London-based bar and restaurant group the Columbo Group has bought two East London music venues with a view to re-open them as new bars.
Bar Music Hall was bought for £1m, while the Cat and Mutton's lease was purchased for £430,000. The acquisitions will take the company's London portfolio to eight.
Bar Music Hall will re-open in early April as Blues Kitchen Shoreditch, making it a sister site to the Blues Kitchen in Camden, north London. The 500-seat restaurant and bar will offer a Texan-style menu, a varied selection of bourbons, and live music every night.
The Cat and Mutton is also closed for refurbishment, and will re-open in March.
The bar has been on the current site since the last 17th century. It was originally an alehouse for workers at the nearby Broadway Market, but will now operate as a partnership between the Columbo Group and co-owner Tom Gibson, who also owns Ruby's Cocktail Bar in nearby London district Dalston.
Steve Ball, co-director of The Columbo Group, said: "The opportunity to take on these two classic East London venues was too great to pass up. They're both superb sites with great potential and a strong local story behind them. We are very excited about growing The Columbo Group's East London presence."
Founded in 2006 by Steve Ball and Riz Shaikh, the £18m company has a history of taking over and revamping well-known live music and DJ sites in the capital.
Its most high-profile projects include the Old Queen's Head in Islington, Paradise by Way of Kensal Green, Kensal Green, Shoreditch's XOYO, Love & Liquor in Kilburn, and the Nest in Dalston.