Anglian Country Inns (ACI), the pub and restaurant company led by James Nye, has taken on its fifth site, the Water Lounge in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.
The new site - to be called Water Lane - will be refurbished before re-opening next spring with a 100-cover restaurant and separate cellar bar, created in a similar style to its sister site Hermitage Road Bar & Restaurant in Hitchin.
Harry Kodagoda, director of food at ACI, said the venue would serve locally-sourced freshly-prepared food as seen at its other four sites, alongside a wide range of beers, 'well-chosen' wines and spirits.
"We are really excited about this new venture in historic Bishops Stortford," he said. "The town has a great feel for us and the building in Water Lane has amazing original features and character to accommodate our exciting ideas. It will be well suited for our fresh food offer where we plan to incorporate lots of local produce and seafood from our fishermen friends in north Norfolk."
Nye said the company,which won Best Food Offer in this year's Publican Awards , had bought the site's freehold for just over £1m using a combination of internal cash flow and funding from Barclays.
He said: "It has been a very enjoyable experience working closely with Barclays. Their support over the last two years has been central to the organic growth of ACI. The 2 per cent cash back initiative under their ‘Cashback for Business’ which Barclays made available through the Funding for Lending scheme, really helped to sweeten the deal."
Jeremy Cook, relationship director at Barclays Luton and Hertfordshire, said: "The purchase of the new site in Bishops Stortford fits well with the Directors’ long term strategy of creating a portfolio of quality bars and restaurants with original features that quickly become popular with the public."
Water Lane will join ACI's group of individually-run pubs The White Horse and The Jolly Sailors in Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk; The Fox in Willian, Hertfordshire and Hermitage Road Bar & Restaurant in Hitchin. The company also owns Brancaster Brewery, a five-barrel microbrewery.