Southern-barbecue style group Hickory’s Smokehouse has taken on a former Marston’s pub, The Malt House in Horbury, taking the number of sites for the privately owned group to 16.
Hickory’s, which won the Publican Award for Best Brand/Concept in 2020, has a number of operations across the North West and Midlands, including Chester, Rhos-on-Sea, Wilmslow, Shrewsbury, Worcester and most recently Nottingham.
The company, which offers a unique blend of authentic smokehouse dishes, mixed with an inventive drink and cocktail offering to create a relaxed, family friendly neighbourhood bar, said it was planning an “exciting transformation” of the Malt House.
A full refurbishment, both inside and out is now on the cards, and will include a new open kitchen and chef’s bar, along with relaxed dining space for up to 150 guests alongside a cinema room for children and dedicated bar area.
Important to find the right site
Hickory’s Smokehouse founder Neil McDonnell said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be launching in West Yorkshire and are really looking forward to meeting with local people and getting to know the neighbourhood.
“Wakefield has been on our ‘wish-list’ of locations for some time now but as always it was really important to find the right site, so we are delighted to have acquired the Malt House.
“Our other restaurants have been embraced wholeheartedly by the local community, so coming to Horbury is genuinely exciting for us all. Our ambition is to create something truly special, and we are looking forward to becoming part of the community.”
McDonnell added that the move would create 100 jobs in the area, and they were now actively recruiting for chefs, servers, bar staff and managers.
The company, who were placed 11th in UK’s Top 100 large employers last year, operate a ‘no CV’ approach and recruit based on personality and enthusiasm.
Managing Director John Welsh added: “We have an amazing in-house training team who really help our team fulfil their potential, whatever their background. For us, it’s all about rewarding our team and creating a culture of success. We are passionate about finding local hospitality stars of tomorrow and supporting them in their development.”
The company has yet to announce an official opening date, but hopes to have completed the refurbishment in early Spring.