Big Smoke Brew and Fever-Tree open airport venues, Liberation Group and Song Capital acquire pubs

By Amelie Maurice-Jones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pub news: A bumper week for property as airport venues planned, pubs open in Camden and Bath and pubcos acquire new sites
Pub news: A bumper week for property as airport venues planned, pubs open in Camden and Bath and pubcos acquire new sites

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

New sites are opening in Bath and Camden, Big Smoke Brew and Fever-Tree open airport venues while Song Capital, Liberation Group and the team behind Whitelock acquire new pubs.

Big Smoke to open two airport pubs

Surrey-based brewer Big Smoke Brew Co is set to open two craft beer and food pubs at Heathrow Airport this summer.

The Oceanic will open in Terminal 3 while the Globe will be located in Terminal 5. Both will serve Big Smoke’s core range of beers and gins, accompanied by seasonal food.

Opening in June 2022, the pubs will feature Big Smoke’s modern design aesthetic with the Oceanic referencing the original name of Terminal 3, which opened as the Oceanic Terminal in 1961. Meanwhile the Globe is claimed to be an acknowledgement of the breadth of international destinations to which Heathrow’s Terminal 5 connects.

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RedCat continues to grow inn portfolio

Rooney Anand’s investment vehicle RedCat Pub Company has announced the purchase of the Castle of Brecon hotel, bringing the number of pub hotels owned by its subsidiary The Coaching Inn Group to 26.

The Coaching Inn Group, which was acquired by RedCat​​ in August last year, operates coaching inns in market towns across the UK in locations such as Cambridgeshire, the Cotswolds, Peak District, Leicestershire and Staffordshire.

The most recent purchase dates back to 1089 and is formed around the Castle of Brecon. It includes 43 bedrooms alongside a number of public spaces including bars, restaurants and function spaces that cater for more than 300.

Views from the building feature the Brecon Beacon mountain range and the garden has direct access to the River Honddu.

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£250k overhaul for Revolution Cheltenham

Revolution Bars Group has invested £249,000 into a makeover for its Revolution Cheltenham bar, which is set to reopen in time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The move will pay homage to the bar’s original roots as a church with the refit including five, exclusive best seats in the house and its reopening date will be Thursday, 2 June.

The quarter-of-a-million-pound investment will also see the venue show off specially commissioned murals in the lobby, which bleed out into the street once the doors are open. Inside, the redesign will feature special effect LED lighting suspended from the ceiling, laser cut back-lit metal screens in the private booths and bespoke 3D sculptures. 

There will be subtle hints towards the building’s former life as a church, including original artwork and a repurposed church pew while a larger dance floor will also be joined by “the ultra-exclusive Best Seat in the House area”, which comprises five VIP tables. Sponsored by vodka brand Ciroc, the area boasts leather seating and a living ceiling. 

On its reopening, the venue will be suitably decorated to celebrate the Queen’s monumental achievements. A relaunch party planned to take place on Saturday 4 June will be free entry and has a Heaven and Hell theme with surprises and free food and drink samples. 

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SA Brain sells 95 pubs to Song Capital

SA Brain has completed the sale of the freehold and leasehold investment of 95 pubs to Song Capital and partners.

The Welsh brewer and pub company put 99 pubs on the market in 2021, in order to “provide a foundation for growth for the future of the Brains brand”.

The proceeds will go towards paying down Brains’ remaining bank debt “significantly deleveraging” the business.

The pub portfolio was marketed by real estate adviser Avison Young for a price reflecting a net initial yield of 5.75%.

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Team behind Whitelock’s acquires East of Arcadia

East of Arcadia in Meandwood, Leeds, opened last Friday (27 May) after being bought by the owners of Whitelock’s Ale House.

The owners will trade for two months under the venue’s current name before closing for a refurb in August then relaunching in September under a new name.

Whitelock’s purchased the lease via the Leeds office of the specialist licensed property agents Fleurets who were acting for the outgoing Tenant.

Whitelock’s managing owner Ed Mason said: “We are excited about our expansion to Meanwood and the acquisition of this high profile pub.

“We want to bring our Whitelock’s values of a warm friendly welcome, convivial atmosphere, excellent quality beers and a commitment to local and independent food and drink suppliers. We want to serve a diverse local community where everyone feels welcome.”

“The past two years have been very difficult for all hospitality businesses, but we are seeing demand at both Whitelock’s and Five Points Brewing bounce back strongly.

“Despite the challenges around cost of living at the moment we believe that people see and value a trip to the pub and a good quality pint as an affordable treat.”



Liberation Group acquires 2 sites from OHH Pub Company

Liberation Group’s UK Butcombe Pubs & Inns acquired the Northey Arms in Box, Wiltshire and the Rising Sun in Backwell, North Somerset from OHH Pub Company yesterday (Thursday 26 May).

The acquisition aligns with Butcombe’s long-term strategy to grow its presence in the West Country via the acquisition of high quality, predominantly freehold pubs able to support a premium, food-led offering with accommodation.

“We are delighted to welcome these fantastic pubs to the Butcombe side of the family,” said Liberation Group chief executive Jonathan Lawson.

He added: “These two new sites are a great fit for us, both geographically and operationally and they offer an exciting opportunity for us to deliver our award-winning food, drink and hospitality experience to locals and visitors alike.”

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Peach Pubs acquires the White Lion

Peach Pubs has announced it has acquired the White Lion in the village of Radford Semele near Leamington Spa, making a major investment in the business to bring a great local pub back to the community.

Peach has already started work on a complete refurb of the White Lion to put the heart back into the pub, highlighting all the original features and giving the interior and exterior a new look.

There will be cosy snugs for drinks and dining with varied tables an da mix of colourful patterned fabrics and velvets. A modern garden room with feature artwork and bi-fold doors will open onto a newly landscaped garden with a covered pergola, lounging sofas and dining tables.

The move is a return to Peach’s roots, as it opened its first pub in the county, the Rose & Crown in Warwick, twenty years ago this month.

“The White Lion is a beautiful, old pub in a beautiful village, and we are lucky to call it one of ours,” said Peach partner Sarah Robinson.

She continued: “Since taking it on, we have got to work to give it the attention it deserves, to make it a great pub for everyone in the village to enjoy as well as guests from further away.

“The refurbishment is making good progress. We shall re-open the doors in mid-June and can’t wait for the moment to come when we can welcome people back. 

“In the meantime, we are recruiting and are looking for enthusiastic people to join our team in a variety of front and back of house roles.”



Fever-Tree open first-ever premium bar and café at Edinburgh airport

The Fever-Tree bar and café, featuring 51 seats situated below and around a tree canopy, opened in Edinburgh Airport on 18 May 2022.

The bar’s drink menu will feature serves made from Fever-Tree’s mixer paired with spirits, alongside beer, wine and bubbles.

Working with designers Russell Sage Studio, the Fever-Tree bar and café has been designed to reflect the natural world.

Fever-Tree co-founder and chief executive Tim Warrillow said: “Over a decade on from when we pioneered premium mixers, we continue to lead the way in elevating drinking experiences – this time at an international travel hub that is Edinburgh Airport, with our first-ever airport bar and café.

“We are looking forward to sharing more drinks with travellers from around the world as we embark on our journey to premiumise airport drinking and dining globally.”



Coyote Ugly opens new site in Camden

Coyote Ugly is bringing its ‘high-octane style of hospitality’ to London for the first time with the opening of a site in Camden.

Located in Camden Market, the 5,000 sq ft bar is expected to open later this summer and will join existing Coyote Ugly sites in Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and Swansea. 

Popular with stag and hen parties, the brand offers an affordable menu centred around burgers, pizzas and wings.   

Steve Lewis, the chairman of the Breaking Brands group which owns the UK franchise rights to Coyote Ugly, is planning to open further sites under the brand both in and outside the capital.

“The history of rock and roll in Camden is a perfect fit for Coyote Ugly. With the success of our other bars in the UK, we know Camden is an ideal location and it’s hugely exciting to have signed the deal,” he said.

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New pub to open in Bath

The Architect, in Bath, Somerset, which has been refurbished from the old Garfunkel’s restaurant, will be opened by Brunning and Price on Thursday 23 June.

The pub will be situated on Orange Grove close, overlooking Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge and will occupy much of the ground floor space of the old Empire Hotel.

There will be an outside terrace as well as a glass covered veranda, a well-stocked bar and plenty of tables.

Additionally, there will be a private dining room available for larger parties and plenty of room for diners around a mixture of rooms that incorporate cosy booths and tables with stunning views out to the Abbey.


  • To find out about pubs for sale, lease and tenancy go to our property site.​​
  • 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 emailnzryvr.znhevpr-wbarf@jeoz.pbz​​ before midday on Tuesdays.

Related topics: Property law

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