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Thu 21st Jul 2022 - Red Mist Leisure founders launch new venture New Dawn Pubs
Red Mist Leisure founders launch new venture New Dawn Pubs: The founders of Red Mist Leisure, the south east pub group, which is now owned by Red Lion Holdings, have launched a new venture called New Dawn Pubs. Mark Robson, chair of the British Institute of Innkeeping, founded New Dawn Pubs earlier this month alongside fellow directors Mark Williams, Julian Clarke and Julie Phipps, who founded Red Mist Leisure in 2004. They completed the sale of the 11-strong Red Mist Leisure to Red Lion Holdings at the beginning of July, and subsequently secured four of their former pubs – The Red Lion in Odiham, The Royal Exchange in Lindford, The Rose & Crown in Upper Farringdon in Hampshire and The Castle Inn, Farnham in Surrey. The business has since exchanged on a further, yet-to-be-named “iconic” pub near Guildford, Surrey. The new pub will receive a substantial refurbishment prior to reopening in early 2023 as part of their new collection. The company said plans have also been set in motion for investment at the existing sites, the first of which will be The Castle pub in Farnham. Full decoration and redesign will begin in August and run for six weeks, to give the historic building an updated identity, including refurbishment of the bar, main dining room, external patio, both private dining rooms, toilets and the grand entrance off Farnham’s Castle Street. The founders of New Dawn Pubs said they are relishing having a smaller portfolio, focusing on “delivering a quality product and service, a united, enthusiastic team, and targeted, sustainable growth”. They said this week’s acquisition is the start of a new growth plan, and they look forward to other opportunities arising in the near future, so the team can “expand the collection of great pubs, taking real pride in servicing the communities in which they serve”. Propel understands the initial focus will be on reopening the new acquisition and refurbishing the existing estate. Robson told Propel the group planned to secure another site, but after that will assess where the business is before expanding further. Robson said: “We plan for all New Dawn Pubs to lead the way in design and authenticity, and to offer a fantastic environment for our customers to enjoy quality food and drink in; somewhere they’ll want to return to for every occasion. We have great pride in what we have achieved previously, and this new pub is an exciting opportunity for us to create something new and wonderful for our guests.” Propel revealed in January last year that Red Lion Holdings, the pub investment group led by sector entrepreneurs Jason Myers and David Ramsey, had acquired a majority stake in Red Mist Holdings, from the original founders led by Robson and Williams. Red Mist grew to operate ten pubs across Surrey and Hampshire, before its acquisition by Red Lion Holdings. It added a further site – The Parrot, near Shalford, Surrey – last spring.

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