Craft Union adds 31 sites, plans 500 by 2020

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

22 May 2017

Community pub focused operator, the Craft Union Pub Company has announced ambitious plans to grow the estate to 500 sites by 2020.

The company, part of Ei Managed Operations, currently has 122 pubs having added 31 pubs in the last three months. It plans to reach 170 sites by this September.

'It’s always been our intention to develop into a leading scale operator of community pubs and our recent expansion southwards marks an important milestone in that journey,' Frazer Grimbleby, operations director, said.

'We aim to put great quality pubs back at the heart of the local community as we strongly believe pubs play a vital role in the lives of their customers and we are committed to nurturing this.'

The company opened its first pub in May 2015, in the North of England, and focuses on drinks-led businesses. Its model is based on affordably priced beer, and a sports and entertainment offer in community pubs. However, the company is now trialling a new food offer focusing on simple dishes such as burgers and pizzas.

Sites opened within the last month include the Boundary in Norwich, The George in Ashford, The Crown in Ramsgate and The Clocktower in Torquay. The search for future sites will also focus in these areas.

'Absolutely key to the proposition is the close relationship and extensive support we provide our operators as they practice their craft of running outstanding pubs,' added Grimbleby. 'With the right investment in areas such as sports viewing, entertainment, quality interiors and affordable drinks delivering value to the consumer, we’re confident our pubs will continue to thrive.'

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