Pubs (and bars) in brief …

JD Wetherspoon saw revenue rise 4.9% to £933m in the 26 weeks to January 26. Like-for-like sales were up 5%, and profit before tax and exceptional items rose by 15.2% to £57.9m.

Fuller’s has opened The Windjammer, a managed venue in Royal Dock, London. Set to harbour a community atmosphere, The Windjammer will focus on fresh, seasonal food, and exceptional service. With a split-level interior, featuring a large downstairs bar and dining area set below a similarly versatile mezzanine floor, the pub boasts breathtaking views of the river and Thames Barrier. Nautical touches and plants are dotted throughout the interior, and this is continued outside into the decked seating area.

Mitchells & Butlers is to open The Brass Haus, a bierkeller-style venue, in Westover Road, Bournemouth.

Windsor & Eton Brewery has opened its fourth pub — the Rose and Olive Branch, in Virginia Water.

Stonegate Pub Company has completed its acquisition of the Ei Group. Stonegate paid £3bn for the company. The new business is being led by Stonegate chief executive, Simon Longbottom.

The Foresters Arms, a community pub in Reading, has re-opened following a joint £200,000 investment by Admiral Taverns and new licensee, Maria Dykes, who has 25 years’ experience in the industry. The opening saw more than 600 guests come through the doors. Mayor Paul Woodward had a preview of the refurbishment the day before the official opening when he cut the ribbon.

Surrey’s Big Smoke Brew Co is opening a fifth pub. It is re-opening The Raglan, in Wokingham, in mid-March, under its original name, The Lord Raglan. A £350,000 refurbishment is under way.

Lakeland Inns has snapped up The Royal Oak, which sits alongside the River Crake in Spark Bridge, a village in the Lake District National Park. The pub has been closed more recently, but will re-open later this month after a mini-revamp, serving a wide selection of wines, spirits, and locally brewed ales.

PubAid has welcomed Greene King as its first ever patron. The group receives funding from a number of supporters, with Greene King becoming the first to commit at the highest level of £5,000 per year for three years. PubAid co-founder, Des O’Flanagan, said: “We’re delighted that Greene King has stepped up to be a patron and are grateful to all the pub companies, brewers, and others who have supported PubAid over the years. To enable us to plan for the longer term, we are seeking support guaranteed for three years, with a choice of funding levels. This will allow us to be more ambitious with our plans to raise the profile of pubs as a force for good in their communities and wider society.”

Young’s has completed the acquisition of The Constitution, in Camden, London. The transaction included the acquisition of the leasehold interest from Pubs of Distinction, and the freehold from an investor. The deal was brokered by Fleurets. Brendan Brammer, acquisition manager of Young’s & Co, said: “We are delighted to acquire this property, which has canal frontage, large external trading area, and is located in the heart of an area which continues to see significant urban regeneration. We intend to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the site ready for summer trading.”

Kate Eastwood has joined Fuller’s as operations director of its City division. Kate has a background in food, retail, marketing, and, most recently, sales in the hospitality sector. She joins from Revolution Bars where she held the post of sales and marketing director.

Everards saw revenue from its pub estate increase 3.5% in the year ending September 30. It is due to open its new brewery on the 90-acre Everards Meadow site this autumn.

More than 1,000 pubs have signed up to the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz, running from March 8 to 12. Organiser PubAid is confident this year’s event will hit an all-time high in pub participation and money raised for charities, including Action Against Hunger. » Read more: New charity partner for World’s Biggest Pub Quiz

Red Lion Charing Heath

The Red Lion, in Charing Heath, has re-opened following major refurbishment, which included transforming a disused barn into four guest rooms. The Shepherd Neame pub, between Maidstone and Ashford, dates back to the 16th century. It has been redecorated throughout, retaining the pub’s historic features and traditional feel, but adding a contemporary twist. 

Punch has launched a Quality Drinks award in partnership with Cask Marque, to further improve and recognise drinks quality and best practice in its pubs. The initiative will see its venues assessed and marked on the quality of serve in all aspects of its drinks — from keg beer and cask ale to spirits and soft drinks — with the highest scorer receiving the award.

Brewhouse & Kitchen has reported a busy festive period across its 22 brewpubs. Liquor and food sales were up 7% like for like. Pre-booked party covers were up 14%.

Mitchells & Butlers traded well over the core three-week Christmas period, the company has reported, with like-for-like sales growth of 5.6%, including strong performances on all of the key festive days. Overall sales have strengthened over the 14 weeks since the business’s last update, with like-for-like growth of 3.5%, and particularly strong food sales growth.

Cardiff brewery Brew Monster has launched a bar on the City’s High Street, close to the castle. The company crowdfunded to upgrade from its existing taproom.

Developer Crest Nicholson, Milton Keynes Development Partnership, and McMullen & Sons have teamed up to deliver a new pub at Campbell Wharf in Milton Keynes. Situated on the Grand Union Canal, the pub will offer a social hub and destination for residents and the local community. Offering indoor seating and 66 parking spaces, the pub will also feature a beautiful outside terrace and south-facing beer garden overlooking the marina.

Black Country Ales has re-opened the Seven Stars pub in Stourbridge. The venue is being run by Paul Hicks and Liz Oakley and will feature mostly the brewery’s own ales, with some guests.

The Queen’s Head in Boughton, Kent, has -re-opened after a £100,000 refurbishment by Shepherd Neame. Reuben and Kate Love have taken charge of the historic 16th century pub, which offers cask ales as well as a selection of local and international lagers.

Geoff Thornton, founder of the Atlas Pub Co, has opened Hoist House, a bar offering craft beer and real ale, in the Wellington Place development, Leeds.

BrewDog has opened its 100th venue. The bar at Capital Dock, Dublin — the company’s first in Ireland — has an on-site five-hectolitre microbrewery.

Stonegate is to put 40 sites on the market to help address competition concerns surrounding its acquisition of the Ei group.

Robinsons has purchased the six-strong Individual Inns estate, according to industry website Propel. The pubs will join Robinsons’ managed estate in Cumbria and Yorkshire.

Woolpack Banstead

A £1.3million transformation of The Woolpack in the Surrey village of Banstead has been completed by Shepherd Neame. It has been remodelled to raetain its warm, traditional feel, but with a quirky modern touch. The drinks offer has been refreshed, with an extensive range of beer and cider on draught and in bottle.

NewRiver has announced the acquisition of community pub company Bravo Inns Limited for £17.9 million. Bravo Inns owns 44 wet-led community pubs, predominantly located in North West England. These will be converted to NewRiver’s Hawthorn Leisure brand, which operates 660 community pubs.

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