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Major investment at Inglenook Inns and Taverns’ fourth Star site

Work is starting this week to refurbish The Crown at Alrewas in Staffordshire after Inglenook Inns & Taverns signed a substantive lease with Star Pubs & Bars.

The Crown will become Inglenook Inns & Taverns fourth pub with Star and brings its total estate to 15. The £270,000 joint investment will refurbish the “tired” pub throughout and help with Inglenook’s plan to “establish it as a quality village pub with a strong food and drink offer” along with a revamped feature garden complete with lighting and covered areas.

Parts of the building date back to the sixteenth century and work will aim to retain and renovate features such as old beams, timber flooring and the snug, whilst making The Crown more comfortable and contemporary. A kitchen extension will enable the pub to serve a “premium menu” of freshly prepared pub classics as well as “more adventurous specials”.

Wet trade will be an equal focus and the refurbishment will upgrade the cellar with the installation of SmartDispense technology. Inglenook Inns & Taverns will also introduce local ales through Star’s partnership with SIBA and complement the range with a hand picked wine menu, selection of premium gins and a new whisky bar.

Whilst trade is normally 75% wet/25% dry at Inglenook Inns & Tavern sites, the company expects it to be nearer 50/50 at The Crown. Chef Andrew Widdas, an experienced chef and former head chef and nutritionist for Manchester United, will make food provenance a priority and locally source and even home grow ingredients.

Inglenook Inns & Taverns is set on further expansion with the aim of building an estate of 20 leased pubs across the North West, Midlands and Wales. James Waddington, director of Inglenook Inns & Taverns, said: “20 is the optimum size for us right now as we like to be hands on with the pubs.”

Waddington added: “It has got potential and the opportunity to add value in a perfect location for both local trade and drive to business from towns such as Lichfield and Tamworth as well as users of the Trent and Mersey canal. The affluent demographic is spot on for the premium locals we’re known for where the food and drink are excellent but also good value for money.

“We consider all kinds of locations – village, suburban and town. Star Pubs & Bars’ flexibility in creating agreements that work for the individual pub and our shared focus on premiumisation and willingness to invest make them ideal partners.”

Alun Johnson, Star Pubs & Bars operations director for the North Midlands, said: “Investing in pubs like The Crown to ensure they offer excellent quality, attract new customers and thrive for the long term is a priority for us. Inglenook Inns & Taverns has a proven track record in turning around underperforming pubs in affluent village locations similar to The Crown’s.

“They’ve made an impressive start at The Crown whilst running the pub on a temporary basis pre the investment. We’ve got a number of pubs where we’re looking to invest in in the region and we look forward to developing this model further with Inglenook Inns & Taverns.”

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