Public House News


Unique Hospitality Management has taken on its seventh pub, Star Pubs & Bars’ owned venue The Fox Inn at Boars Hill, Oxfordshire.

The lease of the Fox Inn, which is situated between Oxford and Abingdon, has been acquired from MLC Pubs and Unique Hospitality Management is investing £350k in the venue. The pub had recently been refurbished for it’s reopening in September.

The Fox Inn offers seasonally changing menus which reflect the best of British produce, local beers, fine wines, spirits including a big gin range and cocktails. The pub also features an extensive decked area which Unique plans to capitalise further on.

The company’s Managing Director Andrew Coath said: “The Fox Inn makes it a magnificent seven pubs for the company. The Fox Inn is a really exciting acquisition for us and is a lovely traditional pub located in a great position close to affluent Oxford. We believe our fantastic Epic Pubs’ food and drink offer will work extremely well in this location.”

Partnership for Success

The Fox is Unique’s first Star Pubs & Bars’ site. Tim Galligan, the company’s Operations and Sales Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Unique Hospitality Management at The Fox, a pub that has tremendous potential.”

He adds: “This is our first venture with Unique with hopefully more to come. We wish them every success and look forward to supporting them with their exciting plans for The Fox.”

General Manager of The Fox Inn will be Hannah Strudwick who moves from

14 OCTOBER 2017

the company’s award-winning 185 Watling St Pub & Kitchen in Towcester, Northamptonshire.

Expansion Plans

Led by Managing Director Andrew Coath the company aims to have 15 sites by 2019.

Unique Hospitality Management has opened three pubs in the past year with its most recent venue private lease The Wheatsheaf Pub & Grill at Bow Brickhill, near Milton Keynes, which is the company’s first pub with a steak and seafood concept.

The Fox is part of the company’s Heroic Pubs’ division which also includes Charles Wells’ leases The Anchor at Aspley Guise and The Knife & Cleaver at Houghton Conquest, both in Bedfordshire and Punch lease Mill Street Pub & Kitchen in Oakham, Rutland.

New Operations Manager

The company has also appointed a second Operations Manager to help support its expansion plans.

Sam King joins the company from Cirrus Inns and has responsibility for The Fox Inn and the company’s first pub The Golden Ball near Maidenhead, Berkshire, which opened in 2015.

Above: The Fox Inn’s new General Manager Hannah Strudwick and new Operations Manager Sam King at The Fox Inn.


Pub operator and brewer Brakspear has recruited Peter Furness-Smith as a Non-Executive Director, with a particular focus on helping to develop the company’s expanding managed estate.

Furness-Smith retired this summer from McMullens, the Hertfordshire brewer and pub retailer, where he served nearly 20 years as Managing Director. McMullens has 85 managed and 35 tenanted pubs.

Previously, Furness-Smith spent 10 years as retail director of brewer and pub operator Morland. He also worked for Whitbread, including a stint as a manager of a Beefeater Steakhouse, and spent time in the City and the Army.

Furness-Smith said, “I’ve been impressed with what Brakspear has achieved over the last few years, particularly the clear market positioning they have developed for each of their pubs.

“I like their focus on people and the culture that exists across the business of genuinely putting customers first, and helping good individuals and teams to achieve their potential. The Brakspear managed estate looks set for great things and I look forward to helping the team to develop this side of the business. “

Brakspear’s managed estate stands at nine pubs including four sites in the Cotswolds as well as Henley-on- Thames, Marlow, Mickleham in Surrey, Staines and Shepherd’s Bush. Three more sites are scheduled to open later this year.

Furness-Smith joins Brakspear’s existing Non-Executive Directors Ed Turner and Tim Davies.

Above: Tom Davies with Peter Furness-Smith in the Bull on Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames.

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