Publican Austin Whelan has added Acorn 20 in Kingston to his portfolio of pubs with Star Pubs & Bars, with plans to take on another two south London sites with the pub company later this year.
Whelan and Star Pubs & Bars are investing £500,000 into the revamp of the Kingston site into Irish pub brand Whelans, the third after Neasden and Uxbridge. Work on the site began today (11 June) and is expected to take five weeks to complete. The site had been closed for 18 months prior to the investment.
Featuring an emerald green exterior, black and gold signage and a courtyard garden seating for 25-30 people, Whelans Kingston will create 12 new jobs. The offer will include all-day dining, sports coverage and live music alongside a selection of wines, craft beer, Irish malt whiskeys and gins.
Whelan commented: "I've put my name to the Whelans brand and so it is important to me that Whelans represents the very best in Irish hospitality and is valued by the communities they serve. I want Whelans bars to stand the test of time and ultimately be run by my children, not disappear after 10 years.
"Both the Whelans we opened last year are trading above target, proof that the concept in the right place is a winner.
"We've chosen to take on further sites with Star as we have a great relationship with them. They are a good company to partner with, providing investment and business building support when we need it."
Dugald Macer, regional operations director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: "Austin is a very experienced pub operator with high standards and a clear vision. It's great that he's giving Acorn 20 a new direction and is supporting local talent through the entertainment that Whelans will offer. We wish him well with this latest venture and look forward to helping him develop his portfolio further later this year."
Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars offers start-up support to new pub lessees in the first year of trading.