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The Caterer

Regional Spotlight: Sutton, Surrey

27 August 2004
Regional Spotlight: Sutton, Surrey

The residents of the town of Sutton in Surrey have become discerning critics over the years as their town has been the testing ground for a whole host of new licensed brands and concepts.

The town was the site of the first Litten Tree and All Bar One, and new operations continue to come and go with astonishing rapidity.

Sutton town centre is dominated by its long high street and most of its licensed properties, the majority of which are part of chains, are to be found either on or just off this thoroughfare.

Volume drinking outlets are well represented on the high street, and at weekends the late-night bars do a very good trade. The pubs that are frequented by the local office workers, such as the Old Bank, next door to the railway station, do particularly well.

The high number of office buildings close to the centre guarantees a strong lunchtime trade and a brisk early evening trade, while at weekends the town attracts people from a wide area.

Customers tend to be either locals or there on business, leaving little demand on the hotels front, which is dominated by the 116-bedroom Holiday Inn.

With the domination of the town centre by the big corporates and the absence of local tourism in Sutton, the best bet for independent operators and first timers lies with buying a leasehold or freehold food-led pub business in one of the nearby local towns and villages such as Cheam and Ewell.

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