Young's adds sites to portfolio, Gary Usher crowdfunds for first pub

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Pubs & property: Young's acquires two pubs, Greene King is revamped
Pubs & property: Young's acquires two pubs, Greene King is revamped

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Young's has added two southern pubs to its portfolio, as Gary Usher smashes a crowdfunding target to open his first pub, and a Greene King pub gets a £430k revamp.

Operators take on Greene King site after £430k revamp

The Drawing Rooms in the Lanes, Norwich has been taken on by multiple operators in partnership with Greene King Pub Partners.

The pub, formally known as the Birdcage, has been transformed after a £430,000 investment from the pubco. It will be the fifth site managed by operators Pete Harvey and Frances Chisholm.

As part of the revamp, the pub has been completely overhauled with a 1920s art deco theme including green, gold and dark wood.

The main room of the bar will also nod to the building’s history as an old architect’s office with drawings on the walls. Booths will also feature in the new bar.

The bar has also changed its offer to that of a cocktail and entertainment bar in a speakeasy format.

Harvey and Chisholm commented: “As soon as we saw the plans for the Drawing Rooms, we knew we just had to take it! Greene King’s investment has transformed the site and it is no longer recognisable from what it once was.

“The pub is now firmly positioned as a cocktail and entertainment bar at the heart of Norwich’s lanes, which matches perfectly with our experience as operators.”


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Young’s adds 2 new pubs to portfolio

Young’s has announced two acquisitions to its estate, meaning it now has a 226-strong pub portfolio.

The 16th​​ century coaching house the Griffin Inn, Fletchling, in East Sussex overlooks the Ouse Valley and has a public bar, lunge, dining and private dining space.

It also has 13 en-suite bedrooms alongside a large garden with outdoor bar and covered terrace for all year round alfresco dining.

James Pullan, who previously ran the pub, paid tribute to his time at the south east site over the past four decades.

He said: “After 44 years of owning, running, living and loving the Griffin Inn, we have decided to sell the business.

“Over this time, we have created an iconic and unique pub and it was of paramount importance to us for the next owner to continue this legacy.

“We are delighted Young’s has taken over the mantle – the non-interventionist approach and all-round professionalism will ensure the Griffin Inn remains everyone’s go to, favourite pub. We wish Young’s every success in the future with this historic gem.”

Furthermore, the group has also acquired the Carpenter’s Arms in Tonbridge, Kent, which was previously run by Jamie Brady.

The site comprises a large bar and restaurant, outdoor garden with huts and front patio as well as nine en-suite bedrooms.

Brady said: “It has been a privilege to have been at the helm of the Carpenter’s Arms for the past 30 years and wish every success to Young’s as it takes the pub into this new chapter.

“With many other local community pubs thriving within the Young’s family, I know the group will continue to deliver the service and quality to locals and visitors alike.”

Read more here

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Gary Usher smashes £200k target to launch first pub

Celebrity chef Gary Usher has crowdfunded more than £222,000 in a week to reopen the White Horse in Churton, Cheshire as Elite Bistros’ first pub.

The Kickstarter campaign launched at 9pm on Tuesday 1 November then closed on Monday 7 November and won support from a total of 1,352 backers. 

In January, the team had an offer accepted on the country pub, which is about 15 minutes away from their other venue the Sticky Walnut as well as their events HQ. It had been vacant for around two and a half years, but was freehold with had no brewery ties and had space for five bedrooms upstairs. 

“The White Horse is beautiful and so is Churton,” said Usher. He continued: “My mum and dad live a few minutes away so I’m very familiar with the area, taking my dog Billy walking round there with my mum and dad’s dog Rossa.   

“I’ve always loved it there and just can’t wait to get it back open!” 


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Anspach & Hobday completes brewery expansion

London-based cask and keg brewer Anspach & Hobday has completed the expansion of its brewery following a crowdfunding drive that mean it is now capable of producing 1.76m pints per year.

The final investment figure of £661,000 achieved more than double the independent brewer’s target of £300,000.

The new kit brings Anspach & Hobday from a 1,400L batch kit to a 4,000L batch kit, bringing its yearly capacity from 333,000 litres to 1m litres, equating to up to 1.76m pints a year. Anspach & Hobday added the new brew kit sets the foundations to even grow far beyond that into the future with additional tank space.

Read more here


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New Loungers concept to reinvigorate roadside dining

Loungers, multiple operator of café-bar and restaurants brands Lounge and Cosy Club, is set to reinvigorate the spirit of the ’70s and ’80s in Britain with the launch of roadside dining concept Brightside.

Brightside will be a restaurant brand reminiscent of Little Chef and Happy Eater sites that were a hit with motorists decades ago – and is targeted for rollout at such locations.

The first restaurant to open will be on the A38, south of Exeter, in February 2023, with two additional locations to follow quickly on the A303 near Honiton and on the A38 near Saltash, in the spring next year.

Loungers said it sees great potential to reinvigorate roadside dining in the UK, a sector it believes has become “tired and uninspiring”.

Read more here

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