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Wed 3rd Apr 2013 - Breaking News - Shepherd Neame offers new pub branding options
Shepherd Neame offers new flagship tenanted pub branding flexibility: The iconic Kings Head pub in Wye near Ashford, run now by Scott Richardson, who was previously manager of Atomic Kitten singer Liz McClarnon, has become the first Shepherd Neame pub where the landlord has chosen his own external branding as part of a dramatic move upmarket at the tenanted pub. The pub has re-opened as a stylish and contemporary inn offering “Kent produce with world flavours” – it will offer five bedrooms shortly. The pub has sought to individuate itself from stepping away from traditional Shepherd Neame branding. Richardson told Kent News: “There are a lot of Shepherd Neame pubs around here. So we wanted to make it different and the concept that we came up with they just loved. It’s a total different feel but still has some original features with more forward thinking.” The new look Kings Head is also be free to choose which beers to stock aside from the traditional Shepherd Neame beer range. Richardson added: “I think it was about what we could do for them. We are signed with them for six years, so we are giving them a much better pub and hopefully selling more beer.” Liz McClarnon, who won celebrity Master Chef, has also become the pub’s food ambassador – her deconstructed beef Wellington is on the menu. Shepherd Neame also believes that this could provide a new option for landlords in the future with the Castle Inn at Bodiam also offering an entrepreneurial re-branding. A Shepherd Neame spokesman said: “Our joint investment with the licensees at The King’s Head is one of the many ways in which a Shepherd Neame tenancy can suit entrepreneurs who are looking to run their own business. We welcome applicants who have a strong vision of the type of pub they wish to run, whether they’re looking to build trade based on food, beer, wine or entertainment and events. Where appropriate, we can provide additional expertise in these areas or consider improvements to the site. In this instance, we’re confident our partnership with the licensees will be great for the pub and the village of Wye as we’ve worked together to offer the village something unique.” The most recent TripAdvisor review of the refurbished Kings Head states: “Buzzy, stylish and a lot of thought and love has clearly gone into it. Definitely recommended. Didn’t stay the night but I understand the rooms are being completely refurbished too. If they are anything like the bar and restaurant they will be excellent.”

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