Craft Union Pub Co celebrates 200th opening & Greater London expansion

Craft Union Pub Company, part of Ei Managed Operations, and one of the Group’s directly managed house businesses, is accelerating its nationwide expansion and celebrating a significant milestone with the opening of its 200th pub.

Craft Union’s philosophy is about developing quality pubs in the heart of local communities. The offer is straightforward; drinks-led with quality beers at affordable prices, alongside a comprehensive sports and entertainment offer in well-invested community pubs.

While Craft Union has its roots in the north of England, debuting its first pub in May 2015, it has recently added a host of sites nationwide, in locations as diverse as Devon, Cornwall, East Anglia, Kent, Wales and the Isle of Wight.

The 200th site is the Black Bull Inn in Clayton (Bradford), which has undergone a £132,000 refurbishment, restoring the pub to its former glory. The investment has sympathetically restored many of the pub’s original features, while revamping both trade and external areas, including the exterior signage.

Experienced Ei Publican Partnerships publicans Dougie and Cal Bell, who have run the community pub for seven years, have now joined the Craft Union family.

49% of Craft Union operators have joined from Ei Publican Partnerships, underlining the strength of the relationships and the strength of the relationship they have with their communities.

Alongside this site, Craft Union, which was crowned the BBPA Pub Champion before Christmas, has identified a growing pipeline of further sites across Greater London in Hayes, Stratford and Sutton.

Frazer Grimbleby, Operations Director, Craft Union Pub Company, said, “It’s always been our intention to develop into a leading scale operator of community pubs and our recent expansion into Greater London as well as the opening of our 200th pub is an important milestone for us.

“The Craft Union model puts great quality pubs back in the heart of local communities by reinvigorating them with targeted investment that enhances the original features of the pub and improves the overall customer experience.

“The operator is the most important part of our business and making sure that we have the right person for the pub is an essential part of our model. With the extensive support we provide them as they practice their craft of running outstanding pubs, alongside the investment and expertise in areas such as sports viewing, quality interiors and affordable value-led drinks, we’re confident our pubs will continue to thrive.”