Property round-up

Almost half of Brits see local pub close, new sites for Cheshire Pub Co and Honesty Group

By Stuart Stone contact

- 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, Pubco + head office, Finance, Tenanted + leased

Nearly half of the population has seen a pub, bar or restaurant close permenantly in their local area during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, while Cheshire Pub Co and Honesty Group added new sites to their stables.

43% of Brits lose local pub

Global intelligence platform Streetbees has found that almost half (43%) of Brits have seen a pub, bar or restaurant in their area close permanently as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic​. 

This comes after new research from CGA and AlixPartners found that Britain has almost 25,000 fewer​​ restaurants, pubs, bars and other licensed sites open than it did prior to Covid-19 lockdown in March.

The latest Market Recovery Monitor revealed just over 90,000 premises across Britain were trading at the end of September, compared to around 115,000 licensed premises recorded by CGA in March.

Additionally, Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator Greene King has announced that it is preparing to close 79 venues and cut hundreds of jobs​​ due to a fall in trade.

The same set of figures also found that while half of Brits think pubs and bars should close temporarily to address the second spike, a quarter (24%) are against such a measure and a further 26% say they don’t know because everything keeps changing so quickly.

This comes despite 61% of respondents believing that calling last orders will make a difference to infection rates, with just over one-in-four (28%) of those quizzed dismissive of the difference pub closures could make and just over one-in-ten (11%) claiming they don’t know.  

Read more here


Cheshire Pub Co to open fifth site this autumn

North west-based operator Cheshire Pub Co will open its fifth site – the Churchill Tree, found in Grade II-listed Tenant’s Hall in 400-acre Alderley Park – this autumn. 

The latest addition joins the likes of the Dog at Peover, the Ship Styal, the Frozen Mop Mobberley and the Crown & Conspirator Bramhall in Cheshire Pub Co’s stable.

The Churchill Tree is named after a sweet chestnut tree planted by a young Winston Churchill in Alderley Park in the early 20th​ century.

Alongside a 160-cover restaurant, the 6,000 square foot site will feature a beer garden and focus on meals made from British produce alongside a broad drinks offer including locally sourced cask ales. 

“It’s all about creating a proper pub and keeping things simple, yet sophisticated,” a spokesperson from Cheshire Pub Co said. “Customers can cosy up by our open fires in the winter and soak up the sun while dining alfresco in the warmer months. 

“Our new venue at Alderley Park will give people a safe and happy place to visit during these unusual times.” 

Alderley Park managing director Dr Kath Mackay added: “Alderley Park is a fantastic place to live and work and we can’t wait for The Churchill Tree to open this autumn.” 

New owners for north east pub after 35 years

The Sutton Arms in Elton, near Stockton-on-Tees, has been sold off a freehold asking price of £580,000 after 35 years of family ownership. 

The large detached building, which sits on a large 2.4-acre plot on the outskirts of Elton, a village around four miles from Stockton on Tees, has been purchased by a local businessman.

The previous owner, Alan Flegg made the decision to sell to retire from the sector. 

“I am 74 now and think it’s about time I retired,” he said. “We had been trying to sell the business through another agent for a few years and hadn’t had much interest at all.  

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our 35 years at The Sutton Arms, and we’d like to wish all of our customers a fond farewell and all the very best for the future.”

David Cash, Director at Christie & Co handled the sale added: “We began marketing the pub for sale mid-July, shortly after the pub reopened following the Covid-19 lockdown.  

“We are currently experiencing an increased demand for sites of this kind so we were inundated with enquiries and received multiple offers within the first week from a variety of buyers – some wanted the pub as a trading business, others wanted it for potential conversion.

“We ran a best and final offers process and a number of prospective purchasers were left disappointed that their bids were unsuccessful. 

“I am thrilled to have achieved such a speedy result for Alan and wish him well in his hard-earned retirement.”


Honesty Group adds second pub to coffee shop stable

Honesty Group, the company led by cookery writer Romilla Arber, has added the Hartley Arms in Donnington Village, West Berkshire to its portfolio of nine coffee shops and the Crown & Garter in Inkpen, also West Berkshire.  

Reopening what was previously the Three Horseshoes following a refurbishment, Honesty Group will offer a changing menu dictated by the seasons, a selection of drinks from local distilleries, producers and breweries alongside a selection of classic cocktails. 

The operator has also launched a click-and-collect service for its local area, where customers can purchase bread, hampers, meat and deli items to be collected from their local Honesty venue.

Nineteenth century South Downs National Park inn sold 

The Trooper Inn, a long-established 19th century inn with accommodation near Petersfield in East Hampshire, is renowned as one of Hampshire’s finest old coaching inns and perched on the highest point in Hampshire, within the picturesque boundaries of the South Downs National Park.

The traditional pub and restaurant sits within an original building which dates back to the 19th century. A modern extension to the rear has added eight en-suite letting bedrooms in keeping with the site’s character.

“We wish the new owners well and have no doubt they will make it a real success,” former owners, Sarah and Hassan Matini explained.

Richard Wood, associate director – licensed and hospitality at Christie & Co who handled the sale added: “We are delighted to have facilitated he sale of the Trooper Inn, despite the ongoing difficulties that Covid-19 is bringing to the hospitality industry we continue to see strong interest in freehold pubs throughout the region, particularly those with accommodation that can take advantage of the growing staycation market”


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

Related topics: Property law

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