Saturday 24 September 2011

Psst, wanna buy a pub?

The Pollyannas of the beer blogosphere are always telling us that, despite the gloomy headline numbers, there are still great prospects in the pub trade if you get the formula right. So here’s a golden opportunity for you – the Nag’s Head in the large south Cheshire village of Wheelock.

It’s an attractive freestanding pub by a road junction at the south end of the village, which appeared in the 2010 Good Beer Guide. Currently closed, but not yet boarded up. Maybe a bit tatty at the moment, but nothing a lick of paint couldn’t sort out. There’s no shortage of houses nearby, so plenty of potential walk-in trade. It’s a fairly prosperous part of the country – certainly no run-down urban wasteland – and not too far from Crewe which is a major centre of population. Surely a great chance to mix a cask-led local with a bit of destination dining trade, or maybe a showpiece tied house for a local micro-brewery. And currently available, freehold and completely free of tie, at a knock-down £125,000.

The estate agents’ fact sheet can be seen here.

In practice, for any budding pub entrepreneur, there are plenty of pubs on the market in promising enough locations at very reasonable prices. But there’s little evidence of people being prepared to put their money where their mouths are.


  1. The stupid thing being that it would be worth far more as a house.

  2. Of course it would be, as are many more pubs that CAMRA tries to "save". But, even though this is far from a no-hope location, nobody is interested in it as a pub.

  3. Just out of interest, what would be a realistic figure to get it running again? £100K?

    Judging by the pictures, a little more than that.

  4. Given that it was open and trading two years ago, I'd say £25k would get it on its feet again. £100k for a significant makeover, though.

  5. Are there any other pubs in the village? If so, what are they like?

  6. There is little hope for
    the Real English Tavern untill the current crop of snivelling
    publicans are cobbed back into the
    cafe trade where they belong.
    Their lack of fortitude in shaking
    the Westminster Levellers is the
    main reason for the rapid decline
    of the real pubs of England.
    They and their squirming Trade
    Bodies are an insult to generations
    who built the Pub Genre to be an
    Hallmark of England.Same goes for the Waffling Willies of CAMRA and
    its ilk,bloated chatterboxes and
    bartop floppsies

    Look back in anger

  7. How easy is it to buy as a house? Do you have to apply for a change of use from the council to avoid business rates?

  8. Yes, you have to get planning permission for change of use. It would definitely be worth much more than £125k as a house.


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