Greene Kings buys Cloverleaf Restaurants for £56m

Greene King has used up the remaining proceeds from last year’s rights issue by buying and investing in Cloverleaf Restaurants, a Blackburn-based pub restaurant chain.

The Suffolk brewer paid £55.8m for the company, which operates 12 sites across the North of England and the Midlands, with a further 10 to be opened within two years.

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Marston’s sees strong start to 2011

Midlands brewer Marston’s said today that despite poor weather and the VAT rise trading at the start of the year has been better than expected.

Speaking as the group reported like-for-like sales across its managed pub estate up 11 per cent for the 10 days to January 3, 2011, chief executive Ralph Findlay acknowledged that this year’s numbers were helped by softer comparatives with the same time last year, when the weatrher had been even worse and VAT was lower than it is today. 

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The rise and fall of the British pub

The term “public house” was used for the first time in the 17th century, giving birth to a national institution.

Taverns, which principally served wine, alehouses and travellers’ inns had existed for centuries, but the concept of a “pub”, where customers could drink, watch spectacles such as cock fights and carry out local business was new.

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Mitchells & Butlers chairman steps down

Mitchells & Butlers has announced that John Lovering is to step down as chairman of the pubs, bars and restaurants group.

Mr Lovering has told the company’s board that he wants to leave the company as soon as a replacement can be found. The veteran retailer, who previously chaired Debenhams, is understood to have become disillusioned with shareholder groups, including Pirc, questioning his independence.

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Enterprise Inns income falls 1%

Enterprise Inns has taken a £2m hit from lost sales because of the heavy snow before Christmas, but even without that, net income per pub fell by 1% during the 16 weeks to the middle of January.

While it admitted the icy conditions had kept its regulars at home, it said it was due to “the resilience of licensees and the determination of their customers” that the impact was limited to £2m. It added that some of the December shortfall had been made up since the end of the period, and it remained confident that net income per pub for the whole of its estate would improve during the year.

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Bars, pubs and clubs to open late for royal wedding

Bars, pubs and clubs will be allowed to stay open to 1am for two nights in a row to celebrate the royal wedding.

According to the Sunday Mirror, ministers are expected to announce the move within days in order to help venues plan special events around Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 29 April wedding.

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Young’s set to unveil new £2.7m hotel operation

Young’s, the London-based pub operator, is set to open a new £2.7m hotel operation at one of its flagship pubs.

The Alma, a Young’s pub in Wandsworth, South London, will throw open its doors next week after an extensive investment programme which saw the creation of 23 high-specification bedrooms.

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