Three months after a joint refurbishment of The Old Bramshall Inn in Staffordshire 'With Neil Morrissey Pub Company', Star Pubs & Bars is embarking on a further £3 million investment in the county’s pubs before summer 2019. And there are a number of pubs to let set to benefit, offering strong business opportunities for others looking for a new venture with investment attached.
The partners are now looking for further leased pubs in Staffordshire with Star Pubs & Bars. “We look for successful, mutually profitable partnerships. Star Pubs & Bars are extremely helpful and supportive throughout and clearly recognise the value of skilled licensees. There are good opportunities available in Staffordshire and they’ll certainly provide whatever level of assistance and advice is required,” Slingsby said.
With over 90 pubs in Staffordshire spanning destination dining pubs, town centre bars and community and village locals, Star currently has some exceptional pubs available on agreements to suit licensees of all kinds. The Vaults in Uttoxeter comes with a £200,000 refurbishment, which will transform it into a stylish craft ale & gin house, whilst plans are approved for a £190,000 investment at The Royal Oak, a traditional pub in the canal side village of Rode Heath near Stoke. Other pubs such as The Railway in Congleton and the Princess Royal and the Terrace Inn in Stoke, to name but a few, are already well-established and maintained and just looking for new operators.
Actor and licensee Neil Morrissey and business partner Richard Slingsby believe the revamp of The Old Bramshall Inn played an important part in its restoration as a hub of village life.
“The Old Bramshall Inn was unloved and little used but, as the only pub in Bramshall village, we could see its potential. Plus it’s perfectly located 30 minutes away from our other site the Plume of Feathers at Barlaston; it’s far enough not to compete for trade but close enough for staff to move between the two. After a period of uncertainty, the revamp was a real sign of our commitment to the pub,” Morrissey said.
The £200,000 refurbishment redecorated the pub throughout - with Men Behaving Badly and Morrissey memorabilia as a feature - making it lighter and more contemporary, created a designated restaurant area and landscaped the garden. Star Pubs & Bars also upgraded the cellar with a SmartDispense system to ensure consistently great beer quality.
Formerly a wet-led pub, Morrissey and Slingsby have made freshly prepared, locally sourced food a focus at The Old Bramshall Inn to attract people from further away. Portions are generous and only the king prawns, ice cream and peas are bought in frozen. Trade is now 45/55 wet/dry with customers coming from as far as Stoke to eat. “People won’t travel that far for a drink but they will for good food,” Slingsby said.
The Old Bramshall Inn is trading well ahead of forecast and villagers are delighted with their new local. A whole cross section of the community now uses the pub, many of whom had not visited for years with children and dogs welcome. “We’re getting the same reaction as we did when we took over our other pub, ‘thank you for giving us back our pub,’” Morrissey said.
Morrissey and Slingsby aren’t resting on their laurels though, “We never stand idle. For long-term success you have to consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience and exceed expectations. It’s not easy in an industry where standards are higher than ever and we’re continually looking to add new things to maintain people’s interest. Neil Morrissey's celebrity status may bring people through the door once, but it won’t bring them back a second time, if they’re not impressed,” Slingsby said.
“The success of The Old Bramshall Inn is a great example of the difference the right operators can make to a pub. And it’s not about celebrity. We’ve got some amazing success stories right across Staffordshire, where the only change has been a new and passionate licensee,” said Star Pubs & Bars BDM Paul Marsh, who looks forward to meeting interested applicants and existing operators alike.
For further information on pub opportunities in Staffordshire call Paul Marsh BDM on 07768 950203 or visit http://www.starpubs.co.uk
STAFFORDSHIP KEY FACTS
County: the West Midlands.
Major cities and towns: Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Cannock, Burton-upon-Tweed, Tamworth and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Popular visitor attractions: Alton Towers and Drayton Manor Theme Parks, Cannock Chase (AONB), Peak District National Park, Lichfield Cathedral and Stoke-on-Trent’s Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.
Nearest airports: Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.