Property round-up

Twickenham Green Taverns and Oakman grow estates, Barkby eyes pub expansion

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Property moves: which sites have been revamped or changed hands in the past week?
Property moves: which sites have been revamped or changed hands in the past week?

Related tags: Property, Finance, Pubco + head office, Tenanted + leased

In addition to updates on a host of refurbishment projects, this week’s round-up includes expansion news from Twickenham Green Taverns and Oakman.

Twickenham Green Taverns acquires eighth site

Property agent Davis Coffer Lyons has found a new tenant for the Magdala in Hampstead after letting the pub to Twickenham Green Taverns on a new free-of-tie 15-year lease.

The operator already runs the Lyric in Soho, the Express Tavern in Kew Bridge, the Sussex Arms in Twickenham, the Corner House in Windsor, the Albion in Kingston, the Antelope in Surbiton and the Watermans Arms in Barnes in tandem with other companies.  

The site, which hasn’t been operational since 2014, will undergo a substantial refurbishment before opening under its new owners.

Davis Coffer Lyons acted on behalf of the landlord, Mulberry One Capital Limited.

“The Magdala is in an exceptionally popular urban location in an idyllic setting, with immediate access to Hampstead Heath,” Connie Start of Davis Coffer Lyons, said. 

“Twickenham Green Taverns is well versed with the location with the owner having grown up around the corner from the property.  

“They have started their refurbishment and are looking forward to opening its doors to the local community and beyond.”

JDW pumps £1.8m into city site

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) is set to start developing on a Leeds pub, spending £1.8m and creating about 60 jobs in the process. 

The Stick or Twist in Merrion Way first opened in 1997 but was demolished to create a new unit with student accommodation above.

The pub group will start building work on 5 April with the site expected to reopen in the summer (6 July).

As part of the refurbishment, the open kitchen will be double its original size and the overall site will be 25% bigger than the original and offer 4,000sq ft of customer space on one level.

It will also have outside terraces to the front and side of the building with bifold doors opening onto it from the pub.

Read more here

£3m plant-based restaurant and rooftop bar to open in Leeds 

New rooftop bar and plant-based restaurant, the Green Room, will open on Leeds’ Wellington Street this summer following a collaboration between young entrepreneurs Will Habergham and Pj Gardner.  

The pair, who have worked in in clubs, events, music and festivals for the past decade, began transforming the former members club near the new Channel 4 HQ and a short walk from Leeds City Station in November.

The developers behind the renovation, All Property Management, have ploughed £3m into the new venue, which will feature a 1,500 square foot roof terrace. 

“The rooftop terrace is our USP, and due to Covid, outdoor spaces are vitally more important,” Habergham said. “The terrace's size not only allows people to sit comfortably in an outdoor space but also allows to put any future social distance measures in place.  

“By day the terrace will make the perfect setting for people who need a relaxed environment to work from, brunches, lunches, and by night the perfect setting for after-work cocktails and sunset music led events. In the winter months, we plan to utilise the space for pop-up markets or similar outdoor events that have become so much more important over the last year. 

“We are so excited to bring our vision to life and create a unique and creative space where customers can enjoy the bar and restaurant and utilise the space to work from, or simply socialise.”


Two Turtle Bay sites close due to Covid  

As reported by The Morning Advertiser’s​ sister title MCA​, Caribbean bar and kitchen brand Turtle Bay has closed two UK sites at the tail of its estate for the “foreseeable future” after they were deemed to have become unviable during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

As well as shuttering the undisclosed sites Turtle Bay announced redundancies in its support centre a result of the crisis in in a full year financial accounts up to February 2020. 

While the group achieved like for like sales growth of 1.1% in 2020, resulting in adjusted UK EBITDA of £5.7m, total sales were down 14% driven by the closure of a site in Huddersfield.

Although the group made an £800,000 pre-tax profit, once adjusted for non-recurring items, its loss before tax was £6.3m. 

Turtle Bay paid down a further £4.2m of its bank term loan, while reinvesting £1m into its estate through refurbishments – which included the completion of major projects in Ealing, Birmingham, Leicester, and Cardiff.

Barkby eyes post-pandemic pub expansion

According to reports by MCA​, the Barkby Group is weighing up the acquisition of leasehold pubs in anticipation of further expansion opportunities as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The operator said its pub division’s short-term strategy remains to grow under a combination of leasehold and freehold acquisitions and, while looking to take advantage of forthcoming opportunities, will proceed with caution as short-term trading conditions remain uncertain.

“Barkby has weathered the Covid-19 pandemic largely due to the success of our highly cash generative commercial property development business and activity has resumed apace,” Charles Dickson, executive chairman said. 

“As we come out of lockdown, our pubs and coffee business are poised for significant growth and a return to profitability.  

“Our liquidity is strong and the diversification of the business means that the group is in a strong position to benefit from the lifting of Government lockdown restrictions. 

“We look forward to the next 12 months with confidence.”

Oakman acquires six Seafood sites

Hertfordshire-based multiple operator The Oakman Group has acquired six pubs from the administrators of Seafood Pub Company.

Furthermore, former managing director and founder of Seafood, Joycelyn Neve will also be joining Oakman to head up the new Seafood Pub division, which will initially be based in the north.

The new sites restore 150 jobs and mean Oakman is on track to have 40 venues in its estate by the end of this year.

Oakman Group CE Dermot King said: “I am delighted we have acquired these sites, which will be the foundation stone for the third brand within our group – with the Seafood Pub Joining the Oakman Inns and Beech House brands within our portfolio.

“Furthermore, these acquisitions will represent the next stage in our strategic development as we look to extend our boundaries beyond our Home Counties heartland. 

“There is significant untapped potential in the premium pub sector and I am not placing any upper limits on our ambition.” 

Read more here


Rent debt remains ‘biggest gap’ in hospitality support

Despite broadly welcoming the provisions set out in the Spring Budget, trade body UKHospitality has flagged a ‘£2bn millstone’ still faces pub, bar and restaurant operators.

Revealing his plans to address the UK economy’s largest contraction in more than 300 years, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak outlined a number of measures to help pub and bar operators continue to weather the ongoing pandemic – including extensions to the 5% VAT rate, business rates holiday and alcohol duty freeze.​​

However, despite broadly welcoming support measures outlined by the Chancellor for ailing hospitality businesses, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls explained that the failure to address sector rent debt remained the “biggest gap in support”.  

“We need the Government to announce an extension of the moratoria at the earliest opportunity and work with industry to establish a landing zone to resolve this £2bn millstone around our recovery,” she explained.

Read more here

North Yorkshire pub and caravan site sold for £540k

The White Swan, a 30-cover pub and 42-pitch caravan park at Newton-on-Rawcliffe near Pickering, has been sold for £540,000.

New owners, Bridlington-based Guy and Melissa Hornby have acquired the business and are carrying out intensive refurbishment ahead of the Government’s planned 12 April reopening of holiday accommodation and beer gardens.

“We are investing a six-figure sum in doing up the pub and the caravan site, both of which have been well loved by the community and visitors alike, but which have become rather neglected over recent years,” Guy Hornby said.  

“We are already fielding an influx of bookings and enquiries from people extremely keen to secure a UK holiday and our location, here on the North York Moors, couldn’t be better. 

“The clock is ticking as we count down to being able to open the pub next month to serve meals and drinks in our large beer garden, as well as welcoming our first guests to the caravan site. 

“Right now, we’re in the process of completely refurbishing the pub and beer garden so that they are modern, clean and bright and the White Swan becomes an asset to the village of Newton-on-Rawcliffe once again.”


Communities can bid for £250k to save local pub

Brits will be able to use a £150m fund to help them take ownership of pubs and other community venues at risk of closure.

Communities can bid for up to £250,000 to save their local, through the UK-wide Community Ownership Fund.

It is a four-year scheme and will open this summer, offering groups matched funding for the money they raise to buy a local asset. 

Communities can apply to the Government to double the money they have raised.

Read more here

Ground broken on £250,000 joint venture between Star and Webb

Heineken’s on-trade arm, Star Pubs & Bars, and Devon-based family-run pub company Webb Enterprises have begun work on a £250,000 refurbishment of the Saddlers at Lympstone in time to resume trade at the end of May. 

Webb Enterprises has four leased food-led pubs in Devon in addition to the 17th​ century Saddlers, which it took on in 2015

“Demand outstrips supply at the Saddlers most weekends and all week, and during the tourist season we regularly have to turn customers away,” Keith Webb, founder of Webb Enterprises, said. “We’ve built up a loyal local following year-round and get a lot of tourist trade. 

“Despite Covid, I’m confident to invest and that this refurbishment will pay off. People are desperate to get back to pubs and, if the experience is right, there’ll be no problem getting customers through the doors. 

“Last summer was the busiest ever at all our pubs. Local holiday cottage owners are reporting record bookings in Devon this year. With the staycation market so strong, summer 2021 should be a bumper one if restrictions completely lift in June. A good summer is key to bouncing back and the refurbishment will help with this.”

John McKay, Star Pubs & Bars area manager for Devon, added: “Webb Enterprises has taken the Saddlers from strength to strength over the past five years. 

“The development of a new dining area and the transformation of the bar will build on the pub’s success, allowing it to maximise its potential and cater for all occasions. 

“We’ll be working flat out so that the pub can open as soon as possible.”


Related topics: Property law

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