Market Taverns acquires Affinity's Lady Ottoline pub
Market Taverns has acquired the leasehold for the Lady Ottoline pub in London's Clerkenwell after its unexpected closure last year.
The Affinity group of London bars and restaurants suddenly closed all its sites last summer, including the Dickie Fitz in Fitzrovia, the Henry Root in Chelsea and the Princess Victoria in Shepherd's Bush. Eighty staff lost their jobs and the pubs went into liquidation.
Founder and shipbroker Richard Fulford-Smith later said he was exiting hospitality, blaming inflation, business rates, rent increases and the impact of the Brexit vote. He had opened the first pub, the Henry Root, in 2009.
He told TradeWinds News: "Trading turned down dramatically… and it struck us as time to move on."
Market Taverns is a family-run business which has traded for nearly 30 years. The Lady Ottoline joins its five other London sites, which include the Perseverance in Bloomsbury, the Market Porter in Borough Market and the Carpenters Arms in Marylebone.
The pub is intended to reopen in mid-February after refurbishment, and several members of staff who worked at the site previously, including head chef Tom Haste, have rejoined the business.
Market Taverns' Steve Welsh said: "We are delighted to have secured this excellent pub; it is a great fit for our business."
Fleurets acted on behalf of Market Taverns. Associate Simon Bland said: "It's a fine old Victorian pub which in recent times has had a strong reputation for its food and, having been closed for some months, I know many, many people will be looking forward to its imminent reopening."
The Lady Ottoline is named after Lady Ottoline Morrell, the society hostess and patron of the Bloomsbury Group of artists and writers. The property has a ground floor bar and a first floor restaurant and function room.
The Princess Victoria reopened in October after being acquired by the Three Cheers Pub Co.
Affinity Bars and Restaurants group closes down >>
Menuwatch: Princess Victoria >>
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