Inn Collection Group reopens 15th century site after six-month revamp
North of England pub operator The Inn Collection Group has reopened the 15th century Black Swan in North Yorkshire following the completion of the first phase of a major refurbishment to the site.
The pubco, which bought the former coaching inn in Helmsley in 2020, has completed the first phase of plans to repurpose and enhance the landmark site’s bar and dining areas.
The six-month project has included the refurbishment of a first phase of 15 rooms and the remodelling of existing internal spaces while preserving original lounges and the main bar area so it can meet demand for its food-driven focus with rooms model.
The addition of a new bar has created an area for private dining or smaller groups at the 146-cover pub.
The Inn Collection Group managing director Sean Donkin said: “We are absolutely delighted to see this magnificent site return to life. We have been meticulous in our planning and throughout the renovation process to preserve its charm and character, while enhancing the environment and facilities for our customers to enjoy.
“The Inn Collection Group excels at investing in unique and venerable sites like this and unlocking their full potential through sympathetic restorations. The reopening of the Black Swan has been long awaited and we are proud to open our doors once again as a first-rate venue to eat, drink, sleep and explore North Yorkshire from.”
The second phase of the redevelopment is under way to repurpose space from the site’s former kitchen into additional bedrooms plus refurbishments to existing rooms in the garden wing that will create a 60-room site in total.
The Black Swan employs a team of 36, which will increase to 50 as a result of the expansion and redevelopment, and the group is actively recruiting across all areas of operations there.
The Black Swan general manager Dave Walker said: “The facilities we have are a first-class working environment for our growing staff team. I’m really excited by our ‘Rolls-Royce’ of kitchens while the new cellar cooling system will ensure our beers are exceptional.
“The refurbishment has allowed us to expand our staffing team, so it’s a great opportunity for people to be part of a dynamic team with outstanding, new facilities and opportunities for career development.”
The Inn Collection Group, which is backed by Alchemy, operates 25 sites in total.
Roxy Lanes Leeds rolls into relocation
Bar and bowling alley Roxy Lanes is set to relocate from its current Leeds location on Bond Street to The Light on The Headrow.
The site, which Roxy Lanes describes “mammoth”, is due to open early next year and is three times the size of its predecessor, which opened in 2014. The group said the “gaming hub will incorporate all the elements of existing Roxy venues, but this time under one roof”.
The ground floor will have a large bar area with options ranging from craft beers, cocktails and spirits, to pizza slices and fries. The basement will host 10 bowling lanes, two duck pin bowling lanes, shuffle boards, American pool tables and beer pong as well as a second bar area. A new addition to its armoury will be an ice curling lane, claimed to be one of only a few in the UK.
Brand development manager Joel Mitchell said: “While the Bond Street venue was a great starting point for us, it’s now time to up the ante and we’re delighted to be able to expand and offer our customers even more of that Roxy Lanes experience.
“So many people want to catch up with friends or relatives or even have work socials and Roxy Lanes encapsulates that spirit of fun and brings people together. It’s a huge venue that has enabled us to add more games and a bigger bar area. It’s a cool venue with welcoming staff and some great games to get involved in – 2022 is going to be a cracking year for Roxy Lanes.”
The business already runs two Roxy Ball Room competitive social gaming venues at Merrion Street and Boar Lane in Leeds.
The 15,000sq ft venue also has screens showing live sports in its upstairs bar area and children are allowed in until 5pm when accompanied by an adult.
SA Brain puts 99-pub portfolio up for sale
Welsh brewer and pub operator SA Brain & Co has put a 99-pub portfolio up for sale.
Estate agent Avison Young has been instructed to sell the sites, which are all in Wales, and comprise 93 freehold and six long-leasehold properties. The full portfolio is let to Marston’s on 25-year-long leases.
The sites are in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea with others spread across the country, and are split between managed and tenanted outlets, with a mix of town and city centre, suburban and rural locations.
Avison Young Leisure team managing director Peter Constantine said: “This is a rare opportunity to acquire a large, high-quality package of public houses located in strong trading positions across Wales. They benefit from a secure income stream let to an excellent covenant. We anticipate significant levels of demand as packages of this quality rarely come to the market.”
The sale is being handled by Peter Constantine and John Coggins of the Avison Young Leisure Team and Chris Gore, Andrew Gibson and Alex John of the Avison Young Investment Team. Offers are invited for the whole portfolio of freehold and leasehold interests.
The portfolio provides gross rent roll of £5,420,000 per annum, subject to annual CPI indexed rent increases, capped and collared at 1% and 3%, compounded every five years, and produces a net rent of £5,410,518 per year.
The portfolio benefits from a weighted average unexpired lease term of 24.35 years to expiries and 14.35 years to tenant break options overall.
Offers are invited in excess of £87.3m for the portfolio subject to contract and exclusive of VAT. A purchase at this level reflects a net initial yield of 5.75% (after the deduction of purchaser’s costs at 7.8%).
BrewDog goes Italian for six new bars
BrewDog has continued its worldwide growth after agreeing a franchise deal with Italian food and beverage operator 4Food to open six new bars in Italy.
Milan-based 4Food will open the bars in Milan, Turin and Genova during the next three years, with the first slated for an early 2022 opening.
BrewDog founder James Watt said: “When we first started shipping beer overseas many years ago, Italy was one of the first markets to stock Punk IPA, so we’ve always felt a strong connection with this amazing country and the beer drinkers who live there.
“This is why we’re delighted to be working with 4Food to open six new BrewDog bars in northern Italy over the next three years. These beacons of beer will be a true showcase of our brand, with a focus on high-quality beer, fantastic food experiences and exceptional service.”
Barbara Balistreri and Maurizio Raviolo, founding partners of 4Food, added: “We are honoured to represent the BrewDog brand in the north-west regions of Italy, and we are proud to bring a brand that excels for a high-quality product, unique positioning on the market and great attention and respect for the environment.”
The news follows recent bar openings in Wiesbaden in Germany, where franchisee Bruton Hospitality will open three further bars this year in Frankfurt and Berlin, and a new bar opening in New Albany in the US, where the brand operates five bars, a craft beer hotel and brewery.
Former Loch Fyne restaurant placed on market
A former Loch Fyne restaurant in Winchester has been placed on the market with a guide rent price of £115,000 per year.
The 16th century building on Jewry Street site in the Hampshire city has been brought to market by estate agent Savills on behalf of a private client.
The 4,526sq ft site is located in the city centre location covering a ground and first-floor trading areas. On the ground floor there is a bar servery with fireplace, small trade area, storage and two flights of stairs leading to the first floor restaurant. There is a basement and extension to the rear of the property. In total, the restaurant and trading areas can accommodate approximately 150 covers. There is also a central courtyard with outdoor seating for approximately 26.
Chris Bickle, director in the licensed leisure team at Savills Southampton, said: “This is arguably one of Winchester’s most loved and historic restaurant properties. It has an abundance of original character features while benefiting from contemporary ancillary space. We expect to attract interest from a wide range of businesses, both from the southern region and nationally.”
Cambridgeshire riverside pub lease on market for £150,000
The leasehold of riverside pub the Bridge House in Huntingdon has been placed on the market for offers above £125,000.
Occupying a prime position on the Market Square alongside the Great River Ouse in Cambridgeshire, the property has a waterside trading terrace, lounge bar, public bar, restaurant and the potential for eight-plus letting bedrooms.
The current operator has run the pub for the past 15 years with net annual sales exceeding £625,000 excluding VAT.
Estate agent DaveyCo said there is “fantastic scope to incorporate letting bedrooms in the massive 10-room owner’s accommodation on the first floor”.
The property has undergone substantial refurbishment and seats about 100 inside while the outside is waterside split-level trading terrace for 150-plus with an outside bar and river mooring.
The trading profit and loss accounts for the year ended 31 January 2020 showed net sales of £626,586 from which a gross profit of £347,284 (55%) was achieved.
The premises are held on the residue of a three-year revolving lease with Trust Inns with an annual rent passing in the order of £78,000 per year. The tie includes beer and bottles only and is free of tie on wines, spirits and soft drinks.
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