Prospect Pubs & Bars ramps up expansion with four new openings planned

pub & bar

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Prospect Pubs & Bars ramps up expansion with four new openings planned

Related tags: Pub & bar

Former Redcomb Pubs owners Dan Shotton and Mark Draper have announced four new additions to their Prospect Pubs & Bars portfolio, with further expansion expected.

The pair, who sold Redcomb Pubs’ 15-strong bar and restaurant estate to Young’s back in 2019​ in a deal worth £34m, have taken on The Blue Ball in Walton-on-the-Hill for their third site under the Prospect Pubs & Bars banner.

Another three sites have already been acquired for opening this year, with Shotton adding that the group plans to acquire five to seven sites per year from 2022 onwards.

The Blue Ball is currently undergoing a £250,000 facelift and will reopen on 24 May.

Featuring a Covid-safe 100 cover restaurant and bar, outside The Blue Ball also includes three heated Tiki-thatched huts, a large terrace and garden with kids play area, plus parking for up to 25 cars.

Inside, the pub is being stripped back to showcase some of the site’s original features, creating an open drinking and dining area with a 'warm and homely atmosphere'.

The Blue Ball’s dining offering has been developed by local executive chef Nick Maloney, and will focus on locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. The menu will include ‘proper pub classics, done better’, as well as more premium 'gastro' dining options, an extended grill section, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.


Drinks will include local and well-known beers and ales, alongside premium international beers and ciders, premium spirits including local gins, a wide selection of wines from lesser-known grapes and vineyards, and an array of low and no-alcoholic options.

"Whilst Covid may have messed around a little with our opening and growth plans over the last year, we’re eager to get this country pub back up and running and back at its rightful hub for the local community," says Shotton.

"We’re also delighted to say that we’re back on track in terms of Prospect’s expansion plans, with three other sites already acquired for opening this year and future plans to acquire five to seven sites per year from 2022 onwards.

“This has been a devastating year for the entire hospitality sector, but it has also reinforced the importance that the British public places on its neighbourhood pubs, demonstrated by the huge support we’ve seen across both of our current sites during the short periods that we have been able to trade.

"We remain very positive about the outlook for our sector and the place that a well run, community pub will always have in the hearts of our population.”

Draper and Shotton announced the launch of Prospect Pubs & Bars in June 2019​ following the acquisition of their first site, The Evenlode in Oxfordshire.

Last year they also took over The Victoria in Woodham, which they launched in November.

Related topics: Openings, Pub & Bar

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