Greedy Gordons Group to open two pubs
Richard Gordon and Sonya Harvey, the co-owners of Northamptonshire-based Greedy Gordons Group who have run Punch pub the Red Lion at Cranford for the past four years, are poised to open two pubs, creating 60 new jobs.
The Pig & Waffle in Grafton Underwood, near Kettering – a private lease with Boughton Estates – will open in early June, while Grade II listed private lease the Snooty Fox in Lowick – acquired by the Greedy Gordons Group before the pandemic – will finally open its doors in early July.
“Our focus at present is being able to finally welcome customers into our wonderful new pubs and continue to safely maximise trade at the Red Lion,” Gordan said. “But we have an appetite for opening further sites in Northamptonshire, including Northampton, when the time and opportunities are right.”
London-based Garden Bar expands to BR1
London-based operator the Garden Bar will be opening the doors to a new site in Bromley, south London, on 28 May.
Garden Bar SE1 has been located in Elephant & Castle for several years and has become a favourite among celebrities and influencers.
The Group’s new site in Bromley BR1 will boast a 400-capacity outdoor space with multi-level terraces, including a roof terrace.
The full venue will open in stages over the coming months in tandem with street food vendors and micro-breweries.
West Yorkshire pub to reopen following £350,000 Admiral investment
The Boot & Shoe in Ackworth, West Yorkshire, will reopen on 28 May following a transformational £350,000 investment from pub operator Admiral Taverns and has partnered with the Budweiser Brewing Group as its principle brewer.
Operated by licensee Jamie Merrill, the Boot & Shoe has been a family run business since 2015, with Merrill looking after the pub with his parents — Sean and Liz.
“Our goal is to create a village hub that is friendly, relaxing and accessible to all,” Jamie commented. “I want the Boot & Shoe to be a place that everyone can enjoy, whether that’s for a meal with your family or friends, or a quick drink after work.”
“I felt strongly about making sure the food lends itself to a sharing environment, hence the pizza oven. We really are trying to establish that community feeling from the inside out and I’m pleased that live music will be returning on Saturday 29th May from 9pm.”
Punch and Big Smoke announce craft beer and food pub joint venture
Independent pub company Punch and Big Smoke Brew Co have joined forces to launch a collection of craft beer and food pubs across the southeast of England.
The operator of 1,300 pubs across the UK and Big Smoke will embark on a strategic partnership off the back of the longstanding relationship the beer maker’s founders James Morgan and Richard Craig have with Punch’s senior leadership team.
Seeking to expand a then four-strong stable, Big Smoke poured £210,000 into Punch’s Prince of Wales Townhouse in Hammersmith, west London, in tandem with the pub operator before reopening in October 2020 to grow its estate to five sites.
This was followed by a second joint project to revamp the White Horse in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, to the tune of £110,000 before resuming trade in April 2021.
Currently, Surrey-based Big Smoke operates seven sites – having recently launched Big Smoke Taphouse and Kitchen at Heathrow Terminal Two in tandem with Airport Retail Enterprises – as well as a gin distillery and a brewery.
Revere Pub Company announces 16th site
Revere Pub Company – the premium arm of Marston’s – is set to expand its portfolio with the launch of Hartford Hall on School Lane in Northwich, Cheshire, following a £500,000 revamp.
Formerly a nunnery and manor house dating back to 16th century, the pub will feature a 150-cover bar and dining space, 200-cover garden and 20 boutique hotel rooms.
“After a tough year for our industry, we are delighted to announce the latest opening of Hartford Hall on School Lane,” Matt Bygate, head of operations of Revere Pub Company said.
“In time for summer staycations, the new pub with rooms is a welcome addition to the Revere Pub Company family and marks the continued growth of the company.
“We look forward to establishing the pub in the heart of the local community and opening the doors to locals and staycationers alike.”
Robinsons details ‘multi-million-pound’ pub investment programme
Stockport-based Robinsons Brewery, which operates more than 240 tenanted and 20 managed pubs across north Wales and the northwest of England, has detailed a multi-million-pound investment programme including 20 significant refurbishments since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Investment, licensee support and training have been key drivers over the last year in particular,” William Robinson, managing director of the beer maker’s pub division, said. “We have invested a large amount of capital expenditure and completed just over 20 pub refurbishments.
“As a result, our pubs have traded well when the weather has permitted, with infection rates at very low levels and on the back of the success of the vaccination programme, the government must permit a full relaxation of restrictions from 21 June.
“We fully expect that outdoor areas will remain very popular; customer safety and great experiences are the bedrock of a great pub visit.”
Adnams forecasts return to full rent ‘later in the year’
Suffolk-based brewer and operator Adnams anticipates that its pubs will return to full rents later in the year provided there are no further regional or national lockdowns.
In an update on the London Stock Exchange dated 19 May, the owner of some 70 pubs across East Anglia said it is keeping “a weather eye” on the long-term future of its pubs and their tenants, and anticipates pubs returning to paying full rent later this year.
“We have continued to support our pub estate through cancelled and reduced rents throughout this challenging period and keep a weather eye firmly on the long-term future for our pubs and our tenants,” chairman Jonathan Adnams’ update explained.
“We anticipate pubs returning to full rents later in the year provided we avoid further regional or national lockdowns. The successful roll-out of the vaccine has come as very welcome news as have reports of their efficacy in those vaccinated.
“We are cautiously optimistic that the second half of the year will see some steps back towards normality in the economy leading to customers once again visiting pubs. We anticipate that our accommodation led businesses will benefit from reduced foreign travel this year.”
Butcombe opens first taproom
Liberation Group-owned Butcombe Brewing Co has opened the Whitmore Tap in Bristol, the brewer and pub operator’s first taproom, on the site of the former Penny pub on Whiteladies Road, Clifton.
Named after Butcombe’s founder Simon Whitmore, the Whitmore Tap will serve the full range of Butcombe cask, keg and bottled beers and cider along with seasonal beers and small batch brews.
“The opening of the Whitmore Tap is an incredibly exciting venture for us in that it’s our very first taproom and a real showcase of everything Butcombe Brewing Co stands for,” Jayson Perfect, group managing director of pubs and inns at Liberation Group said.
“Our award-winning food and drink will take centre stage in this beautifully designed, high-end and contemporary space where our guests can enjoy superb service and good old fashioned welcoming hospitality.”
Maureen Whitmore, wife of the late Simon Whitmore described the new site as a “wonderful and generous tribute”.
“He was very entrepreneurial, and his knowledge of brewing and pubs was vast which meant the brewery grew from strength to strength right from the start,” she said.
“I can’t tell you how proud and delighted we are as a family to see the brewery still going strong 43 years on despite these very difficult times,” she added. “We couldn’t have started the brewery without the help of all those who worked with us, some of whom are still there. I wish the Whitmore Tap the greatest success”
Admiral plots Hawthorn takeover – Sky News
According to reports by Sky News, Admiral Taverns is eyeing a takeover of community pub company Hawthorn in a move that would almost double the size of its 1,000-strong pub estate.
Sky News claims that Admiral is among a number of pub parties slated to table offers for Hawthorn before a deadline on Friday.
Hawthorn, which comprises just under 700 pubs, is expected to be valued at between £200m and £250m in any deal.
According to Sky’s reports, analysts cited groups such as Punch Taverns or private equity firms including Platinum Equity – which recently approached Marston's about a takeover – as among other potential suitors.
Young’s explores tenanted estate sale
London-based operator Young & Co's Brewery has appointed Savills to handle the potential sale of its tenanted pub business.
The tenanted arm of Young’s, known as the Ram Pub Company, comprises just over 50 pubs, and accounts for 5% of total revenue. Its managed pubs division comprises in the region of 200 sites.
The pub company made the statement to the London Stock Exchange following a report by Sky News explaining that it had appointed the property agent about the potential sale of its tenanted estate.
“The Company confirms that Savills has been appointed and that it is in discussions regarding a possible sale,” it said.
“There can be no certainty, however, that any sale will proceed.”
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Grade II listed South Downs pub purchased from £625,000 guide price
Specialist business property advisor Christie & Co has completed on the sale of the Three Crown in Wisborough Green, found on the edge of the South Downs National Park Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in West Sussex, off a guide price of £625,000.
The Grade II listed pub, which dates back to the 16th century, has been purchased by childhood friends, Nick Pigott and Rupert Burstow.
Pigott runs a successful property business while Burstow owns and remotely operates a hotel on the Isle of White.
“We are delighted to have a purchased the pub and look forward to welcoming customers following a full refurbishment,” they said. “We plan to retain the pubs charm and character, whilst giving it a fresh look and feel.”
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