Punch Taverns to continue US-themed sports bar and grill rollout

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Champs Ilford: the venue will include 11 HD TV screens
Champs Ilford: the venue will include 11 HD TV screens

Related tags: Public house, Punch taverns

Pub operator Punch Taverns is to open its first Champs sports bar and grill in the south of England, and the sixth in total.

In a joint £430,000 investment with licensee Jat Bhardwa, the leased operator will turn the former Maguire’s site in Ilford, Essex, into a US-themed sports bar.

The venue, on Chapel Road, will include 11 HD TV screens together with seating booths with individual TVs. It will open on 25 June following a five-week refurbishment

A grill menu will centre on ribs and burgers, and there will be a resident DJ on Friday and Saturday nights.

Rising Sun

Bhardwa – who has been running bars since he was 18 and is now 34 – also owns and operates Ilford pub the Rising Sun, formerly owned by Punch. Prior to that, he owned the freehold of the Earl of Wakefield in Forest Gate.

He said: “I’m a mad football fan. Over the years, I’ve played for local teams and I’ve always owned or operated bars, so this is a perfect match for me.”

Bhardwa added: “With Champs, I get to create a fantastic, premium sports bar while watching all my favourite matches. It’s great to team up with Punch, which is offering me a raft of support to make sure that it’s a winning concept.”

Champs was developed by Punch in 2012 after it bought the name of the former Champs bar in Sheffield’s Ecclesall Road from Thornbridge Brewery, before opening up a new bar under the same name 100 yards away.

The original Champs was turned into a real ale bar and restaurant by its new owner BrewKitchen.

Punch said the investment into the Ilford site will also create 30 new jobs for the town.

Related topics: Venues, Pubs & Bars

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