Property round-up

Hickory’s expands to 13 sites, Sussex Inns adds sixth pub

By Stuart Stone

- 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 Star pubs & bars Sussex Tenanted + leased Pubco + head office Finance

The latest property round-up includes updates from Hickory’s Smokehouse, Sussex Inns and nationwide community pub operator Hawthorn.

Hawthorn eyes expansion to ‘at least double its estate’

Off the back of its announcement to float on the stock market, Hawthorn also told The Morning Advertiser (MA) ​that it is looking to significantly expand its portfolio.

Hawthorn announced plans to list on the stock market​​ as a standalone quoted business last week (Wednesday 14 April).

Parent company NewRiver stated it will look at the potential for an initial public offering (IPO) of Hawthorn after a strategic review meaning the pub group would launch as a separately-listed company.

CEO Mark Davies — who sits on the British Beer & Pub Association board, has steered the pub company since 2019 and served as chief financial officer at NewRiver for 12 years — will lead the IPO opportunity and step down from the NewRiver board in due course.

Future expansion is something Hawthorn is looking at, with high ambition to increase its estate significantly.

“You can't be too defined about. There will be natural thresholds that we will be targeting as a management team,” Davies said.

“We are 700 or so pubs today, we would like to get to 1,000 pubs at some point soon and we can probably get there quite quickly.

“Longer term, we could at least double the size of the platform from there or possibly go even further.”

Read more here


Hickory’s secures 13th site

As reported by The MA’s​ sister title MCA Insight​, Hickory’s Smokehouse has added a former Marston’s pub in Nuthall, Nottinghamshire to its growing stable. 

The Piper-backed group has taken the lease for the Oldmoor Lodge, continuing its tradition of taking former pub sites in the heart of local communities.

The property, Hickory’s 13th​, will undergo a wholesale revamp which will see the introduction of outdoor dining sheds, barbecue smokers, a fire pit and landscaped gardens. 

Hickory’s reopened the outside areas at all of its 11 sites last week, which it said have already been “hugely popular”, according to MCA. 

The group’s 12th site is due to open in Wilmslow in Manchester in June, while the Oldmoor Lodge is expected to open later in the summer.

Hickory’s is also said to be looking for additional site opportunities as it continues its growth throughout the north west and Midlands.

“In such a challenging year for us all, we’re delighted we’ve been able to open our outside areas to guests again and we’re thrilled to sign the lease on this new restaurant in Nuthall,” John Welsh, managing director, said.

“We work very hard to find places with rich history and culture where we feel confident we can make a positive and lasting impact to the community at large. 

“The site in Nuthall is a brilliant location and we look forward to working closely with everyone in the area to bring the unique Hickory’s experience to new guests.”

Rockfish and Salcombe Brewery Co launch collaborative terrace bar 

Rockfish fresh fish restaurant in Plymouth, Devon, and Salcombe Brewery Co. have announced that they are launching a new bar and dining area on the former’s outdoor terrace.

The new covered deck at the restaurant, which reopened on Monday 12 April, provides guests with a large outside area as part of a joint venture between the two award-winning West Country businesses.

“As hospitality businesses reopen, we are delighted to see the launch of the very first Salcombe Brewery at Rockfish bar in the trendy quayside area in Plymouth,” chairman of Salcombe Brewery Co., John Tiner explained. 

“Visitors will be able to relax in style, soak up the location and enjoy a range of Salcombe Brewery beers and cider alongside some fabulous seafood. 

“Not least, it is the perfect post-lockdown venue as it is a covered outdoor bar, with the added benefit of plenty of fresh sea air on tap.”

Mitch Tonks, owner of Rockfish added: “We have invested and completely revitalised the large outdoor space which overlooks the sea, is there anywhere better to sit and enjoy some great seafood and a cold beer?  

“We also have some great music and entertainment planned, it will have a laid back festival feeling. 

“Sutton Harbour is a wonderful part of the city, with the fish market, the marina and the National Marine Aquarium alongside the restaurant, you can enjoy great views and plenty of water activity.”

Cornish inn overlooking former home of Daphne du Maurier sold for more than £1m

The Old Ferry Inn in the village of Bodinnick, Cornwall – once home to author Daphne du Maurier – has been sold off a guide price of just over £1m.

The former coaching inn on the banks of the River Fowey was sold to Jenny and Mike West alongside business partner Paul Worswick, who are planning a mini refurbishment and recruitment drive ready before reopening on Monday 17 May. 

The day to day running of the Old Ferry Inn will be overseen by Worswick who was most recently the owner of 55 Yards in Newquay and 5 Yards at the Boathouse in Newquay harbour. 

“We are so excited to become the new custodians of the Old Ferry and are eager to begin restoring her to her full glory,” he said of the acquisition. 

“First off we are going to address some of the urgent bits of work needed as well as decorate throughout.

“We have a new executive chef coming onboard with some amazing plans for our food offering – we are also going to bring our distillery on site where we make our own gin, vodka and rum so we’re confident it’s going to become a real destination venue.”

Old Ferry

Shropshire community purchases the Kynnersley Arms

Leisure property specialists Sidney Phillips has announced the letting of the Grade II listed Kynnersley Arms in Leighton, Shropshire, to a group of the village’s residents after its regulars approached the owner with a view to taking on the lease as a community venture. 

“When the opportunity arose for us to take on the pub’s lease we were delighted. It’s a great village pub, and we are aiming to attract both locals and visitors from further afield” Mark Thorn, one of the new leaseholders, explained.

The pub is currently undergoing repairs and an extensive revamp with Leighton Pub Company aiming to open the venue during May.

“Our ethos is to provide consistently great food, using only the best quality local produce, in a relaxed village pub where everyone is welcome,” newly appointed manager Gareth Penny said.


Sussex Inns expands to six sites

Sussex Inns has expanded to six sites after taking a lease at the William Hardwicke at Bognor Regis following a £275,000 refurbishment with Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars. 

The venue joins Sussex Inns’ existing portfolio including the Town House at Arundel in West Sussex; the Horton Inn at Wimborne in Dorset; the Playground in Portsmouth, Hampshire; and the Vestry and Southgate Sushi, both in Chichester, West Sussex. 

A revamp has sought to maximise the pub’s 200-seated outdoor space, adding an outside bar and new gazebos at the front to provide sheltered seating for a further 40 people.  

“The William Hardwicke is the oldest and one of the biggest pubs in the town,” Sussex Inns managing director Iain Brown says. “It’s a Bognor Regis institution and well loved by residents. 

“The pub has been a cracking venue in the past that has catered for all ages. We want to recapture that success with a chameleon offer providing great quality and service whatever the occasion.” 

Star Pubs & Bars operations director for the South East, Dugald Macer, added: “We’ve been delighted to support Sussex Inns at the William Hardwicke. 

“They’re incredibly professional operators with a real understanding of the local market. 

“Their business model for the William Hardwicke taps into multiple revenue opportunities and unlocks the pub’s massive potential. 

“The pub looks superb and, with staycationing on the increase, is set for a fantastic summer.”


Crazy golf concept Pop Golf to open at Boxpark Wembley

Launching on Monday 17 May, Pop Golf features a course of nine pop-themed holes paired with a sound system and is designed to offer the experience of stepping straight into a music video, according to its creators.

Partnering with brands including Karma’s organic soda range, Toast lagers and IPAs, Lollipop cocktails, Salty Dog crisps, Green Cola and more, Pop Golf aims to celebrate independent and ethical drinks and snacks brands.

Owner of Pop Golf and founder of the Mighty Adventures chain of family adventure golf parks, Allan Saud, explained: “Our mission with Pop Golf was to create a rich experience that tells a story. 

“This is not just another standard crazy golf course, this is a celebration of music. From the design to the innovative and sustainable drinks menu, to the team behind it and the brands we’re partnering with, pop music has led the way. 

“We want our guests to rock up to Pop Golf, have an awesome time and leave feeling that music has the power to change the world.”

Pop Golf

Glastonbury inn sold to first-time buyer

Seventeenth century riverside pub the Sheppey Inn in Glastonbury, Somerset, has been snapped up by a local first-time buyer.

“My partner Tamsin and I bought the Sheppey Inn because we loved the quirky décor, relaxing ambiance and laid-back vibe, and we did not want to lose the local pub that we knew and loved to a buyer that may wish to change the current setup,” the site’s new owner, Ben Costigan – a freelance photographer who lives in a neighbouring village – said.

“We will strive to keep the Sheppey the same pub that people know and love for the foreseeable future, with music nights, great food and its general eccentricity that makes the pub so fantastic.”

The inn, which features three boutique-style letting bedrooms, sits in a former cider house and is renowned for its riverside beer garden and terrace, range of craft beer and local ciders, as well as regular live jazz and folk music. 

The pub is located four miles from the towns of Glastonbury and Wells and neighbours several nature reserve site at West Hay, Shapwick and Ham Wall.

Costigan purchased the pub from Mark Hey and Liz Chamberlain, who owned the Sheppey since 2010. 

During their tenure, the pair developed a sizeable social media presence for the pub, which currently boasts almost 10,000 followers on Facebook.

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