Essex pub company Cozy Pubs has expanded to three sites following the acquisition of the Saracens Head hotel in Great Dunmow.
The company has earmarked £1.75m for the acquisition of the freehold of the Grade-II listed coaching inn and its restoration.
"This is a gem of a site and we're over the moon to have got it," said Cozy Pubs director Timothy Doyle. "It's a superb old coaching inn with its original 18th century façade and a mix of Georgian and Tudor style architecture that's steeped in history. In latter years, the place has suffered from under-investment, been through a series of owners and is now in dire need of some TLC. That's just what we'll be giving it, as well as bringing a capable and very experienced pair of hands to safeguard its future for the town."
Work will begin later this month on a sympathetic refurbishment of the entire building, to create 31 en suite boutique bedrooms, a more spacious bar and 78-cover restaurant and two function rooms catering for 70 and 30 guests respectively. The company will also introduce a completely new food and drink offer including local produce, as well as a range of real ales, premium lagers and ciders.
"We'll be carefully restoring the building, preserving its original features and character, to create a relaxed place to come for a drink or a bite to eat. We want to bring out the best of the site - this is one of the most iconic buildings in the town and we're looking forward to giving it back the status it deserves," said Doyle.
Cozy also runs the Eight Bells in Saffron Walden and the Cricketers Arms in Rickling Green, near Stansted. A total of £1.75m has been earmarked for the purchase of the freehold and the restoration of the building.
The company was founded in 2010 by Paul Cutsforth, Timothy Doyle and Leanne Langman - the sister of Peach Pubs founder Lee Cash. Cozy plans to build a portfolio of 10 gastropubs and hotels across the South East of England.
By Neil Gerrard
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