Coal Grill and Bar owner hires adviser to review options: Charterhouse Leisure has hired Christie & Co to undertake a review of the strategic options of the business, which suggests sale options will be looked at. The company, which trades under the names Coal Grill and Bar and Severnshed, has reported “another year of solid growth” within the casual dining sector. For the year end February 2016, annual sales grew by 19.6% to £12.2m and site Ebitda by 12.5% to £1.8m. Group Ebitda grew by 22.9% to £1.094m. The group finished the year with ten restaurants and two more under contract. John Gater, the founder and chief executive, said: “This was a year of working with our teams to consolidate our performance, develop our customer engagement, improve our marketing and prepare ourselves for a period of growth. I am delighted that we now have two sites under contract and confirm that negotiations are developing well on many more sites across the country where we can expand the Coal Grill and Bar brand.”
Amber Taverns purchases JD Wetherspoon’s Edward Rutland pub in Stourbridge: Managed operator Amber Taverns has bought The Edward Rutland pub in Stourbridge, West Midlands, from JD Wetherspoon. There is set to be a meeting between staff and Amber Taverns at the pub in High Street tomorrow (Thursday, 14 April) to discuss plans for the venue’s future. However, JD Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said all current staff would be transferred to Amber Taverns when it takes over in May. He said: “We can confirm that the pub has been sold to pub company Amber Taverns and the pub’s final day as a Wetherspoon outlet will be 6 May. We understand that our customers will be disappointed that Wetherspoon has decided to sell the pub, however the company, like many others, has to make commercial decisions which are right for the business. We would like to thank our customers for their loyalty over the years.” The Edward Rutland was one of 34 pubs across the country put on the market by JD Wetherspoon in November. However, JD Wetherspoon’s other pub in Stourbridge – The Chequers Inn, also in High Street – will remain part of the company’s portfolio. Amber Taverns operates more than 100 sites across the Midlands and the northern part of the UK.