Former Groucho Club owners buy Orchid's Bell and the Dragon business

31 August 2010 by
Former Groucho Club owners buy Orchid's Bell and the Dragon business

The former owners of London's Groucho club have swooped for Orchid Group's Bel and the Dragon business as they look to grow their presence in the hospitality sector.

Longshot, which was set up in 1994 by directors Ollie Vigors and Joel Cadbury and previously ran London 24-hour restaurant Vingt-Quatre, raised £30m last year to acquire businesses in the leisure sector.

Bel and the Dragon has four sites in Cookham, Godalming, Reading and Windsor and represents Longshot's first acquisition since last year's fundraising and refocusing.

Cadbury said: "This acquisition of Bel and the Dragon provides us with a strong platform to build Longshot's pub and restaurant interests.

"There is, we believe, considerable opportunity in this sector and we hope to acquire further leisure businesses where we can see potential to add value."

Rufus Hall, chief executive of Orchid, said Bel and the Dragon was a great, niche business with plenty of potential but one that didn't fit with the pub group's need for nationally scaleable concepts.

Bought by Michael and Andrea Mortimer in 1997, Bel and the Dragon was acquired by Gourmet Holdings in 2004 and sold to Ultimate Leisure in June 2007. Ultimate subsequently became Premium Bars & Restaurants, before its acquisition by Orchid in December 2009.

Orchid Group on a bargain hunt to expand its estate >>

Orchid Group rescues 43 Premium Bars and Restaurants sites >>

Ultimate Leisure completes pub chain buy to boost food business >>

Rufus Hall >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking