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Oakman Inns and Restaurants secures ninth site

21 March 2014

Oakman Inns and Restaurants has secured its ninth site, this time in a former Indian restaurant in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

The company will spend £800,000 refurbishing what was the Veer Dhara restaurant, and plans to open in it July.

The 100-seater site will operate as The Beech House, the same name as the site Oakman Inns opened in Beaconsfield New Town a year ago.

"My philosophy is to give the chefs at each unit the autonomy to produce food that is from local suppliers. Their menu will reflect local needs and will be driven to an extent by the community they serve. It gives our chefs responsibility, rather than being automatons, and allows us to make our restaurants and bars truly local. In those terms, The Beech House isn't ever going to be a brand in the normal sense of the word. In this case it's a reflection of a modern and much more sensitive approach to meeting customer needs."

Oakman Inns raised £5.5m under the EIS scheme in a stepped fund-raising strategy with the second stage, which will raise £2m, starting this month. It hopes that the additional funding will allow it to expand to 11 units by the end of 2014, of which Borg-Neal is confident ten will be trading by Christmas.

"We have increased our team in the last three months so that we have experienced professional and highly-respected management across the key operations, marketing and financial departments who will handle our expansion and help manage our growth," he said.

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Jacobs Media Group 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.

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