The Wharf work in progress

Brunning & Price debuts in Manchester

The Chester-based upmarket pub group will open its largest venue to date next week, the resurrected Wharf in Castlefield, Manchester.

The 370-cover pub will trade over two-and-a-half floors and a large outside area and is the chain's first in Manchester.

Duncan Lochhead, marketing director, said: "The Castlefield community have been very welcoming to us as they opposed the previous plans for demolition and replacement with residential development."

The former Jacksons Wharf pub has been vacant since closing seven years ago. Landlord Peel stripped out the pub and planned to demolish the standalone building but was refused planning consent for residential.

Brunning & Price acquired the site from Peel in 2011 and spent seven months restoring and fitting out the premises. The pub will employ 80 people when it opens next Tuesday 3 July.
Brunning & Price was acquired four years ago by the Restaurant Group but operates with almost complete autonomy. The managing director is still founder Graham Price and the head office remains in Saighton outside Chester. There are 30 pubs in the portfolio, mostly in the heartland of Cheshire, North Wales, Shropshire and Staffordshire. The chain is expanding aggressively – the website offers a £5,000 finder's fee for pub sites – and work is ongoing ahead of opening in St Martin's Lodge overlooking the Roodee racecourse in Chester and at a site outside Telford.

Another dozen Blubeckers pubs in the south are being converted into Brunning & Price pubs by shared parent the Restaurant Group.

Lochhead said the ideal site is at least 2,500 sq ft in trading area, with a car park, waterside or garden setting, and a strong demographic.

IB Construction was the main contractor on the Wharf.

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