Pubs and Bars

Mardi Gras pub in doubt as annual rent doubles

JD Wetherspoon’s Mardi Gras pub in Trafford Centre in Manchester faces an uncertain future as a rent review has shown an annual increase of almost 100%.

F&B chains that took sites at inflated rents led to the increase, said Tim Martin, JD Wetherspoon’s chairman and founder. His firm had initially agreed to a rent of 10% of sales for a failed restaurant, paying £230,000, in Trafford Centre in Manchester, or, as Martin called it, “one epicentre of rental insanity”.

According to Martin, the landlord’s surveyor rose the rent to £691,000 per annum at Mardi Gras pub. He said: “The matter was referred to an arbitrator, who decided that the market rent was £415,000, about 20% of our sales, and just enough to ensure that the pub makes no money.”

The unsustainability of Mardi Gras pub joins this year’s significant rent cuts in casual dining brands such as Carluccio’s, Jamie’s Italian, Prezzo and Byron Burger.

Martin added: “Whatever the answer, the property market is again making a bad situation worse, by pushing up rents in the teeth of a vicious restaurant recession, and in a climate where three or four pubs are shutting down every week.”

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