Northamptonshire pub operators Mark and Melissa Lynch have taken the lease of The Bell at Banbury with Star Pubs & Bars and are commencing work on a joint £320,000 refurbishment. The project will transform the tired local into a quality pub with a distinctive craft, cask and pizza offer.
The Bell is the fifth pub in the Lynchs’ portfolio of one free hold and four leased sites.
The work will involve a complete renovation and restyle of The Bell and revamp the kitchen and toilets. The Bell was enlarged 80 years ago by incorporating an adjacent petrol station and garage into the building. The refurbishment will open up the interior and give the pub a stunning new look with quirky features reflecting its history. SmartDispense will be installed and craft beers, ciders and cask ales – including those from local breweries – will be a specialty along with an extensive range of gins and rums. The addition of a specially imported Italian oven will give the pub a USP for authentic pizzas in the area. All-day coffee will also be introduced.
A beautiful all weather courtyard garden will be created behind the pub complete with a covered al fresco area with a projector screen for showing sports and other events.
Comments Neil Convery, Star Pubs & Bars operations manager, “The Lynchs are extremely switched on operators with a very clear vision for The Bell and we are delighted to be undertaking our first investment project with them. The Bell has untapped potential and the refurbishment will give it a real identity and broaden its appeal.”
The Lynchs, who operate two pub companies – Maximise My Business and The Good Pub Restaurant Company – are now looking to double the size of their estate to ten sites. The couple is interested in leased and freehold pubs in need of development and a new direction in community and town centre locations across Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire. Says Mark Lynch – who has over 25 years experience in the pub industry: “We specialise in turning round and relaunching struggling pubs. The appearance and quality of the pubs is very important to us. The leased model works well as it brings the benefit of joint investment and enables more rapid expansion without tying up capital. However, freeholds are also attractive as a good way of building up value in our business.”
The Lynchs other sites include the awarding-winning Princess Alexandra in Northampton and the Queens Head in Higham Ferrers.