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Tue 25th Aug 2015 - Realpubs founders plan seven site expansion drive
Realpubs founders plan seven site expansion drive: Urban Pubs and Bars founders Nick Pring and Malcolm Heap, who previously sold Realpubs to Greene King for £53.1m, are planning to add seven sites to grow the business to 12 sites by March 2016. The pair have four new London pub sites in advanced legals and will also launch a pizza concept in mid-October, taking the company to ten sites by Christmas this year, with a target of adding two more by the end of March 2016. Urban Pubs and Bars, which was founded 18 months ago, has annualised turnover of circa £6m and is seeing very high levels of sales growth at its existing five sites. Of the four new pubs, one is a tenanted pub company lease and three are free-of-tie commercial leases. Pring told Propel: “These are four really good sites, a bit like the larger sites we used to run at Realpubs – they are all big, juicy monsters in good local neighbourhoods. We will have ten sites by Christmas and are looking to add two more by the time of the company’s second anniversary at the end of March 2016 – 80% of the estate will be held on commercial leases. In fact, now we’re looking for general managers, good chefs and an operations manager who want to be involved in this next part of the company’s growth. We’re still a young company and we’re looking for young energetic people who can drive the company on whilst myself and Malcolm focus on strategy.” The four additional pubs have been secured as the company prepares to open a pizza concept called Well Street Pizza on Well Street in Homerton, on the border of Hackney. A £300,000 investment is underway to convert a former launderette and a unit next door to the pizza concept. Heap said: “Well Street is one of the last remaining market streets in London and could well be the next Broadway Market. There are cool pubs and bars and a coffee roastery opening. Our pizza concept will have a hip, New York vibe and offer sit-in or takeaway pizza and pizza-by-the slice. It will have more than 60 covers on two floors – and the option to sit at the bar and watch pizza being made. We’ve been to Naples and found what we think is the best quality wood-fired pizza oven on the market – and we’re currently experimenting with different dough recipes. We think our pub retail skills are transferable and if we can grow the concept, we will. The rent is very sensible at this site and we won’t get everything absolutely right when we open. But we can afford to spend time here getting the offer right before we look at more expensive sites. We’re looking a manager with extensive pizza experience. This could be the next Franca Manca and anybody joining us will be involved from the start.” Anybody interested in these positions should email Nick Pring on nick@urbanpubsandbars.com


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