Property round-up

JDW to dispose of site near motorway, £320k Star Pubs & Bars revamped scheduled

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Investment time: money being put into sites is noticeably increasing
Investment time: money being put into sites is noticeably increasing

Related tags: Property, Finance, Multi-site pub operators, Pubco + head office, Tenanted + leased

In the latest property news, JD Wetherspoon is looking to sell a site located just off the M40 motorway, Star Pubs & Bars has committed £320,000 to reopen a site closed for two years, a new taproom for Five Points and a £150,000 investment from Red Oak Taverns and a multiple operator are among the most recent moves.

JDW to dispose of pub off M40 motorway

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) has appointed estate agents CBRE and Savills to dispose of the Hope & Champion in Beaconsfield.

The pub, which forms part of the Extra Motorway Service Area in the Buckinghamshire town is situated just off the M40 Motorway at junction 2. Savills said it is “perfectly positioned to attract custom from those travelling between London, the Midlands and the north as well as from major attractions and transport hubs such as Wembley Stadium, Twickenham, the Warner Brothers Studios – The Making of Harry Potter, Bicester Village, Westfield London and Heathrow Airport”. 

A spokesperson on behalf of the joint agents said: “The Hope & Champion represents an excellent opportunity for a food and beverage operator to gain representation in one of the UK’s busiest motorway service stations on the network joining a highly impressive line-up of operators that already includes Nando’s, Pizza Express, McDonald’s and KFC.

“Benefiting from its own self-contained entrance as well as connection to the service station concourse, the unit provides well configured trading accommodation at both ground and first floor levels. The unit also benefits from front and rear external terraces set within a landscaped setting so we expect there to be a broad range of interest from potential occupiers.”

JDW has 12 other sites​ on the market as well.

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Motorway services area pub: the Hope & Champion claims to be "perfectly positioned"

Star to commit £320k to refurbish pub once new licensee found

Star Pubs & Bars will pump £320,000 into the Royal Oak, Rode Heath, to restore it “to its former glory as a great quality family-friendly pub and would create a stunning 180-seater garden”.

Work will start on the pub, which is on the borders of Cheshire and Staffordshire has been closed for almost two years, in 2022 once a new licensee has been recruited.

Planned work on the Royal Oak includes outside redecoration of signage and lighting, refurbishing the pub’s dated interior throughout with wood floors and leather-backed seating and a disused fireplace would be brought back into use.

The site would also boast a refitted kitchen, dining area and sports zone, complete with darts and screens for showing sporting events. Other changes would include the addition of a wheelchair accessible entrance and an accessible toilet.

Meanwhile, the garden would benefit from new facilities including a terrace, seating for 180 people, an enclosed children’s play area and a heated awning to provide year-round alfresco eating and drinking.

Star Pubs & Bars area manager Andrew Myatt said: “The delay to the scheme caused by Covid has been hugely disappointing. There’s been lots of interest from residents in the future of the Royal Oak. Now restrictions are over, we’re keen to find a licensee to move the refurbishment forward with us and get the pub’s doors open again as soon as possible for people to enjoy.

“The Royal Oak has been a thriving pub in the past. We want to see it become a hub of the village once again. The investment will enable it to tick all the boxes and cater for all occasions. It’s a great opportunity for someone who wants a community-focused pub in a lovely village setting.”

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Work to begin: Star Pubs & Bars BDM Andrew Myatt on site

Five Points launches brewery and taproom at new HQ

Five Points is set to launch a new brewery and taproom in Hackney later this month. Based at Five Points’ flagship headquarters in London Fields, east London, the new venue will welcome visitors to drink tank-fresh pints, where the beer is brewed, for the first time.

Alongside the full range of Five Points beers on tap – including favourites such as Five Points Pale – visitors can expect special and limited edition brews, seasonal beers, guest beers and conditioned cask ales. There will also be New York-style Neapolitan pizzas from resident food provider Ace Pizza.

Five Points’ new venue opens to the public on 20 November. It has been brewing its award-winning beers in Hackney since 2013, and throughout spring and summer, the site was home to a giant pop-up outdoor taproom, and now customers will be able to flock to the space once more, as Five Points launches Hackney’s largest taproom and working brewery on the site. 

It has space for more than 130 people indoors, across the ground floor and an impressive mezzanine viewing gallery, nestled among the brewing tanks. 

Tank-fresh beer will be celebrated every Thursday and Friday between 5pm and 7pm, where the most recently filled tank will be available for £3.50 a pint.

From Saturday 4 December, the site will also offer weekly brewery tours and guided tastings for visitors, and every Friday and Saturday, the taproom will host DJs from neighbourhood bar Moth Club.

Five Points co-founder and managing director Ed Mason said: “We are very excited to be welcoming our local community into our brewery to drink the freshest Five Points beers in London. And to be able to keep our new brewery and taproom right in the heart of central Hackney, where it all began eight years ago, makes us really happy.”

The development of Five Points’ new HQ was made possible by the backing of over 1,500 investors via a Crowdfunding campaign that raised more than £950,000 earlier this year. 

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Point of difference: Five Points opened a pop-up at its new brewery and taproom earlier in the summer

Red Oak Taverns teams up with operator to plough £150k into pub revamp

A joint investment by Red Oak Taverns and multiple operator Katrina Hindocha worth £150,000 has seen the Kingfisher pub in Smith’s Wood, near Solihull, completely renovated inside and out.

Hindocha, who also operates the Damson pub in Solihull with Red Oak, spent £30,000 alongside a further £120,000 investment by Red Oak to bring the pub back for the community. The investment and the pub reopening has created eight new jobs and a further kitchen development will be completed later this year, which will allow the pub to launch a food menu including Sunday lunches.

Hindocha said: “The pub is completely different and the customers absolutely love the changes. We’ve been able to provide them with a much-needed pub that focuses on the community and I’m really looking forward to be able to launch food here soon too.”

Business development manager for Red Oak Taverns, Jonathan Seaton-Reid added: “It’s great to have Katrina on board with a second pub with us. She is local and understands the area and what makes a fantastic community pub. The Kingfisher is now back on the map and it will be great for customers old and new.”

Red Oak Taverns owns and operates 200 pubs around the country and is seeking potential new licensees.

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A hit with customers: Red Oak Taverns and multiple operator Katrina Hindocha (pictured) have put £150k into the Kingfisher pub

Leasehold of market town pub-restaurant available for £50,000-plus

The leasehold of the Whitehouses Inn in Retford has been placed on the market for offers over £50,000.

Prominently sited on outskirts of the market town of Retford in north Nottinghamshire, it has been operated by the same licensees for some 14 years. DaveyCo, which is marketing the property, said the pub-restaurant is “beautifully well presented and fitted to a quality contemporary village style”.

It is currently delivering net sales of £445,000 per year and has the potential to add four letting bedrooms within the first floor and the opportunity to develop family weddings, events, glamping and caravan leisure trade in the its extensive level grounds. DaveyCo said its attractive lease with base rent equates to 8% annual net sales.

The pub has a four-area trading space with lounge bar and dining for 80-plus and there is a marquee attached to the restaurant area.

There is second floor accommodation also and a large customer car park and extensive grassed grounds provide scope for outside leisure facilities.

Its trading profit and loss accounts supplied for the year ended 31 January 2020 shows net sales of £446,470 excluding VAT, from which a gross profit of £238,627 (53%) was achieved. Its wet:dry trading split is approximately 20:80 in favour of food sales.

There are four good-size owner’s accommodation rooms and a kitchen and bathroom located on the first floor and a further two rooms on the second floor with restricted access.

The premises is held on the residue of a 10-year renewable lease with approximately three years remaining. The current base rent passing is approximately £36,700 per annum with an optional additional premium of around £8,500 for a free-of-tie wines, spirits and soft drinks concession.

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Much potential: leasehold available for Retford pub-restaurant

CAMRA silver award-winning pub reopens after £200k investment

Admiral Taverns site the Crooked Billet has recently reopened after a £200,000 investment paid for a full renovation of the pub.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) silver award-winning community pub, which is located on the outskirts of Ware in Hertfordshire and run by licensee Beverley Gefaell, reopened last week (5 November) following a transformational refurbishment.

Among the work carried out at the pub was a full interior and exterior redecoration, two new indoor fireplaces, new lighting, flooring and soft furnishings while the outside of the pub has new lighting and signage.

The Crooked Billet  – predominantly a traditional drinking pub – has also been fitted with a new catering kitchen to produce a small food offering for themed evenings, such as Indian or Mexican night.

Gefaell, who worked at the Crooked Bill for three years before taking on the role of licensee, said: “Pubs are about more than just beer, they’re the backbone of a community. A local business should look to give back to those in the local area and I want to try and bring the people of Ware together. I want everyone to feel welcome in the Crooked Billet, and for it to be a place where people can relax, unwind and enjoy themselves.”

Admiral Taverns business development manager Mick Sheridan added: “Beverley’s genuine passion for the pub industry is contagious. The locals adore her and it’s quite clear she really cares for them and what they want. Not only does she do a fantastic offering in the Crooked Billet, but she has fostered such a brilliant atmosphere too.”

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Award winner: the Crooked Billet is said to be the backbone of the community

Community comes together to buy closed pub in Wales

Community group Llew Gwyn Cerrigydrudion has taken ownership of the White Lion Hotel pub​ in Cerrigydrudion, Wales.

The pub was empty for more than a year but was saved from closure by the group of locals

“The White Lion closed its doors at the end of March 2020 due to Covid. Much to everyone’s dismay, they decided not to reopen. It looked so sad in the middle of the village. We all hoped someone would buy it and reopen but no such luck. Nowhere to meet friends and chat. It felt as though the heart was being ripped out of the village.” said the group before coming together to buy the site for £475,000.

The group is hoping to open the doors at the end of September next year and will be employing local people and promoting the Welsh language in every possible way.

The freehold was sold by leisure property specialist Fleurets, which acted on behalf of the seller Tony Davies, who said: “It was a pleasure to deal with Fleurets, the hotel had been on the market for a while before so I am pleased that the community came together to purchase the hotel.”

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Ready to roar: the White Lion has been purchased by a community group

Pub included in £5m residential park sale

A residential park and neighbouring country pub in County Durham have been sold off a guide price of £5m.

Estate agent Savills has completed the sale of Walworth Residential Park and the Dog Inn pub to Royale Life Group from previous owner Prestige Country Parks.

Walworth Residential Park comprises a residential mobile home park with a planned development for 124 park homes. The park sits alongside the Dog Inn family country pub, currently operated by a tenant, which also has a beer garden and children’s play area. Adjoining the pub are three bedrooms previously used for bed and breakfast accommodation.

Savills leisure and trade team director Richard Prestwich said: “We are delighted to complete the sale of Walworth Residential Park and the Dog Inn.”

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Big sale: the Dog Inn in County Durham has been included as part of a £5m deal
  • If you have any information regarding new openings or property details you think could be used in this weekly round-up section, along with hi-res landscape images, please email gary.lloyd@wrbm.com​​​​​​​ before midday on Tuesdays.

Related topics: Property law

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