Property round-up

Country Inns takes seventh site while £240k ploughed into north-east pub

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Smooth moves: the latest property news in the UK
Smooth moves: the latest property news in the UK

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

Among the latest property news is the sale of a Stonegate site in Hampshire that builds Country Inns' portfolio to seven, Greene King and pub operator put £240,000 into pub revamp, Red Oak Taverns adds eight-pub package to its books and Prospect adds third tie-up with Star.

Country Inns adds seventh site after lease purchase from Stonegate

Stonegate has sold a new free-of-tie lease on the Woolpack pub in Sopley, Christchurch, to Country Inns to take its portfolio to seven sites.

The lease at the thatched pub in Hampshire, which dates back to 1783 when it was converted from a cottage that was once a wool store, was sold through estate agent Fleurets. Situated on the riverside of Sopley Brook (in the middle of the Village of Sopley mentioned in the Doomsday Book​), the historical pub has an incredible ambience of a classic country inn.

Country Inns marketing director Debbie Lewis said: “We are delighted to have completed the purchase of the Woolpack’s 20-year free-of-tie lease from Stonegate. Our intention is to now offer fresh home-cooked food, locally sourced where possible and all prepared on the premises by our exceptionally talented chefs. The new menu has been carefully crafted to offer superb pub classics alongside some very special chef’s choices.

“We have put together an outstanding welcoming team to offer great customer service and will be open all day every day for food and drinks.

“As it is grade II-listed, we will not be making any initial changes and will only enhance the pure character of the building along the way, adding to the cosiness of the place.”


GK and pub operator plough £240k into site revamp

Operator Matt Boyle and Greene King Pub Partners have ploughed a joint investment of £240,000 into the Cumberland Arms in Tynemouth.

The iconic public house on Front Street has been brought back to life with a sympathetic refurbishment to make the most of its featured stained glass windows and doors and ornate exterior stonework. 

Internally, the pub has had a complete makeover with a new bar layout and contemporary furniture. The original Victorian fireplace has been exposed and the artwork and fixture and fittings celebrate the Tyne & Wear town’s fishing and seaside heritage.

Greene King Pub Partners business development manager Sarah Barron said: “We wanted to be able to give this historic pub in Tynemouth a new lease of life and, with Matt and his team on board and the investment, we have been able to do that. It’s been fantastic to be able to transform this pub and make it stand out proudly again. We’ve really made sure that the original features of this historic pub have been shown off alongside modernising the interior for the 21st century.”


Red Oak Taverns acquires eight pubs from Euphorium

Red Oak Taverns has acquired eight free-of-tie pubs​ in Bristol from Euphorium Pubs Limited for an undisclosed sum. The move completes Red Oak’s fifth portfolio acquisition this year, which expands its estate to 208 pubs operating on a range of flexible agreements. 

Red Oak Taverns co-founder and chief executive Mark Grunnell said: “We are delighted to add these eight free of tie pubs located across Bristol to complement our already significant free of tie estate. There’s plenty of scope to build trade at each of them and we are looking forward to integrating the pubs into the Red Oak business”.

Mark Grunnell and Aaron Brown founded Red Oak Taverns in 2011 and the pub estate comprises of a mix of free of tie and tied pubs.

Euphorium was advised on the transaction by Kevin Conibear, divisional director at Fleurets. Red Oak Taverns was not externally represented.

Coastal village pub lease on market with guide price of £85k

A popular coastal village pub-restaurant with annual net sales of £300,000 is on the market with a guide price of £85,000 and a free-of-tie rent of £18,000 through Davey Co.

Located in Shaldon, near Teignmouth, this freehouse, pub and restaurant is located at the head of the River Teign estuary on the south Devon coast. It enjoys a successful trade with net sales of around £300,000 excluding VAT and its wet:dry split is circa 65:35 in favour of food.

Davey Co said inside trading areas accommodate 70-plus covers, a courtyard garden trading from 100-plus with waterside access. A letting apartment plus one flat is included at the site that enjoys year-round trade plus peak season business.

It has a lounge bar with additional raised seating area, two-section dining room, commercial kitchen facilities and ancillary areas.

The self-contained letting apartment on the first floor comprises a living kitchen, double bedroom and shower room. Second floor accommodation comprises two rooms and a bathroom.

The premises is held on a 20-year lease with Wellington Pub company and is free of tie.

Prospect Pubs & Bars takes on third Star lease with £600k refurbishment

Multiple operator Prospect Pubs & Bars has taken on the lease of the Cambria in Camberwell and is undertaking a £600,000-plus upgrade of the pub with Star Pubs & Bars.

It is the third Star Pubs & Bars pub Prospect Pubs & Bars has taken on in 16 months, taking its estate to six sites in total.

Closed since December 2019, building work has started at the Cambria with a reopening date scheduled for late March 2022.

Alongside the necessary updates to expand the kitchen, the pub will also benefit from a number of structural changes to enhance the pub’s layout, creating new and areas to drink, dine and entertain. 

A 40-cover garden room with retractable roof and sides will come to life with festoon lighting and planting to create a laid-back, all-day drinking and dining area. While, inside, the large bar area and lounge will be refreshed and an upstairs dining room that’s also available for private hire will be created. Outside a festoon-lit front terrace will offer additional seating for up to 70 guests.

Open all day, food at the Cambria will focus on classic pub grub alongside small plates and extensive grill options while drinks will centre on nearby Brixton Brewery’s hand-crafted, small batch beers and ales on tap.

Prospect Pubs & Bars director Mark Draper said: “This is now our third site operating with Star Pubs & Bars, following the successful reopening of the Victoria and the Blue Ball in Surrey. We value the support they offer us in terms of helping us expand and drive our business while they can be assured the sites they work with us on are in safe hands operationally, with a shared vision of embedding them back to their rightful place at the heart of the community.

“In spite of the pandemic, we’re on track with our expansion plans. We’re excited to bring the Cambria back to life and back into the heart of its vibrant community. These past couple of years have demonstrated the strength and value of a good local community pub, one that customers can call their own and where they can feel at home.”

Star Pubs & Bars business development manager Colin Coogan said: “We’re delighted that operators of Mark and Dan’s calibre are taking on the Cambria and taking it to a whole new level. They are very experienced pub operators and have a clear vision and a great track record of creating fantastic popular neighbourhood pubs, places where all ages can come together. This investment together with Mark and Dan at the helm will ensure it stands out from other pubs and becomes a favourite local.”


RedCat takes the White Horse Hotel in Romsey

Estate agent Savills, on behalf of a private client, has completed the sale of the White Horse Hotel in Romsey to RedCat Pub Company​, to be operated by The Coaching Inn Group. The sale price is undisclosed.

The White Horse Hotel is a 600-year-old former coaching inn that has been extended to provide attractive accommodation. The grade II-listed building has 29 en-suite letting bedrooms with extensive bar, restaurant, private dining and lounge space. The stables at the Kent site have been developed to provide a large function facility for 100 guests.

Savills head of licensed leisure Kevin Marsh said: “The demand for well-located pub and hospitality assets continues to be robust and this latest transaction shows great confidence in the market. The asset received interest from a wide range of buyers and we are delighted to complete a deal with RedCat.”


Camden market pub unveils the Farrier Wine Store

Camden Market’s first pub – the Farrier – has opened a dedicated wine store for off-sales of “unique natural and artisan wines”.

The Farrier Wine Store is housed within the restored former horse hospital and stables building and is claimed to be the area’s first wine specialist that allows guests to purchase by the bottle directly over the bar, or from their waiter at the end of a meal, to take home.

Showcased in the Farrier's impressive bespoke floor-to-ceiling wine wall with sliding ladder, the focus is on specialty and rare natural, biodynamic and organic wines from small producers and wineries from around the world. Styles range from natural British sparkling wines to easy-drinking favourites while showcasing lesser known orange wines and rare low production reds.

Winter specials that will lend themselves well to festive season entertaining will include the natural Italian sparkling Casa Belfi Frizzante and the English organic sparkling from Davenport Vineyards, and lesser known and more exclusive options, such as the biodynamic Cristom Pinot Noir and the organic Contea Merlot arrive just in time to make for perfect Christmas gifting for wine enthusiasts this season.
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Related topics: Property law

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