Property round-up

Big Drop, NWTC, Whitbread, Purity and Prospect Pubs & Bars plot on-trade expansions

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 New world trading company Purity brewing company London Ipswich Big drop brewing co Whitbread

Brewers, national hospitality firms and regional operators alike have provided updates on estate growth plans over the past week.

Purity joins forces with the Culpeper Family Hospitality Group 

Purity Brewing Company and award-winning pub operator the Culpeper Family Hospitality Group have announced a new business partnership to join forces in London. 

Founded in 2012 with the acquisition of the Culpeper Pub in Spitalfields by co-founders Nico Treguer and Gareth Roberts, the Culpeper Family Hospitality Group has grown into a four-strong group of boutique premium pubs across London led by managing director Sandy Jarvis.  

As part of the long-term training and business partnership, Paul Halsey, CEO and co-founder of Purity Brewing Company, will join the operator’s board while the Culpeper Family Hospitality Group will also stock a range of Purity cask, keg and packaged brands.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Purity to strengthen our presence in London.’ Halsey said. “I’ve long been an admirer of Nico and his team’s professionalism and constant drive for excellence.  With their diverse group of pubs, each with their own personality and charm, they never fail to impress me with quality of service and offering”

Treguer added that strengthening his group’s partnership with Purity felt like “an obvious next step”.

“As a long-standing customer of Purity’s, we have always shared the same high quality, sustainability and community values,” he added. “Combining this shared ethos with Paul’s extensive knowledge and expertise in hospitality, we are excited to work a lot more closely together for years to come.”


New lease for the Ebrington Arms in Gloucestershire 

The Barkby Group has announced that Barkby Hospitality has entered into a new six-year leasehold agreement for the Ebrington Arms, in Ebrington, Gloucestershire. 

The Ebrington Arms, a 17th​ century village pub with five luxury rooms, holds two AA Rosettes and has been rated as The Times’​ number one UK village pub, while The Daily Telegraph​ rated the pub as the best UK Pub for Food. 

The latest lease is a further expansion of the Group’s portfolio of pubs with accommodation, which now consists of seven premises with a total of 60 rooms. 

“I am delighted to add the Ebrington Arms to our exceptional portfolio of award-winning pubs with accommodation,” Charles Dickson, executive chairman of Barkby Group said. 

“The pub offers customers a high-class drinking, dining and sleeping experience, as demonstrated by its host of ‘best of’ awards, and I very much welcome them into the Barkby Group.

“I am pleased to report that recent trading within Barkby Pubs has been very strong since the end of national lockdown,” he added. “The division is benefiting from staycations due to restricted international travel and a pent-up demand for hospitality, based on current bookings we expect this trend to continue throughout the summer.”

Big Drop raises £6.5m equity, plans central London venue

Independent alcohol-free beer company, Big Drop Brewing Co has raised £3.5m in equity investment which will help it fulfil plans for the rest of the year including a new London venue.

“Big Drop has seen fantastic growth over the last few years, due in no small part to the hard work, commitment and belief of our brilliant team,” Rob Fink, CEO and founder of Big Drop, said.  

“This investment will give us the turbo-charge needed to build on our mission to brew great tasting beer that just so happens to be alcohol-free and to pursue our vision of being the world’s best-loved alcohol-free beer.”

David Atkinson, senior investment manager at Panoramic Growth Equity, added: “Rob, James and the team at Big Drop have created exceptional alcohol-free beers, a premium brand and a name with universal appeal. 

“As consumer tastes develop, the alcohol-free drinks market is experiencing high growth and Big Drop is at its forefront. 

“We share the team’s vision to grow the brand in the UK and overseas and are pleased to provide investment to support this goal.”

Big Drop

Prospect Pubs & Bars takes on fourth site

Prospect Pubs & Bars has taken on its fourth site, the Royal Oak in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, as its expansion drive continues – according to reports by BigHospitality​.

The Grade II listed property was acquired from Salisbury Pubs through Christie & Co and follows the successful opening of the group’s third site, the Blue Ball in Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey,, which opened in May.

The opening comes after a major refurbishment at the pub in spring 2020 following a fire, with many of the site’s 17th ​and 18th​ century features preserved. The venue will house a 65-cover dining room as well as a garden with a capacity for 85 covers as well as a 30-cover tepee.

Prospect Pubs is run by former Redcomb Pubs owners Dan Shotton and Mark Draper, who have plans to grow the company’s pub portfolio with a further two sites already acquired for opening this year and the company stating it intends to open five to seven pubs per year from 2022 onwards.

“This truly is an exceptional country pub, that’s loved by the local community and visitors to the area, and we cannot wait to continue its legacy,” Shotton said.

“Our ethos has always been to establish authentic pubs that stand up for good old-fashioned hospitality, offer a warmth of welcome and embed themselves into the local area, both in terms of the community and the products they serve. In a nutshell, pubs that we would love to visit ourselves.”

The Botanist branches out into Ipswich

The Graphite Capital-backed operator of Publican Award-winning brand The Florist has confirmed it is to open the latest branch of The Botanist in Ipswich in time for Christmas.

The New World Trading Company (NWTC) has agreed a lease with Ipswich Borough Council for the vacant Old Post Office in Cornhill, subject to listed building consent. 

“Bringing our unique concepts to new cities and towns is one of the most exciting parts of my role,” NWTC chief operating officer Natasha Waterfield said. “The Cornhill is such a stunning location, and I can’t wait to open the doors.” 

Council leader David Ellesmere added: “NWTC’s decision to open The Botanist in Ipswich is a great vote of confidence in the town and will further enhance the range of hospitality venues available to the public. 

“We have worked hard to secure a quality operator for this location and one that would sensitively fit with this important heritage asset.” 

NWTC has unveiled plans to expand into several new locations in recent months, including Cardiff, Plymouth, Sheffield and Lincoln. 


Whitbread launches First Bar + Block in Scotland

Whitbread’s high street steak brand Bar + Block has opened two new restaurants – a site in Glasgow, its first in Scotland, and one in Milton Keynes, growing its portfolio to 17 sites.

The new sites will follow the steak house’s all-day trading format – serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. 

“We’re very excited to be back in business post a year full of restrictions and to be in the position to begin growing the Bar + Block brand again,” Rebecca Donaldson for Whitbread Restaurants, said.  

“We are thrilled to be opening our first restaurant in Scotland and in Milton Keynes and are gearing up for a busy summer.”

Whitbread plans to open an additional Bar + Block restaurant in Edinburgh later this year.


Restaurateurs and sisters, Siobhan and Caitriona Peyton, to open first pub

Siobhan and Caitriona Peyton are poised to open their first pub on 12 July after purchasing the Norfolk inn, Sculthorpe Mill, on the River Wensum, just two miles west of Fakenham in Norfolk.

Having acquired the lease from Greene King, the free house pub is currently undergoing a six-figure refurbishment by Shaun Clarkson of Harvey Nichols, Oxo Tower and Wallace Collection renown. 

As well as an expanded pub area, there will be two dining rooms, a private events suite and two dining terraces at the back and front of the pub. Also being developed are six en-suite bedrooms scheduled to open towards the end of July.

The two sisters, along with their brother – restaurateur and BBC’s Great British Menu​ judge, Oliver Peyton – have masterminded Atlantic Bar and Grill, Mash micro-breweries, the National Dining Rooms at the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection. They continue to operate Peyton and Byrne, British bakeries in Greenwich and on central London’s Great Portland Street.

“We’ve been regulars at Sculthorpe Mill for nearly 20 years and having relocated permanently to Norfolk, we jumped at the opportunity to acquire the lease,” Siobhan said. “This historical riverside pub is in a natural area of beauty, and we are confident it will appeal to both locals and visitors to the area. 

“We are looking to grow the portfolio and are looking for similar rural pubs in iconic locations.”

Recruitment is currently at the top of the agenda and the sisters are hoping to recruit around 40 local staff. 

Caitriona added: “We want to showcase the exciting opportunities available at the Mill and have taken a somewhat unconventional approach by inviting prospective new staff to come along and meet us, try Eliot’s food and explore the pub. We hope this will lead to great some hires.”

Peyton sisters
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