Chestnut Inns, established in May 2012 by former banker and corporate financier Philip Turner, has acquired The Rupert Brooke in Grantchester, Cambridge. It is the group’s second pub/restaurant investment. Chestnut Inns completed on the property on Monday 31 March 2014 just six months after opening its first venture, The Packhorse Inn in Moulton near Newmarket.
Chestnut Inns’ plan to identify freehold sites in the region, which as a result of under capital investment, are not delivering their full potential. Chestnut Inns’ first site, The Packhorse Inn near Newmarket, has exceeded operating expectations in its first six months and this has prompted Turner to accelerate plans for rolling out further sites in the area. Chestnut Inns recently completed a second round of capital raising under the Government sponsored Enterprise Investment Scheme.
Philip commented “We have a fantastic shareholder base that has supported the business through to phase two and allowed us to seize the opportunity to purchase The Rupert Brooke,” explains Philip. “Its position in Grantchester – rural, historic and literary links and yet within walking distance of central Cambridge – perfectly fits the key criteria of “location, location, location”.
The rest of the ingredients – a creative outlook and an experienced team to make it work – are what Chestnut Inns are all about.” The Rupert Brooke will be totally renovated to open its doors again late summer as a village pub and restaurant. The revitalised site will reflect the group’s ethos, already established by The Packhorse Inn – locally sourced food, great service and a traditional role at the heart of the community.
The company is passionate about retaining the heritage and traditions of the countryside pub, whilst striving to provide great food and stylish interiors. Chestnut Inn’s existing management team has grown over the past few months in anticipation of this development – “People are our greatest asset and growing the business provides career development opportunities for our people – helping us recruit and maintain the standards we set ourselves”, commented head chef Chris Lee.
The pub is named after the World War One poet who lived in the village and who wrote, when homesick in Berlin, the acclaimed poem “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester” which ends with the famous couplet: “Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?”As Chestnut Inns completed on the project, film crews moved into the Cambridgeshire village to begin the filming of the six part series “Grantchester”, an exciting commission for ITV Drama, set against the backdrop of the real hamlet of Grantchester, which focuses upon the life of Sidney Chambers, a charismatic, charming clergyman who turns investigative vicar when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances.
See recent press coverage:April 2014 – Cambridge News – Grantchester pub The Rupert Brooke to close while undergoing transformation by new owner. http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Grantchester-pub-Rupert-Brooke-close-undergoing-transformation-new-owner/story-22367540-detail/story.html April 2014 – East Anglian Daily Times – Moulton/ Grantchester: Packhorse Inn owner Chestnut Inns acquires the Rupert Brooke http://www.eadt.co.uk/business/moulton_grantchester_packhorse_inn_owner_chestnut_inns_acquires_the_rupert_brooke_1_3546415