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New leaseholders for popular Cotswolds pub

Popular Cotswolds pub, The Hare in Milton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire, has new leaseholders, following a deal brokered by Colliers International.

Experienced hospitality operators, Matt and Katie Beamish have taken a 15-year lease on The Hare, which is owned by businesswomen Sue and Rachel Hawkins, who specialise in rescuing failing pubs and turning them into thriving businesses.

The pair are already licensees at the Kingham Plough, in the nearby Oxfordshire village of Kingham, near Chipping Norton. They decided to also take on The Hare after a free of tie lease was marketed by Colliers International on behalf of the owners.

Peter Brunt, director in the Hotels Agency team at Colliers International, commented, “The Hare has built up a fantastic reputation following its refurbishment in 2016, and this is only set to be built upon under Matt and Katie’s stewardship.

“It is great to have been able to secure someone with local success under their belt and an understanding of how well loved the pub is with both locals and visitors.

“Matt and Katie have previously worked with renowned chefs Raymond Blanc, Jamie Oliver and Fergus Henderson, and they have used their considerable experience to build upon the reputation of the Kingham Plough as a destination gastro-pub.”

The Hare is popular with both diners and drinkers, and has capacity for 80 covers in three dining sections, alongside a bar and beer garden. It was bought by Sue and Rachel Hawkins after it had been vacant for five years, and following an extensive refurbishment programme they re-opened it to acclaim in 2016, and went on to win ‘Pub of the Year’ in the 2018 Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards.

Matt and Katie became licensees at the nearby Kingham Plough last year, following a deal in which Colliers International represented chef patron Emily Watkins and her husband Miles Lampson.

Matt said of their decision to also become leaseholders at The Hare, “When we saw that a lease had become available on The Hare, we decided it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“We are looking forward to utilising our experience in running the Kingham Plough to build upon the existing success of The Hare, while also continuing to play very active roles in the Kingham Plough.”

Owner Sue Hawkins added, “We couldn’t imagine anyone more perfect than Matt and Katie for this new chapter at The Hare, and we are looking forward to spending time on the other side of the bar!”