West Country gastropub group Flatcappers has opened its third pub, the Battleaxes in Wraxall, near Bristol.
Flatcappers, which was founded by ex-Bibendum general manager Pierre Woodford and Bristol-based bar operator Loungers, spent £325,000 refurbishing the Grade II-listed building.
The pub, the largest in the Flatcappers estate, was originally built as a temperance house by the Gibbs family who resided in the now National Trust-owned gothic mansion Tyntesfield.
The company said it was planning to add five boutique letting rooms, an extra 60-seat separate bar on the lower-ground floor and a 90-seater terrace. It also predicted that turnover would rise from £1m to £1.5m once the work was complete.
Flatcappers opened its first pub, the Castle Inn in Bradford on Avon, in 2007 and followed that up with the opening of the Bell Inn in Rode, near Frome, in October last year.
Speaking of the deal to take on the Battleaxes, Flatcappers managing director Pierre Woodford commented: "The pub had been in decline for a number of years and yet it was known by so many people in the area as having been a very busy pub 20 years ago."
"There's a very large, strong catchment and not many decent food pubs. Plus we have the benefit of the ties the Battleaxes has with Tyntesfield, which now attracts in excess of 100,000 visitors a year. It's fair to say we did a very quick deal to secure the pub".
Speaking of the opening, Loungers managing director Alex Reilley added: "Loungers is delighted to continue to assist growing the Flatcappers brand and we're particularly chuffed with The Battleaxes - it's a cracking pub."
By Neil Gerrard
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