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£550k Pub Investment Helps to Create a Booming Business

When brothers Michael & Shaun O’Rourke took on the lease of The Coachman in Whickham they saw it as a perfect opportunity to realise their ambition to run  an outstanding local pub.

A £550k refurbishment with Star Pubs & Bars has brought The Coachman into the 21st century and given the community and the brothers the pub of their dreams.

“It’s much more inclusive now,” said Michael.  “We’ve been told that it’s brought the community back together.  We’ve had people coming in who haven’t set foot in the pub for 20 years.  Older men still come in for a drink and to play a game of dominoes, but now we also attract a younger clientele  on a Friday and Saturday night, and families for evening tea.”

As part of the refurbishment, floor to ceiling windows were installed giving the front of the pub a brighter café-style look and a more flexible layout with distinct areas used by different groups or for events, such as the weekly pub quiz which fills the back room.

Outside, three new terraces allow alfresco eating and drinking, and Michael is already considering  bringing in more tables and chairs as it’s such a popular option that customers are bringing picnic rugs to sit on!

The pub’s offer has also changed with a competitively priced menu including home home-made dishes for under £10, while a more premium drinks selection is also proving very popular.

Buoyed up by the success of The Coachman, which is already achieving sales projected for year two and trading 15% above forecast, Shaun and Michael now  are ready to take on another pub. .

Michael added: “We definitely want to work with Star again as they’ve been fantastic and give you a lot of support.  Our BDM is on hand all the time and if we’ve any problems they’re dealt with quickly.”

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