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Sun 24th Feb 2013 - Breaking News - Lovering backs new company Fireside Pubs
Ex-M&B chairman Lovering backs new company Fireside Pubs & Restaurants: Former chairman of Mitchells & Butlers John Lovering has backed an operational team that is looking to build a group of food-led pubs in the south of England. Lovering has made the investment through his vehicle, Echelon Partners, and his son, Nick, will join the board of the new company. The group, which will trade under the Fireside Pubs & Restaurants brand, is led by industry veterans Leo Murphy and Alan Moore. The first unit, which is in Chelmsford, Essex, has been re-furbished and will be re-launched under the new name The Admiral J McHardy (www.admiraljmchardy.co.uk) this month. The team plans to expand to around 20 units over a three to five year period. As part of the transaction, Echelon has taken a strategic stake in Moore and Murphy’s existing business, The Arizona Group, which provides management, advisory and consulting services to owners, operators and investors in the licensed retail and hospitality sector. Nick Lovering said: “We are delighted to have completed this investment with Leo and Alan. They are a well-respected and high quality team with a very exciting model, which matches our understanding of customers’ requirements. We look forward to continuing to support the team as they develop the Fireside Pubs & Restaurants brand and think that this first unit represents an excellent springboard from which to establish the concept and develop the group.” Murphy said: “It has long been part of our strategic plan to develop our own pub group and we believe that market conditions are now conducive to so doing. We are delighted to welcome John and Nick as backers and are already seeing the benefits of their involvement. The prospects for the first site are encouraging and we are confident that our model will deliver a premium experience combining a quality food offering and value for money, and that each Fireside Pub & Restaurant will be at the heart of the local community. In the meantime, our focus will be on the continued expansion of the Arizona Group, which provides high quality solutions for stakeholders in the licensed retail industry.”

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