North west pub company Imagine Inns has increased its estate to four pubs with a new acquisition with Star Pubs and Bars.
The company has added The Feildens Arms at Mellor Brook and The Railway at Bromley Cross to its portfolio, and is to develop its new acquisitions with a £400,000 investment.
All Imagine Inns’ sites are on five-year rolling leases with Star Pubs and Bars. The Railway Inn is Imagine Inns’ first major refurbishment and its first joint investment with the pub firm.
The project will transform The Railway into a pub serving food and drink. A kitchen extension will enable it to serve freshly prepared food all day, starting with a full English breakfast at 9am. As at Imagine Inns’ other pubs, The Railway will have a dedicated vegan menu as well as pub favorites sourced from individual farms across Lancashire and Cumbria.
A 50/50 wet/dry sales mix is anticipated in line with those at Imagine Inns’ other sites and the pub will emphasise cask ales with six on tap, including local beers through Star Pubs and Bars’ SIBA partnership.
Mike Hales, chef and Imagine Inns director, said: “I like to look at the potential in a pub and imagine what it could become – hence the company name. We’re in no rush to expand. For us it’s all about finding the right opportunity, and each new pub we lease has to work before we move on to the next.
“To date, we’ve trebled trade at every business, and we anticipate further substantial growth at all of them. Leaseholds are a great way of getting a group of pubs off the ground. I’m not afraid to invest – you have to be willing to make bold moves to reap the rewards – but it’s reassuring to be doing it in partnership on such a big scheme.”
He added: “The plans for The Railway are stunning, and it’s good to work with a flexible partner who is receptive to my vision and ideas.”
David Pritchard, Star Pubs and Bars north west regional operations director, added: “We’re all about working in partnership with entrepreneurial licensees to deliver great pubs, and we’re excited to be partnering with Mike again. Mike took his first pub with us in November 2016.
“It’s an amazing achievement to have built up a group of such strong businesses in such a short space of time. Each one delivers excellence across the board, has its own individual feel and is focused on the needs of its community.”