Italian restaurant operator Prezzo has bought the 26 bedroom George Hotel in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire.
The company, which runs more than 140 restaurants nationwide, bought the freehold of the property from Punch and will open a Prezzo restaurant on the ground floor and in the basement after carrying out a major refurbishment.
Jonathan Kaye, chief executive of Prezzo, said that the company had not yet decided what they will do with the first and second floor of the property, which dates back to the 14th century and is the oldest inn in Bisphop's Stortford and the third oldest in Hertfordshire.
"We shall either sell it, let it or run it," he said. "We shall consider our options over the coming weeks."
Brandon Elmon, director of agency and acquisitions at Davis Coffer Lyons which handled the acquisition on behalf of Prezzo, said that several hoteliers had shown an interest in the upper parts of the property.
"Acquiring this type of property is a new source of opportunity for Prezzo and is something that we will be actively seeking countrywide for them in 2010," he said.
By Janet Harmer
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