Mojo & Concept Taverns to launch sites

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Exciting ventures: Mojo and Concept Taverns to launch sites, Chickpea opens fifth pub
Exciting ventures: Mojo and Concept Taverns to launch sites, Chickpea opens fifth pub

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

There are new sites coming soon from Mojo and Concept Taverns, and a village pub and city cocktail bar have been brought to market.

Mojo to launch city party bar

Cocktail bar Mojo has announced it is set to open in Newcastle, Tyne and Wear on 7 April 2023.

Located at the Gate on Newgate Street near St James’ Park, the new bar with offer cocktails with home-made, classic American food as well as music from the last five decades.

The team will celebrate the opening with a huge party on 7 April, with a selection of free drinks and Mojo signature cocktails served to all guests until midnight.

Boasting a bar that stretches the length of the ground floor, Newcastle’s new venue will offer a cocktail list of more than 120 different serves.

Also on offer will be experiences including shuffleboard tables, beer pong and cocktail masterclasses hosted by the operator’s mixologist team.

The food menu spans from small bites like chicken wings and fully loaded fries, to larger dishes like Mojo’s smash burgers, hand-stretched pizzas and sweet treats like waffles and pancakes.

Mojo managing director Martin Greenhow said: “Newcastle is a fun, exciting and vibrant city, and we cannot wait to open our doors here with one of the biggest launch parties we’ve thrown to date.

“Our ethos is around bringing music for the people, food for the soul and good times forever, and we hope to deliver that to the people of Newcastle from 7 April. You’re in for a rock n’ roll treat.”


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Salisbury pub reopens after £300k makeover

The Old Mill in Salisbury, Wiltshire, has reopened after a £300,000 refurbishment by owner Greene King Pub Partners.

The site, operated by multiple operators Steve and Maria Harris – alongside daughter-in-law Nathalie Harris – is known for its views overlooking the River Naddar towards Salisbury Cathedral.

Inside, the pub has been renovated in keeping with the building’s traditional features including wooden panelling and distressed radiators.

As part of the refurb, the bar, toilets and restaurant areas of the pub have been upgraded. The site’s 11 en-suite hotel rooms have also been revamped and upgraded.

Outside, all of the pub’s signage has been upgraded and the roofing and external décor has been refreshed.

The Old Mill is Steve, Maria and Nathalie’s second pub with Greene King Pub Partners. They said: “We're thrilled with the refurbishment of the Old Mill, which maximises the guest accommodation and trading space of the pub whilst maintaining the incredible features of the building.

“We're extremely grateful for Greene King's investment and support, which has been instrumental in helping us grow our pub business.

“We look forward to continuing to evolve the Old Mill alongside our growing pub business.”

Greene King managing director, partnerships & ventures Wayne Shurvinton said: “Our £300,000 investment in the Old Mill will maintain the pub as a favourite spot for people to visit in Salisbury for years to come. It is a real pleasure to see Steve and Maria as our Partners continue to grow and develop their pub business with our support.”


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Village pub hits market

The freehold of the Wheatsheaf in Ness, Cheshire has been brought to market by leisure property specialist Fleurets.

The purpose-built pub is located in the centre of the Wirral village of Little Neston and is now available to purchase for £1m plus VAT.

The Wheatsheaf sits on a large site with 1.307 acres, including extensive gardens which provides at least a further 100 covers, in addition to the 100 internal covers.

The property is currently closed, however, previously operated as a combo of a local public house together with the provision of food catering for a drive-to customer trade.

Fleurets director David Sutcliffe said: “A purchaser may consider there is an opportunity to reopen the property and recommence trade.

“Alternatively, they may consider that the site offers an opportunity for redevelopment, subject to the appropriate planning consents being obtained.”


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18th​ century coaching inn off market

The George Inn, Robertsbridge, East Sussex has been sold, announced Fleurets.

The 18th​ century coaching inn is comprised of bar and dining areas with open fires, four letting bedrooms and an enclosed courtyard garden.

Roberto Kuligowski, the new owner, said: “My family and I are so excited to have this opportunity to put our stamp on this wonderful country pub.

“We plan to keep the fundamentals of excellent service, delicious food and a warm home-from-home atmosphere, while bringing our own twist to the menu and new events throughout the year.”

Fleurets South divisional director Nick Earee said: “I was delighted to have been involved in this sale on behalf of Jane and John Turner who have established a great village inn.

“There was strong interest from a number of parties, and we agreed terms with the new owners after a closing date for offers.”


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Grade II-listed Rogate pub is off market

Fleurets has announced the recent completion of the White Horse in Rogate, West Sussex.

The freehold of the pub has completed to Alex Whyte, a first-time publican, who said: “For the past 10 years I had been working in the city as a shipbroker. It was while planning my wedding and looking for pubs to suggest to guests that I came across the White Horse and decided it was time for a career change.

“The pub had so much old charm and character and that’s what really attracted me to it. It is also the perfect location as it sits right opposite the church and by the cricket pitch and with the south downs being so stunning, it was the only pub for me.”

Whyte has big plans for the White Horse. He said: “I’ve got a full refurbishment planned for the downstairs and will also be putting in four double en-suites upstairs.

“Food is also going to be a big aspect of the pub when we reopen, and we’ll have quality food with a fantastic chef specialising in local and seasonal produce. We’ll have everything from fresh fish and delicious meat to all the local vegetables.”

Fleurets South divisional director Nick Earee said: “I was delighted to have been involved in this sale and know that we have found a great owner in Alex. He has some fantastic plans for the White Horse to really elevate customer experience.”


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Robinsons pub reopens after refurb

The Three Bears, in Hazel Grove reopened on 15 March following a refurb by Stockport-based Robinsons Brewery and new licensee Mike Nicholas.

The renovation was targeted at broadening the pub’s appeal, growing the business and adding a brighter look and feel.

An extensive drinks range and a new feed menu of pub classics are on offer at the pub.

Nicholas said: “I’ve been in the pub industry for more than 20 years, and this is my second Robinsons pub including the Heron. Myself, Jacqui Sykes, Rachelle, Debbie and the original Three Bears team are very excited to welcome customers – old and new – to the Three Bears.

“It has all the charm of a cosy pub but with a modern twist and is established now as a fantastic place to enjoy a few pints and some food (which will be served towards the end of the month) with friends or family!”

The bar has been updated with new light front panelling, mirroring and modern shelving. Throughout the pub, a palette of greens, creams and soft neutrals are used, along with a new festoon and cluster lighting.

Robinsons Brewery business development manager Tony Massey commented: “The Three Bears now offers a freshly renovated pub for the community of Hazel Grove and beyond, an area which is up-and-coming.

“The site was in need of a new lease of life, so we have modernised sections and features of the pub, yet retained its cosy feel, which customers have always appreciated.”


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Manchester cocktail bar on market for £75k

Specialist business property adviser Christie & Co is marketing the Municipal Bar in Manchester’s city centre on a leasehold basis, with an asking price of £75,000.

The bar in Deansgate, Greater Manchester has come to the market amid the city’s newly announced city redevelopment plans in the area.

The Municipal is situated within the six-acre Great Northern site, which is set to be reinvented as a hub for 746 new homes and retail, leisure, food and drink businesses in 2024.

The business features a lounge bar to the front, where up to 40 customers can enjoy coffee and a range of independently brewed beers. To the back there is a 40-seat cocktail bar with a VIP area and a basement bar which is suited to large parties and events.

Christie & Co hospitality director Keith Stringer said: “Municipal offers an excellent opportunity for a new or established operator to get a site in turnkey condition in one of the city’s hospitality hotspots.”


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Concept Taverns to launch 12th​ Yorkshire venue

Yorkshire-based Concept Taverns is gearing up to launch the twelfth venue in its expanding portfolio of pubs and bars.

The Swan Tavern, Ripponden, West Yorkshire, is set for a summer opening, having undergone a £750,000 reinvention in the space formerly occupied by the Riverside Fox pub.

The venue will span two floors and will include a games room with pool and darts, a heated beer garden and a function room that can accommodate up to 75 guests. Sports fans can catch all the Sky and BT Sports big game action across multiple 4K screens throughout the venue.

The pub’s interior design will be modern, mixing exposed beans and brickwork with pops of colour. The design project was overseen by Yorkshire Project Design and Build Ltd.

Guests can enjoy 10 draught lagers and ales, four cask hand pulls, cocktails and a selection of world wines and spirits.

A menu of hand-stretched pizzas, shares and small plates will also be on offer. The opening will create 20 new jobs, alongside the appointment of Victoria Hatton as a new managing director.

Hatton said: “Having been part of the Concept Taverns success story going from five to 11 venues in the past few years, I was thrilled to accept my new role as Managing Director.

“I’m super excited to get started and I hope my position opens the door for more women to land similar positions in the industry.

“The Swan Tavern is a fantastic venue and the building itself has a rich history in the local area. We’re looking forward to becoming a key part of the community, and with so many great pubs, bars and restaurants in the area, we know we’re in great company.

“We’ve really fallen in love with the area and are excited to open in Ripponden this Spring. Having spoken to people around the town they seem like wonderful people who are just as excited about the Swan as we are.”


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Chickpea group opens fifth pub

Wiltshire-based operator Chickpea Group will open the doors to their new pub in Broad Chalke, Wiltshire this weekend (18 to 19 March).

The Queen’s Head will initially open for drinkers and diners with bedrooms to follow this Spring.

Situated in Chalke Valley, the building dates back to the 19th​ century. The renovation of the new pub will be a three-phase project throughout 2023.

So far, the interiors have been redecorated with the entrance area painted in Sudbury Yellow by Farrow & Ball and further rooms in a darker Inchraya Blue.

The bar and beams have been draped with hops and the walls are dotted with a mix of traditional and contemporary artworks.

What’s more, the floors are strewn with Persian and Kilim rugs and the team have created bespoke banquette seating to add more covers to the space.

The food menu, devised by head chef Dean Freckleton, will use local and seasonal produce. Dishes on offer include Welsh Rarebit and Brixham seabream ceviche, chilli, radish, lime & fennel.

The pub will also serve a wine list curated in partnership with nearby supplier Gardner and Beedle, and will launch its own beers through the business’ new brewery Rude Giant Brew Co.

There is a sheltered terrace area to the rear of the pub with space for 80 guests, and a beer garden in a wild meadow over the road, which includes table tops forged from felled trees.

The existing four bedrooms, housed in an annexe building to the back of the pub, will be revamped to match the group’s style.

Chickpea co-founder Ethan Davids said: “The Queen’s Head sits in the heart of the Chalke Valley and has all the quirks and charm one expects from a country boozer.

“We were keen to bring the pub back to its roots, so we’ve bashed it about a bit, removing all recently added walls, to create an atmospheric flow and bring to life the cosy corners we all love kicking back in.”

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