Pubs (and bars) in brief …

West Berkshire Brewery has opened its first pub in its sole ownership. It has taken on The Grapes, in Oxford.

Wadworth has launched new spring and summer gluten-free menus and an increased vegan offering for its managed pubs. The menus are available now in its managed pub estate throughout the West Country.

Horse Groom Upper Oddington

The Horse and Groom (pictured), at Upper Oddington, Gloucestershire, has been sold to Drunken Sailor Holidays Ltd, in a deal brokered by Colliers International, acting on behalf of Old Amersham Hotels. Norman Liu, from Drunken Sailor Holidays, said: “We want to create a memorable dining experience, mixing fusion cuisine with fantastic local produce, such as Gloucester Old Spot pork, to make the Horse and Groom that little bit more different and exciting. We strive to source as much of our produce within a 50-mile radius of the pub.”

Bank Top Brewery has launched its third pub, reopening the Old England Forever in Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire.

The British Beer and Pub Association has written to the Home Office requesting extended pub hours for Victory in Europe Day 75, which will celebrate 75 years since the Second World War ended in Europe. Celebrations will take place from VE Day 75 itself, on Friday, May 8, 2020, across the weekend to the Sunday.

The Leopard, in Norwich, has been named as Norwich and Norfolk CAMRA’s pub of the year. Rural pub of the year is the Green Dragon, at Wymondham, and cider pub of the year is Norwich’s White Lion. The branch has also named its first club of the year — the Bob Carter Leisure Centre, at Drayton.

Kirkstall Brewery has taken on its fourth bar venue. It has bought the Black Horse Hotel, in Otley — a live music spot — in association with Brudenell Social Club.

Whitley Bay’s Black Storm Brewery has opened its second retail out, a micropub in Newcastle called Drop Everything and Drink (DEAD).

Innis & Gunn is to convert its Bar & Kitchen venues to the Innis & Gunn Brewery Taproom. The first site to be re-named is on Lothian Road.

Titanic Brewery has submitted a planning application to convert the former Nat West Bank, in Newport, Shropshire, into a Titanic Bar Café.

The Little Black Dog Beer Company, which operates The Doghouse in Selby, has applied to open a second pub, in Castleford.

Camerons is adding a gaming bar to its Head of Steam venue in Nottingham. The space will feature pool, darts, and retro arcade games, among other attractions.

Kings Clipstone Brewery is set to open its first pub. The plan will see the conversion of the pavilion in Racecourse Park, Mansfield.

Seven freehold pubs owned by Authentic Alehouses, which went into administration this month, have been placed on the market via agent Christie + Co. The pubs are the Albert Hotel in Hull, the Countess of Rosse in Shipley, the Crown Inn in Addingham, the Fountain Inn in Barnoldswick, the Ponty Tavern in Pontefract, the Red Lion in Driffield, and the Wakey Tavern in Wakefield.

Adam Councell has been named new finance director of Fuller’s. In a statement, the pub company said: “Adam is an operationally strong accountant who has experience of mergers and acquisitions and restructuring.”

Like-for-like bar sales at JD Wetherspoon rose 5.9% in the 26 weeks to January 27. There were good profits from beer and coffee, but the big performer was gin, sales of which rose by 20%.

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