Property round-up

New sites for Trust Inns and Arc Inspirations

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 Finance Pubco + head office Tenanted + leased MA500

While multiple operators Trust Inns and Arc Inspirations have both announced expansions, brewer and pub operator Greene King announced the closure of more than half of its Loch Fyne sites.

Trust Inns acquires North Yorkshire coaching inn

Nationwide pub operator Trust Inns has added traditional coaching inn the Holly Hill Inn in Richmond, North Yorkshire, to its estate of more than 350 venues. 

Found on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the site of four deluxe en-suite bedrooms was previously owned and operated by Les Calvert, who made the decision to put his pub on the market and retire from the sector.

The pub was sold for in excess of a £625,000 freehold asking price. 

“The Holly Hill is a great example of a country pub with multiple income streams which have helped it to bounce back brilliantly since reopening after lockdown,” David Cash, associate director of specialist property adviser Christie & Co who handled the sale, explained.  

“We are currently seeing an increased demand from purchasers for hospitality businesses such as this, as many buyers look for an alternative lifestyle, whilst capitalising on the growing popularity for staycations. 

“As company we have brokered the sales of more than 100 hospitality businesses nationwide since 1 April and expect to agree many more deals in the coming months.”

Holy Hill

Family opens third site after £260,000 revamp 

A family based in Dartford, Kent, is poised to open their third pub in the town following more than a quarter of a million-pound investment from Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars.

Three generations of the family will be involved in running the Plough at Wilmington when it opens on 9 October, including David and Dilys Clack, who operate the nearby Dart as well as the Chequers in Darenth; their daughter and son-in-law Nicola and Chris Tume, and the Clacks’ two grandchildren, 20-year-old Billy and 18-year-old Freddy Tume.

The opening was initially scheduled for the May Bank Holiday but was delayed by disruption to the building work caused by lockdown.

Having worked at her parents’ pubs, Nicola Tume will take the reins at the Plough as its new licensee. 

“I jumped at the chance to take on the Plough – it's a dream come true to have a pub of my own,” she explained. “It’s a beautiful building with bags of character but was in need of TLC and investment to give customers the comfort and quality they deserve. It looks amazing now, and we can’t wait to show people their new-look local.

“I’ve worked with my parents since I was a teenager. It’s fantastic to have their support at The Plough and to be keeping up a family tradition by having my children involved, too.”

Dugald Macer, Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director for Kent, added: “Nicola and her family have a great track record of creating outstanding pubs in Dartford. 

“They've got brilliant local knowledge and understand what residents want. Under their stewardship, The Plough looks set to be another asset for the area.”

The Plough

Manahatta makes Birmingham move

Arc Inspirations, ​which operates 17 bars across the north of England under concepts including Banyan Bar & Kitchen and Box, is poised make its Birmingham bow with the opening of a site under its Manahatta brand. 

The Leeds-based multiple operator has secured the former Anarchy 45 Gym site at 10-12 Temple Street for a New York-themed cocktail bar to join the other half dozen Manahatta sites in Arc Inspirations’ growing stable.

Earlier this summer Arc Inspirations revealed  plans to introduce its Box sports bar concept to Deansgate in Manchester, securing planning permission for a venue to open early next year.


Punch tunes up Piper pub

Nationwide operator Punch has announced the reopening of Stowford Pub Company pub the Piper in Chester, Cheshire following an extensive revamp. 

According to Punch, the refit has enhanced the pub’s traditional feel by retaining a number of the Piper’s original features. What’s more, the site’s outdoor areas have been upgraded with its beer garden featuring new furniture and alfresco dining space.  

"The pub has truly been brought back to life,” Stowford Pub Company boss David Cottam told The Chester Standard​. “We're so excited to be welcoming guests back to see their new look local and we're thrilled to be providing wholesome freshly cooked food and great quality drinks in a relaxing and safe environment once again."

Punch’s senior operations manager Jannine Leadbetter added: "This is an exciting investment by Punch in a vibrant community pub and we are extremely pleased with the new look created here.

"By recognising great people like David and continuing to work with them, we have together developed an even better pub for the area and local community."

Kick-off for ‘London’s first’ foosball venue 

A venue its founders claim to be London’s first dedicated foosball bar opened on 30 September offering championship quality foosball tables, drink, pizza and bookable private areas.

Founded by the curator of the London Table Football Championship, North London’s Foosball Club will offer friendly tournaments in addition to a trio of retro arcade machines, each hosting 80 games each for some added entertainment. 

"It's great to finally give London a professional setup of foosball for everyone to enjoy,” Foosball Club founder JP Thompson said. 

“We wanted to capture all the fun and talent of the professionals and put it into a venue where all of London can enjoy. 

“We stock more table footballs in one place than anywhere else in town and hope that people have fun using them"


New tenant found for North Coast 500 pub

The Allangrange Arms, a small village pub situated at the head of Munlochy Bay on the northern shore of the Moray Firth, Scotland, has been sold on a leasehold basis off an asking price of £25,000.

The pub, found on the North Coast 500 driving route, had previously been run under management and offers new tenant, John Lockhart, the opportunity to further develop the business. 

The traditional detached property has recently been refurbished and features a 42-cover restaurant and public bar alongside a handful of en-suite letting rooms, a beer garden and a private car park with space for 20 vehicles. 

“Previously run under management, there is significant potential for John to firmly establish the business,” Tony Spence, the licensed negotiator at Christie & Co who handled the transaction, explained. 

“There is no immediate or local competition and the new owner will be able to build on its growing reputation for good food and high service levels.”


Greene King pulls plug on 11 Loch Fyne sites

Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator Greene King has announced the permanent closure of more than half of its Loch Fyne restaurants.

Greene King, which acquired the then 36-strong business for £68m in 2007, has revealed that it has shuttered 11 of its 21 venues, leaving the brand with ten restaurants, including sites in Edinburgh, Cambridge, York and the City of London.

The operator had previously explored a possible sale and disposed of a number of individual Loch Fyne sites the past 18 months. 

“It’s always a difficult decision to close restaurants, but we have decided to close 11 Loch Fyne restaurants as they are no longer viable,” a spokesperson explained.  

“We are working with our teams locally to try to find them a role in another of our sites. Our teams there are continuing to provide our customers with great service and fresh, sustainably sourced seafood dishes.”

Greene King

Former GBPA finalist to reopen after fire 

London’s Thirsty Bear, a finalist in the 2017 Great British Pub Awards’ Best for Sport category, will reopen on Saturday 17 October​ after fire forced it to close in July.

As previously reported by The Morning Advertiser (The MA),​ six fire engines and about 40 firefighters were called to the Thirsty Bear on Stamford Street in central London at 12.48pm on 22 July after reports of a fire. 

The incident came less than three weeks after the pub reopened on 4 July, following 105 days of enforced closure due to coronavirus after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called last orders in pubs on 20 March.

While the pub’s owners announced their intention to close "until further notice" following the blaze, a post on the Thirsty Bear’s Facebook page on 4 October apologised for being “a tad on the quiet side” and announced plans to reopen the venue on 17 October.


Two thirds of operators forced to consider restructuring or insolvency

More than two thirds (69%) of hospitality and leisure operators are having to weigh up insolvency or a restructure in light of unaffordable current rent levels, new research has found.

After quizzing more than 230 businesses in the trade, commercial lease restructuring firm Cedar Dean also found that 86% of London-based operators don’t think their new or existing terms are sufficient, compared to three quarters (77%) outside the capital.

The study revealed that just over a third (38%) of respondents have agreed new terms with the majority of their landlords.

“The results of our survey clearly show that the commercial property market needs a complete reset,” Cedar Dean CEO David Abramson said. “This obviously isn’t business as usual. 

“Many landlords still need to get their heads out of the sand and recognise Covid-19 has changed the game for the long term. This isn’t a six to 12-month issue.

“We’re seeing more company voluntary arrangements (CVAs), many of them unnecessary, because there is currently no mechanism for commercial rents to be revised down in the rent review process,” he continued. 

“However, this is not a quick fix. In the meantime, with over 80% of the sector still needing better terms, landlords and tenants must work together towards win-win agreements so that both parties can survive the current crisis.”

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