Pubs and BarsVenues & Properties

Northampton pub operators acquire first Oxfordshire site

Northamptonshire pub operators Mark and Melissa Lynch have taken the lease of The Bell at Banbury with Star Pubs & Bars.

The pair will commence work on a £320,000 refurbishment which will see the pub modernised with a “distinctive” craft beer and cask ale offering along with pizza served from the kitchen.

The Bell is set to become the fifth pub in the Lynchs’ pub portfolio consisting of one freehold and four leased sites.

Work at the site will involve a complete renovation and restyle of The Bell and revamp of the kitchen and toilets. The refurbishment will open up the interior and giving the pub a new look with decor aiming to reflect the pub’s history.

SmartDispense will be installed and craft beers, ciders and cask ales from local breweries, will be available along with a range of gins and rums. The addition of a specially imported Italian oven will allow the pub to make “authentic” pizzas, with all-day coffee also set to be introduced.

Neil Convery, operations manager at Star Pubs & Bars, said: “The Lynchs are extremely switched on operators with a very clear vision for The Bell and we are delighted to be undertaking our first investment project with them. The Bell has untapped potential and the refurbishment will give it a real identity and broaden its appeal.”

The pair of publicans run the Maximise My Business and The Good Pub Restaurant Company chains and are currently looking to double the size of their estate to 10 sites. The couple is interested in leased and freehold pubs “in need of development and a new direction” in community and town centre locations across Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and
Gloucestershire.

Pub operator, Mark Lynch, said: “We specialise in turning round and relaunching struggling pubs. The appearance and quality of the pubs is very important to us. The leased model works well as it brings the benefit of joint investment and enables more rapid expansion without tying up capital. However, freeholds are also attractive as a good way of building up value in our business.”

The Lynchs’ other sites include the awarding-winning Princess Alexandra in Northampton and the Queens Head in Higham Ferrers.

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