Welsh pub operator to expand to 12 pubs

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

New business: Tom Shanklin (left) and Lee Byrne (right) with Red Dragon Pubs founder James Hunt
New business: Tom Shanklin (left) and Lee Byrne (right) with Red Dragon Pubs founder James Hunt

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Red Dragon Pubs, the Welsh pub operator, is set to open four pubs by the end of October – bringing its estate to 12.

The company, which was founded by James Hunt, and a group of investors, aims to buy and invest in pubs across South Wales. 

The pub group was officially launched at The Aubrey Arms, in Swansea – the first pub under its ownership. But since then has added seven more venues to its portfolio in the Swansea and Gwent Valleys.

Massive opportunity

“When we studied the market here, and we saw so many pubs closed, or just tired and under-invested, we knew there was a massive opportunity here to reinvigorate these venues, by working with and listening to the locals that use them and bringing them back to their best,” said Hunt.

“The pandemic just made more visible a deeper problem. Pubs across Wales have suffered.”  

Hunt has vowed that its pubs will be as close to the community as possible and they won’t change the name of any pub its purchases. 

Part of the community

Hunt added: “We are ambitious. We believe there is an opportunity to create a Welsh pub company, for Wales, that everyone can be proud of. Customers will know they are in a Red Dragon Pub, but much more importantly we want them to know that Red Dragon Pubs is part of their community.” 

British Lion and Osprey Lee Byrne and former Welsh rugby international Tom Shanklin joined Hunt, the Red Dragon Pub team, and a gathering of the locals at The Aubrey Arms for an official launch of the brand and business. 

Other pubs in the portfolio include the Red Lion Hotel in Llangadog; the Other Place in Pontardawe; the Old Glais in Glais; the Doll's House in Abertillery; the Tregib in Ammanford; the Torbay in Llandeilo and the Mill House in Swansea. 

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