbria – its fifth venue in the lake district.
The multi-million-pound deal for the 20-bedroom Inn is the group’s second Lakes acquisition of 2020 and its second venue in Ambleside after the Ambleside Inn.
“We are delighted to have added a second Ambleside site to our estate,” The Inn Collection Group’s managing director Sean Donkin said.
“We’re looking forward to unlocking the venue’s full potential and investing in what will be a valuable new addition for locals and visitors to the Lake District here in Ambleside as we continue to grow our customer base and group foothold across the north of England.”
The Churchill Inn will be closed temporarily before trading independently until major redevelopment work can begin later this year.
BrewDog confirms Plymouth expansion
Independent brewer and bar operator BrewDog has confirmed it will open a 4,000 sq ft site at Plymouth’s new leisure and entertainment development, The Barcode.
BrewDog will join Five Guys, Nando’s, Cosy Club, Zizzi and Paradise Golf at the British Land development next to Drake Circus in the city’s centre.
“BrewDog is a fantastic brand, which compliments The Barcode’s restaurant and bar offering and will enhance the overall appeal of the new leisure development for our customers,” Alice Keown, leasing director for restaurants and leisure, British Land, said.
“Their decision to commit to Drake Circus, amidst uncertainties in the retail market and Covid-19, is a strong endorsement of the centre.”
Greene King purchases Shropshire site
Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator Greene King has added the Riverside Inn in Cound near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, to its estate of more than 2,500 sites.
"We can confirm that we have purchased the Riverside Inn,” a statement from Greene King explained.
“We will undertake an extensive refurbishment and it will reopen as a Chef & Brewer sometime in early 2021. That is about as much as we can say at present."
As previously reported by The Morning Advertiser, Greene King recorded losses of more than £270m in the 52 weeks to 26 April 2020 in its latest trading update.
£85,000 foundations set at Bricklayers Arms
The Bricklayers Arms in Southampton reopened on 24 August following an £85,000 joint refurbishment with Chester-based community pub operator Admiral Taverns.
Found close to the Port of Southampton, the revamped pub reopened for the first time since lockdown boasting a new bar and cellar system as well as an overhaul of the site’s furniture and carpets.
“It’s a dream come true to be back behind the bar at one of our favourite pubs we know so well,” Patricia Ribton said of returning to the pub. “The pub needed a freshen up, and it’s great to see it looking brand new again.
“The feedback we’ve received has made the wait to reopen worth it, and it was great to work with Admiral Taverns to make our vision for the pub a reality.”
Nick Lawson, business development manager at Admiral Taverns added: “It’s very exciting to welcome back two friendly faces to this magnificent pub, who are very well known in the area.
“We are confident that the vision ourselves and Patricia and Steve have set out will ensure great success of the pub.
“The refurbishment looks amazing, I would certainly recommend a visit for a great day out.”
Fierce Beer confirms English debut
Aberdeen-based brewer Fierce Beer’s will open its first site in England on 4 September after acquiring 57 Thomas Street in Manchester.
Available after former occupant Marble Brewery rolled out of the Northern Quarter site, visitors can expect 15 draught lines pouring Fierce’s core range and rotating specials on top of an extensive selection of canned and bottled craft beers as well as gins, rums and other spirits.
"We hosted a bar at Indy Man Beer Con 2019 festival, and the reception we received from the city was so overwhelmingly welcoming that we decided we needed to find our own place in Manchester,” Fierce Beer managing director Dave Grant told Manchester Evening News.
"It is a particularly challenging time to be opening a new bar, but now is the right time for us. When an opportunity to open in the Northern Quarter appeared, we couldn't turn it down."
Craig Cargill, bars manager, added: "Many of our favourite UK craft beer spots are in the Northern Quarter, and we can't wait to join that community.
"We want as many people as possible to be able to try our beer and spirits, which is why we're expanding. We'll be hosting tutored tastings, offering tasting boards and talking to as many drinkers as we can."
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