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14 February 2020

North West pub company Blind Tiger Inns is taking leases on three new pubs with Star Pubs & Bars – The Station at Preston, The Victoria at Aigburth and the Park View at Burnley. The move takes its estate to 18 leased sites, 17 of which are with Star.

At the same time, Blind Tiger Inns is embarking on a £450,000 joint investment programme with Star across five of its venues.

The Queens Arms at Aintree and The Halfway House at Runcorn will each receive a £50,000 revamp to maintain the quality of their surroundings and provide new facilities for customers.  Further joint refurbishments totaling £350,000 at Blind Tiger Inns’ three new pubs will upgrade them into great quality community locals, specialising in sports and entertainment.

The projects at The Station, The Victoria and the Park View will maximise the pubs’ appeal and potential. Outside work will renovate the pubs’ exteriors and create new alfresco areas whilst the inside of each pub will be given a contemporary look with defined lounge and bar areas. To provide a premium sports viewing experience, Sky and BT sports will be added along with high-definition screens and high-spec audio systems.

As with Blind Tiger Inns’ other venues, the pubs will be wet-led. The offer will feature wine and spirits menus – with a focus on gin and rums – and an extensive choice of beers including cask and premium lagers. The selection will have price points to suit all occasions, whether customers are coming in for a midweek after-work drink or looking to treat themselves on a weekend night out.

Chris Tulloch, managing director of Blind Tiger Inns, says the company’s quality wet-led community proposition is proving popular with pub-goers, leading to year-on-year growth at all its sites. Tulloch plans further expansion and is looking for leased community pubs across the North West.  Says Tulloch: “It’s a buoyant market if you provide a great environment and experience. People tend to think of wet-led pubs as male-dominated, but we’re seeing a big increase in the percentage of female customers.

“Customers want to see investment in their surroundings, so it feels special when they go out. The joint refurbishment opportunities provided by leased pubs are a major part of their attraction, and our good relationship with Star is one of the reasons we continue to take new leases with them. There’s a strong mutual trust, and we’re given the flexibility to use our own contractors. Plus their choice of brands works perfectly for our business model.”

Adds David Pritchard, Star Pubs & Bars operations director for the North West: “Blind Tiger Inns are consummate professionals who know their market inside out and exactly what their customers want. We’re pleased to provide the investment backing as well as the product range and insight they need to create more successful sites.”