London pub company Fuller's has bought three well-known pubs in London and Hampshire.
The company's acquisitions are: the Cabbage Patch in Twickenham, the Coach and Horses in London's Soho and the Crown in Bishop's Waltham, Hampshire.
The Cabbage Patch, which is popular among rugby fans visiting Twickenham stadium, has two bars as well as a nightclub known as "The Patch". It will be added to Fuller's managed division and a refurbishment is planned to upgrade the cellars and fabric of the building.
The Coach and Horses on Greek Street is famous as the setting of Private Eye's "The Regulars" cartoon featuring British journalist Jeffrey Bernard and immortalised in the play Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell starring Peter O'Toole. The Coach and Horses is also remembered for its former landlord Norman Balon, the self-styled "rudest landlord in London". The Grade II-listed building will be added to the Fuller's tenanted division and receive a "sensitive refurbishment".
The Grade-II-listed Crown in Bishop's Waltham is currently closed and will undergo extensive refurbishment. It will re-open in early 2012 under the managed division. The pub's wood-panelled interior and inglenook fireplaces will be retained while a continental-style external eating area, beer garden and bedrooms will be added.
Fuller's group managing director, Simon Emeny, said: "These acquisitions represent an exciting period for Fuller's as we look to extend our position in London but also expand into new areas where we believe our brand will be well received. This year we have already purchased the Swan hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, a beautiful period building with great promise.
"The Cabbage Patch is a famous rugby pub and with our existing landmark Twickenham rugby pub, the Turk's Head, puts Fuller's in a great position to take advantage of the excitement around the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The Coach and Horses adds to Fuller's existing strengths in iconic London pubs and fits well with the acquisitions we made in 2009, such as the Roundhouse in Covent Garden and the Red Lion on Parliament Street.
"The Crown Inn marks somewhat of a departure for Fuller's, where we will spend more on the refurbishment of the property than the freehold itself to create a fantastic Fuller's pub experience almost from scratch. The property has huge potential and we look forward to putting our stamp of quality on what is sure to be a great addition to our portfolio."
By Neil Gerrard
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