Arusha Group takes third site with Star Pubs & Bars
Pub company Arusha Group has taken a lease on the Bear on the Barge at Uxbridge, west London – its third site with Star Pubs & Bars – with the pair combining on a joint £475,000 refurbishment of the site.
The investment will see the pub become a family-friendly bar and restaurant, which will be renamed the River Garden to reflect its location on the banks of the Grand Union Canal.
Work at the Harefield, Uxbridge, pub is set to begin this month with an opening expected in early December, creating 30 new jobs.
The project will renovate and repaint the building’s exterior, adding a new café-style patio seating 30 at the front. A stretch tent for all-weather eating and drinking and an adult games area are planned for the pub’s 600-seater waterside garden in time for next summer.
It will have separate bar and dining areas, new private dining room, an overhauled kitchen and a £30,000 audio-visual system installed.
Arusha Group now has five leased pub and bars to the north-west of London. Arusha Group co-founder Sandy Bhambra said: “Subject to availability of suitable leased sites, I can envisage growing to a group of 10 or more venues. Pub companies own a lot of the best pubs in this area and leasing from them works perfectly for us as we can expand more quickly.”
Star Pubs & Bars area manager James Hulston added: “We’re delighted to be joining forces with Arusha Group again and to be investing in such a high-profile site with them. The garden is stunning and has proved a fantastic asset over the pandemic. The investment will premiumise the pub to complement the outdoor space and provide further really solid income streams.”
The refurbishment of the Bear on the Barge is part of Star Pubs & Bars’ 2021 £38m investment programme, which includes 80 major pub makeovers.
Puttshack to open new site this year
Mini golf and bar operator Puttshack will open a site in Watford, Hertfordshire before Christmas.
The 21,600sq ft site in Atria, Watford, will feature four nine-hole mini golf courses using Puttshack’s world leading technology, which combines automatic tracking with game scoring through the golf ball. Guests will also be able to enjoy an extensive range of food and drink options, including cocktails, small plates, burgers and an impressive selection of vegan dishes. Reservations are being taken for Christmas parties already.
Puttshack UK managing director Hugh Knowles said: “The opening of our newest Puttshack site in Watford is an exciting step forward for us as part of our wider business growth plans.
“After what has been a challenging year for the hospitality industry, we cannot wait to bring the vibrant and unique Puttshack experience to another location in the UK.
“Guests have had to miss out on lively, interactive experiences for so long and it’s great to be able to deliver these moments to even more putters.”
The business also been progressing its expansion in the US this year, including signing a new lease in Scottsdale as well as announcing upcoming openings in Oak Brook (Chicago), Miami, Boston, Houston and Nashville.
Beavertown opens its first pub
Beavertown Brewery has opened its first pub – Corner Pin – in north London.
The brewer, which has been operating for nine years, has taken over a corner site in Tottenham opposite the Premier League football team’s ground.
The brightly coloured pub also plans to introduce a food offer in due course to sit alongside its range of beers, which include Bones, Neck Oil, Gamma Ray and Lupuloid.
Beavertown Brewery founder Logan Plant said: “We’re thrilled to be opening our first ever pub in Tottenham, the place we call home. It’s incredibly exciting to be able to open the doors to this historic venue and breathe new life into the much-loved pub, the only way we know how… with epic design, cracking beer and a great atmosphere.”
Tottenham Hotspur FC senior business development manager Alex Thorpe added: “We are excited to reveal our plans to restore the Corner Pin to its former use – a vibrant and modern pub that is sure to be popular among our fans, our local community and visitors to the area.
“As a business rooted in this community, Beavertown Brewery shares the club’s vision for Tottenham and we are delighted to be working with them on this project that aims to bring a further boost to the local economy.”
East London ‘dive bar’ specialising in bourbon opens
New east London bar the Bourbon has opened offering “a laid-back Stateside dive bar mixed with unmistakable East London attitude”.
The Roman Road site near Victoria Park has mismatched furnishings, smokehouse food, a soul soundtrack and more than 40 bourbons – including some very rare 23-year-old bottles.
There are American beers such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Oskar Blues Can-o-Bliss Citrus and Cigar City Fancy Papers Hazy IPA while American wine and signature cocktails are also served.
Its food offer is hickory barbecue dishes from chef Sam Gordon. The menu from the ex-Ivy senior sous chef goes beyond basic bar food. Apart from the buns, supplied by Paul Rhodes Bakery, everything else is made in-house.
Vegan and veggie options are joined by meat dishes including brisket, ribs and burnt ends.
New library and digital hub at pub will help community
Publican Stephanie Young has opened a new library and digital hub at the Queens Head in West Chiltington, West Sussex, to reinforce the pub’s position at the heart of the village and support residents.
Young, who has run the pub for the past three years, decided to transform an area of the pub into a relaxed library area with shelving, featuring 200 books and sofas so that people can read and connect.
As part of this initiative a digital hub has also been introduced where villagers have free use of a computer, Wi-Fi and a printer for a nominal fee.
The project was opened with the expert help and a Community Services Fund Grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services.
Young said: “There is nowhere in the village where anyone from families to retirees can relax, read, chat and hopefully learn more about the digital world.
“We realised how important the library and digital hub was for bringing people together. It was also important for us to help struggling families who may not have access to computer facilities to help support their children’s schooling.”
Pub is The Hub regional adviser Anthony Miller said: “This new hub will be an important asset for the village, especially as we try to return to more normality.
“Stephanie has really stepped up to help everyone in the local area from the youngest to retirees and give them somewhere to relax and meet.”
Former JD Wetherspoon site to hit market
The Isaac Merritt pub in Paignton, Devon, which is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and food offer, is to be put up for auction this month.
The pub, which is being sold off a £450,000 guide price, is let on a seven-year lease that runs until 2027, at a rent of £67,600 a year. It was one of 16 pubs put up for sale by JD Wetherspoon in 2019 and has been refurbished during lockdown.
The 7,000sq ft Isaac Merritt is named after 19th century American inventor Isaac Merritt Singer, founder of the Singer sewing machine company, who settled in Paignton in the 1870s.
Subject to planning, there are proposals to build a five-storey residential development above the pub, comprising 33 one and two-bedroom apartments.
Paul Parker, associate director at estate agent Pugh, said: “With the UK holiday boom set to be here to stay, the Isaac Merritt represents an excellent opportunity for investment in a thriving seaside town. After all the challenges of lockdown, pubs and restaurants in visitor hot spots such as Paignton have been doing excellent business this summer and that is forecast to continue.
“The new accommodation scheme that could potentially be developed above the Isaac Merritt would also be beneficial in increasing footfall.”
Bidding on the Isaac Merritt opens on 21 September and closes the following day.
Red Lion to roar again
The Red Lion, a historic 12th century public house in Powys, has been sold through pub agent Sidney Phillips off an asking price of £195,000.
Believed to date back to the 12th century, the grade II-listed premises stands close to the site of St Afans Tomb, a 2,300-year-old tree and a murderer’s grave in the village of Llanafan Fawr.
The property is a former Welsh farmhouse located adjacent to a large set of farm buildings and has a main bar, dining room, two-bedroom owner’s accommodation, holiday cottage and three outside trade spaces.
By George, it’s got eight bedrooms
Grade II-listed pub the George in Sittingbourne, Kent, which also has eight bedrooms, has been put on the market by Miles and Barr with a guide price of £650,000.
The property was built in 1652 as a coach house for travellers between Canterbury and London, but is currently a pub with a restaurant and also offers Chinese food to take away.
The site in Teynham has full planning permission for a three-bedroom bed and breakfast building.
The main building consists of four bedrooms (including study), two bathrooms and additional WC and additional en-suite bathroom. An outbuilding provides an additional four bedrooms and bathroom, currently used as storage and staff quarters.
The public spaces include a main bar area with a side room containing a pool table, a restaurant, and a courtyard. In addition, there is a large kitchen, multiple store rooms and cellar.
Hastings pub on the market
The former Royal George pub in Hastings, East Sussex, has been placed on the market.
It has three floors that includes four bedrooms above the pub along with a roof terrace, and has easy access to Hastings railway station and town centre.
It offers cellar space and a large overall footprint.