New sites from Escapism Bars, BrewDog & Chickpea Group

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Openings: Entertainment bars, traditional inns and gastropubs launch
Openings: Entertainment bars, traditional inns and gastropubs launch

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

Operators including Fuller's, BrewDog, Chickpea Group, Escapism Bars and Yummy Pubs are gearing up to launch new sites across the country and further afield.

Fuller’s opens waterside venue

Fuller’s has announced the opening of a new waterside pub, the Narrowboat, at Blake’s Lock on the River Kennet in Reading.

The Narrowboat, a historic building that was once a biscuit factory, sits on the waterfront of the Kennet Canal just a short distance form the centre of Reading.

Formerly one of the company’s Bel & Dragon sites, the pub boasts five bedrooms.

The site will be run by incoming manager, Natalia Foley, who joins the team from the Victoria Arms in Binfield – another Fuller’s pub less than 10 miles away.

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Chestnut acquires Cambridgeshire inn

East Anglia hospitality group Chestnut has announced the acquisition of the Old Bridge in Huntingdon.

The inn has been owned and run by John and Julia Hoskins since 1994.

It offers 24 boutique bedrooms and sits on the banks of the River Great Ouse.


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Escapism Bars to launch two Manchester sites

Leeds-based operator Escapism Bars is expanding its portfolio with two new venues in Manchester, Greater Manchester.

Launching under the Mean Eyed Cat and Tiki Hideaway brands, the new bars are set to appeal to students, after-work drinkers and late-night party seekers.

Independent company Escapism Bars was founded in 2004 by Phil and Mel Harrison and focuses on party spaces in city centres.

The new bars will employ 20 people.

The Mean-Eyed Cat is a deep south-themed dive bar that offers free pizzas with drink purchases as well as party games and cocktails.

Cocktails on offer will include several Johnny Cash-themed drinks including I Walk The Lime, a key lime pie inspired classic, and Ting of Fire, a fruity, vodka cocktail with watermelon liquor and grapefruit juice.

Its sister bar Tiki Hideaway will open downstairs. The Hawaiian-themed run shack will serve Caribbean-inspired cocktails, including a Flaming Zombie serve.

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Chickpea Group to open sixth site

The Wiltshire-based Chickpea Group are set to add a sixth pub to their portfolio this summer.

The Silver Plough in the south Wiltshire village of Pitton is planned to re-open in late August.

Dating back to the 18th​ century, the venue is currently closed for refurbishment.

Works to renovate the upstairs and the old skittle alley to form seven bedrooms will then begin in Spring 2024.

The Silver Plough’s interiors feature beamed ceilings, wooden floors and fireplaces, and there will be three large areas for dining inside with space for around 100 covers.

There is also a beer garden at the front of the pub.

The team will work with local suppliers to serve a menu filled with pub classics, alongside a wine list from Gardner and Beedle, and beers from the business’ new brewery in Wiltshire, Rude Giant Brew Co.


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Yummy Pubs to launch seafood restaurant in the capital

Multi-site operator Yummy Pubs is gearing up to launch a new seafood restaurant concept, Faber, after acquiring a site in Hammersmith.

The long-term lease on the former Villagio restaurant venue in north London has been snapped up by the south east-based pub company, business property adviser Christie & Co has announced.

The site, which sits in the heart of Hammersmith, is set to undergo a complete revamp, and will reopen as Faber, debuting the operator’s fresh drive towards championing British seafood.

Yummy Pubs​​ founder Anthony Pender said: “We’re very excited to announce that we have created a new British seafood restaurant concept as part of our Yummy Pub Collection, and we will be working alongside Christie & Co to obtain a pipeline of sites to roll out the concept over the next five years."



BrewDog to launch new bar in Australia

BrewDog is set to open a new bar in Perth, Australia, at the end of the year.

Work on the new site on Gordon Street, costing around $3m, will begin in August.

This marks the Aberdeenshire-based brewery and bar operator and Australian Venue Co (AVC) expanding their partnership to WA.

The site will transform Gordon Street Garage on the city fringe in West Perth into a destination brew pub with capacity for 600 patrons.

It will be the fifth BrewDog in Australia and the first in WA.

  • If you have any information regarding new openings, refurbishments or property details you think could be used in this weekly round-up section, along with hi-res landscape images, please email nzryvr.znhevpr-wbarf@jeoz.pbz​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ or​​​.

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