Scottish multiple operator joines forces with pubco Greene King in new venture
THE directors of Kained Holdings, the firm behind the Lebowskis, Finnieston and Porter & Rye venues, have entered into a joint partnership with pub company and brewer Greene King in a deal that could see the firms open venues across the UK.
A new company is to be formed with the three Kained directors – Graham Suttle, Mo Clark and Scott Arnot – on the board as well as Greene King executives John Forrest and Alan Dunn.
The first venue opened by the new company will be a 60-cover bar and restaurant in what was the former Drouthy Neebors in St Andrews. In a similar vein to Kained’s established Glasgow venues The Finnieston and Porter & Rye, the St Andrews unit will have a focus on fresh, locally-sourced meat and seafood as well as quality drinks.
The venue will also include an on-site distillery, producing a London Dry gin. The refurbishment of the premises represents a six-figure investment from Greene King.
Suttle described the new venture as “very much a dream project, where we’re able to produce our own liquid and serve all the best food we love within the company”.
“It’s not the biggest unit in the world, but anyone that knows Drouthy’s knows it’s very similar to The Finniestion in that it’s got very low-slung ceilings and it’s not an overly generous space,” said Suttle.
“But we’re doing our usual with it and making the most of it, the idea being we can deliver a very high-end restaurant alongside a first-class bar experience.”
The Kained team will be responsible for operating the venue, and Suttle said staff will be recruited largely from the local area.
“The great thing about St Andrews is there’s so many fantastic operators there and we’re coming into a very healthy market,” he said.
“There’s a lot of innovation. We’ve got St Andrews Brewing Company as neighbours. G1 are just around the corner from us with their Forgans site. We’ve got a few other bits and pieces around us that we think are great sites with great offers and we’re hoping to become part of the community quite quickly.
“It’s exciting times.”
This is the second time Greene King has entered into a joint venture, following the launch of the Butcher’s Tap bar and restaurant in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, with chef Tom Kerridge in November last year.
John Forrest, managing director of Greene King Pub Partners, said: “This is a project that we’ve been extremely excited about for some time and it’s fantastic to be able to let everyone know about our second joint venture.
“We’re delighted to be working with Kained Holdings. They’re recognised across the industry as one of Scotland’s leading multiple operators and right from the start we’ve shared a joint vision for the exciting places where this project could lead.
“The concept of the joint venture is about creativity and trying something new, with Greene King bringing its big business expertise to the exciting visions of innovative entrepreneurs.
“The aim is to create something new, fresh and innovative that develops new avenues for tenanted and leased businesses and explores the potential for pubs of the future.”
The St Andrews site is currently being refurbished and is scheduled to open to the public in late March.
Kained Holdings was founded by Suttle, Clark and Arnot in 2007 and operates nine outlets in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The business was named SLTN Independent Multiple Operator of the Year in both 2016 and 2017.