Punch Taverns has entered into an agreement with the owner of former Michelin-starred Overton Grange in Ludlow, Shropshire, to develop a group of branded food-led pubs.
The as-yet unnamed chain will aim to offer good-quality food in an informal setting, according to Overton proprietor Franck Choblet. "We have a lot of fine-dining restaurants in the area but lack midmarket sites where you can have a good meal in a relaxed setting," he said.
With the backing of Bank of Scotland, Choblet has secured his first site, the Salway Arms, which is on the A49 between Hereford and Shrewsbury. The 120-seat Punch-owned pub will undergo a £400,000 renovation.
Choblet hopes to have up to six pubs in the chain in the next three years and has appointed Overton Grange head chef Olivier Bossut as group head chef.
In a separate deal, Choblet has signed a lease on the Roebuck at Brimfield, Ludlow. The Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries site will reopen on 13 October as a country-style dining pub. As a result, Choblet said it was likely he would stay in the area and take £1.65m Overton Grange off the market within the next few weeks.