Pubs: Enterprising Vale landlords remain ready to invest

Banbury Cake: Dushan Salwathura at the Nag's Head, in Abingdon Dushan Salwathura at the Nag's Head, in Abingdon

WANTAGE landlord Peter Fowler has invested £250,000 in The Shoulder of Mutton since he took over two years ago.

And the Wallingford Street pub won White Horse Camra’s pub of the year in April.

Mr Fowler, who leases the pub from Admiral Taverns, said he plans to spend another £100,000 to create a brewery and guest rooms.

He said: “I tried to turn the pub around from a tough old dive to a proper public house, where you could have families.

“Good pubs will survive and the reason they will survive is because people are social beasts and they do like to relax with people outside the family.

“The pubs with a social community are the pubs that are surviving through it all.”

In Abingdon, riverside pub the Nags Head will soon reopen. It has been closed for more than 18 months after the former landlord quit, blaming high rent and poor winter trade.

But Dushan Salwathura,, above, landlord of the Broad Face, also in Bridge Street, has taken on the lease and hopes to have the pub open by October after a £80,000 facelift.

Mr Salwathura said: “It’s a great location and it has a massive potential.”

The new landlord said the deal with the Spirit pub company was finalised last week.

He said he would probably have to invest a further £250,000 in the pub.

Comments (3)

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2:14pm Thu 9 Aug 12

EMBOX1 says...

Good news - nice to see a pub not being turned into *another* Indian/Chinese restaurant.
Good news - nice to see a pub not being turned into *another* Indian/Chinese restaurant. EMBOX1
  • Score: 0

9:22am Fri 10 Aug 12

abouttimeto says...

Great news
This and wetherspoons opening will hopefully give Greedy king some food for thought in Abingdon at last.
Great news This and wetherspoons opening will hopefully give Greedy king some food for thought in Abingdon at last. abouttimeto
  • Score: 1

10:17am Wed 15 Aug 12

Victor's_friend says...

I do hope that these lessee landlords have done their sums. Shoulder of Mutton lessee to spend some 350,000; Nags Head some 330,000. No mention of what if anything the property owner will spend - they can sit back and ensure that the rent is paid, and ensure that the drink stock is obtained through their preferred supplier at the price they dictate, not the pub operator. When the money runs out the lease is terminated and all the expenditure is near worthless unless you are bitter enough to rip out all the improvements, but then you have to make good any damage done to the structure.

Before local breweries owned their pubs and had loyal operators where loyalty worked on both sides. Now the only way to survive is as a freehouse or on the lines of Wetherspoons. The likes of Punch, Bass, etc are really finance companies, the major single brewer being Carlsberg Tetley Budweiser.......I can't remember the rest of the name as they keep buying each other. What happened to Inbev?
I do hope that these lessee landlords have done their sums. Shoulder of Mutton lessee to spend some 350,000; Nags Head some 330,000. No mention of what if anything the property owner will spend - they can sit back and ensure that the rent is paid, and ensure that the drink stock is obtained through their preferred supplier at the price they dictate, not the pub operator. When the money runs out the lease is terminated and all the expenditure is near worthless unless you are bitter enough to rip out all the improvements, but then you have to make good any damage done to the structure. Before local breweries owned their pubs and had loyal operators where loyalty worked on both sides. Now the only way to survive is as a freehouse or on the lines of Wetherspoons. The likes of Punch, Bass, etc are really finance companies, the major single brewer being Carlsberg Tetley Budweiser.......I can't remember the rest of the name as they keep buying each other. What happened to Inbev? Victor's_friend
  • Score: 1

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