Property round-up

Inglenook acquires 20 pub package, new seaside sites for Whitbread, Igniting Hospitality pub debut

By The Morning Advertiser

- 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 North west Tenanted + leased

In addition to six-figure refurb news from Admiral, Star Pubs & Bars and Punch, a number of new sites have been revealed.

Inglenook adds 20-strong pub package to growing estate

Lancashire-based Inglenook Inns & Taverns has announced the purchase of an unnamed north-west based pub operator comprising 20 freehold pubs in the Greater Manchester area. 

The firm behind a 50-strong estate of both managed and tenanted pubs adds to a portfolio already spanning Greater Manchester, the Midlands and Yorkshire. 

“Our business is based on family values – hard work, integrity, flexibility and fun, with an eye to the future,” James Waddington, CEO of the Inglenook Group said. 

“This acquisition is complementary to our core business and will enable us to realise the true value of the neighbourhood pub.  

“We look forward to working with our new publicans, helping them both to grow their businesses and create successful pubs which are pivotal to the heart of the community.

“Inglenook is also delighted to confirm a further multi-million-pound investment from a London based strategic investor to continue our business plan of acquiring quality wet-led community public houses in the North of England,” he added. “We are currently engaged with ongoing discussions and are actively seeking further acquisition opportunities.” 

Inglenook was advised on the investment and acquisition by Corporate Finance firm Princelet Partners. 

Whitbread announces pair of summer openings for Cookhouse + Pub

The firm behind Premier Inn, Costa and restaurant brands Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Bar + Block, has announced the opening of two new Cookhouse + Pub sites this month. 

The opening of Sandown Cliffs on the Isle of Wight and the Three Piers in Blackpool, Lancashire, brings the Whitbread-owned brand’s portfolio to 21 sites across the UK.

Both sites boast enviable seafront locations and are situated within Premier Inn hotels, but with separate entrances. 

The 164-cover Sandown and 215-cover Blackpool sites have been designed by York-based designers JMDA, and include a bar area, with a range of flexible seating and solo-dining booths, feature tables and semi-private dining areas.

“These sites represent fantastic opportunities for us and with 2021 being the year of the staycation we are looking forward to a busy summer for these seafront pubs,” Rebecca Donaldson, commercial marketing director at Whitbread Restaurants commented.


Igniting Hospitality launches first pub

A new hospitality group led by former Gordon Ramsay Restaurants and JKS operations director Simon King has launched its first pub location in Oxshott, Surrey, according to reports by BigHospitality​.

The firm was formed by King in 2020, with Matt Larcombe, former head chef and general manager at Heston Blumenthal's the Crown at Bray in Berkshire, brought on board as chef director.

The pair have now opened the Victoria in Oxshott, taking over a site previously operated by The White Brasserie Company.

King has more than 25 years' experience spanning all levels in the hospitality industry and has previously worked with Blumenthal's Fat Duck Group, and Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group in New York City.

18th​ century hotel sells off £575,000 asking price 

The freehold of the Lodgehill Hotel, a detached former farmhouse set in around two acres with views over the Exe Valley near Tiverton in Devon, has sold off an asking price in excess of half a million pounds. 

Dating back to 1785, Lodgehill Hotel trades as a licensed country hotel boasting a 22-cover restaurant and tea gardens and offering 10 individual en suite letting bedrooms, a lounge area with 16-cover bar, a kitchen with ancillary areas and two bedroom owners’ accommodation.

The venue’s grounds include a walled formal garden, lawned areas, a vegetable garden, a greenhouse and car parking space for around 16 vehicles.  

“The sale of Lodgehill Hotel to private buyers underlines the strong appetite across the south west for a wide range of hospitality and leisure opportunities,” Mike Phillips, director of selling agents Stonesmith commented.


£500k Punch investment transforms historic pub 

Merseyside pub the Pied Bull in Newton-le-Willows £500,000 has been transformed by a £500,000 investment by Punch Pubs & Co.

The revamped Pied Bull launched at the end of May under local management partners Nia Jones and Jade Carter who said: "We are so incredibly proud to be here at the Pied Bull.  

“This pub means so much to both of us and our community. It looks exceptional, and to see some of its beautiful historic features being bought back to life means that this pub truly stands out from the crowd. 

"So many memories have been made here, with lots of locals having a really strong connection to the pub. We can't wait to hear more of its stories and make many more memories. The feedback we've had so far has been incredible. 

“We are really enjoying welcoming guests back to safely reconnect and enjoy the pub and all we have to offer."


Hush members bar to launch in Leeds 

New members-only club Hush is to open in Leeds’ Hirsts Yard, above Mook cocktail bar, in early June.

The 70-capacity venue aims to provide an intimate modern backdrop with hints of opulence and glamour thanks to a £100,000. 

Hush offers its members exclusive private booths, table service and a private dancefloor as well as implementing a no social media policy to ensure what happens in Hush, stays in Hush.

The team behind the bar have gifted 100 exclusive gold membership cards to a handpicked selection of Leeds glitterati, including sportspeople, TV personalities and influencers so far.  

The concept is the brainchild of Stephen Clark from Mook, who commented: ''The VIP bar concept is certainly nothing new in Leeds, however, Hush offers so much more than your average members-only bar and has already caught the attention of the Leeds elite. 

“In a world where social media rules, privacy is more precious than ever and that's exactly what our members will receive – bespoke nights out, tailored to their every desire, in a space where they can let their hair down.

‘’Whether our members are looking to celebrate a birthday, a big business deal or simply let their hair down, our dedicated team will design the perfect night for them via our concierge service. We can’t wait to welcome our members this opening weekend.”


Somerset pub reopens following Admiral-backed revamp 

The Old Kings Head in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, has reopened following a major transformation by Admiral Taverns.

While the pub has been run by current licensees Glynn and Linzi Smith for the past three years, it has been in the family for more than 35 years having been passed down from Linzi’s parents.  

During the various pandemic lockdowns, the pair adapted and developed the pub’s garden to include a children’s play area, a fire pit, festival style lighting, two gazebos, seating pods and a spectacular outside bar.  

“We are delighted to be back open and welcome customers into the pub with all of the new improvements,” Glynn commented. “As soon as lockdown forced us to close, we were looking at what else we could offer the local community. It’s been amazing to see the reception from the locals who have loved what we have done, and we can’t wait to welcome more people back.” 

The interior of the pub has also been transformed, including new smart flooring, a sparkling new bar and repainted walls.  

“Glynn and Linzi have done a terrific job, and tackled the past year with an amazing attitude,” Phil Warne, business development manager at Admiral Taverns, added. “Both the inside and outside of the pub are looking fantastic and are worthy winners of the regional garden competition. 

“It’s also no surprise how connected the pub is with the community, they are always looking for new ways to support each other, whether that includes donating food to the local foodbank or most recently, raising money for the NHS.” 

Old Kings Head

Northwest-based operators take on second Star Pubs & Bars site 

Pub operators Chis and Jon Nevin have taken on their second pub with Star Pubs & Bars in 16 months after taking the helm at the Bay Horse in Worsthorne, Lancashire.

The pair are undertaking a joint £500,000 refurbishment with Star Pubs & Bars to transform the pub, which has been closed for over 18 months, into a village venue with new private dining space and a heated and covered courtyard. 

It’s estimated that 30 new jobs are being created as part of the project. 

The brothers re-opened the Golden Lion in Rainford, Merseyside, in 2020 following another major refurbishment.  

“Our plan is to build an estate of 10 pubs in the medium term, taking on a new site every six months,” Chris said. “We are located in the north west but are interested in sites in locations across the north, from Cheshire and the Lake District to West Yorkshire and the North York Moors.   

“Our business model is based on selecting sites with the optimal demographic guest base and transforming underperforming sites in suburban or village locations into businesses offering fresh food, premium drinks and excellent service. It’s all about putting the right team in place and doing simple things well.    

“The pandemic delayed our plans by six months but hasn’t deterred our passion for growth.  Our first venture at The Golden Lion has proved our business model is on the right track and ready to roll out through the correct site choices and major investment - all driven by great people, quality and service.”

Bay Horse

The Arch, Brighton, to reopen after refurbishment 

After fifteen months of closure, the Arch in Brighton, East Sussex, returns on Saturday 26 June following a full refurb, including a new sound system, two new arches and a packed summer events schedule. 

“Rather than resting on our laurels we decided to give this historic Brighton venue a new lease of life and committed to a big refurbishment, even though we did not receive the Arts Council funding,” Damien Fell, head of music at the Arch said.  

“The last year has been extremely challenging; to keep the business alive we built a take away bar from the venue's fire exit and dug in to get the job done.  

“The Arch is looking the best it ever has and I can only sit here in awe of the work that has been done by the team as we set to reopen on Saturday 26 June."

The Arch first opened in 1984 with the goal of being "a club for artists, run by artists who understand performers and their needs." 


Devon publicans open farmshop and café

Devon-based pub operators Selena and Steve Porter have opened a new farm shop and café at the Shipwright Arms in Shaldon near Teignmouth to help residents stay local for shopping as lockdown eases. 

The couple took on the pub in December 2019 just months before the first lockdown, and with many elderly local residents and a lack of services in the immediate vicinity, they soon realised there was a need for a farm shop and café in the area.  

They were able to renovate and transform a side room within the pub to create the shop with the help and a community services fund grant from Pub is The Hub.

“When we took on the pub we had only been open two months when we went into lockdown,” Selena said. “We got to know a lot of the people in the local area by offering our takeaway service and many local residents asked us to open a farm shop and café.”

“The farm shop and coffee area will be really important in providing not just food but company to many of our customers who have been isolated in lockdown and are desperate to meet and connect with others.”  

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Reg Clarke added: “Selena and Steve have come to the aid of local residents with the opening of the farm shop which sells local produce and items suggested by the community. 

“The café will also offer those living locally the chance to meet and socialise at a time when many of them have been isolated due to lockdown.”

Pub is the Hub
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