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Stratford’s ‘King Eddies’ pub secures Olympic legacy

By Luke Nicholls , 22-Jun-2012

The King Edward VII, a traditional pub in the heart of Stratford, East London, has been acquired by Rocky Raj Group, with plans to convert part of the property into a British restaurant and wine bar.

The Group, which also operates the Resham restaurant brand with sites in Norbury and Finchley, hopes to capitalise on the increased footfall from the pub’s popular location close to Westfield Stratford shopping centre and the Olympic Park.

“The east end is a growing area and the Olympics is undoubtedly going to bring more people to the area,” Jigar Patel, a spokesperson for Rocky Raj, told BigHospitality. “The previous owner had it for seven years and throughout that time he was able to build up the trade.

“We’re want to further increase the takings on the pub as well. We’ve got a function room, a saloon bar and the front bar. We want to turn the function room area into a restaurant with a minimum of 60 covers.

“It will be a wine bar and restaurant serving traditional English pub grub. We will be making everything in-house from scratch, under our head chef Louis Spencer.”

Prominent location

Rocky Raj bought the part-tied enterprise leasehold to the 19th century, Grade II-listed pub, known locally as ‘King Eddies’, from the New English Pub Company at an asking price of £250,000.

Stewart Harkness of Christie & Co, which marketed the property, said: “King Eddies is widely acclaimed to be the best pub in Stratford, on which the new owners should be able to build thanks to its prominent location close to Westfield Shopping Centre and the Olympic Park.

“The sale naturally attracted a great deal of interest, not least because of its established trade and popularity and its location. We anticipate they will make a great success of this newest venture.”

Westfield not helping

Although the Olympics at nearby shopping centre are seen by many to be major footfall generators, Patel insisted that the decision to acquire the site was not related to the Games and that Westfield Stratford is not necessarily having such a positive effect.

“The Olympics has got nothing to do with the business. In the current climate and in the past, the pub has performed very well year-on-year. We want to maintain that growth and actually take things even further. In this respect, the Olympics will definitely bring more crowds.

“Currently, Westfield Stratford is not really helping us. All of the pre-Olympic tourists that are coming in from the tube stations are being diverted straight to the Olympic park on the opposite side of Stratford, rather than them coming to this side.

“People coming from the trains are going to go straight to the Olympic Park. But there are always going to be passers-by and people will be wondering round after the Games, so it will definitely increase and we will build up a better name.”

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