Laine Pub Co snaps up Urban Art Bar group

Brighton-based independent multiple pub operator and craft beer brewer The Laine Pub Company has agreed to acquire Birmingham pub group Urban Art Bar from its founder Graham Smith.

The group consists of three freehold pubs - the Lord Clifden (pictured) and Red Lion, both located in the city’s Jewellery Quarter, and the Wagon & Horses located in Digbeth.

The acquisition represents a key step in Laine’s development beyond its existing Brighton and London heartlands to become a national pub and brewing business that brings enhanced pub experiences and great craft beer to savvy audiences throughout the country.

Laine’s CEO Gavin George commented, “In Urban Art Bar, Graham has created exciting environments frequented by customers who are definitely receptive to a constantly evolving experience. That is what he has done so well for many years in Birmingham and we are delighted he is passing that mantle to Laine.”

Smith, who opened his first pub in the city 17 years ago and will be leaving the business following completion of the acquisition, said “I spend a lot of time in Brighton and have seen first hand what Laine has achieved with its pubs and craft beer portfolio.

'The originality, authenticity, quirkiness and sometimes audacity of what they bring to their propositions will work very well in these pubs and in this city. Our customers and staff will love them.”

The acquisition is due to complete at the end of April, on the eve of Brighton Fringe Festival when Laine will again be operating the performing arts-focused Brighton Spiegeltent.

Following significant investments by Laine over the last two months including the launch of a new immersive concept the Ninth Life in Catford, Laine’s bottle shop at the Mesmerist in Brighton, and the refurbishments of the Glasshouse in New Malden and the Rook’s Nest in Hammersmith, Laine has exciting plans to invest in all three of the Birmingham pubs following completion of the acquisition.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.