Family-brewer Charles Wells continues its expansion programme for its Pizza, Pots & Pints managed pub concept with the opening of its first pub in Oxford today, 7th June. The Oxford Blue, located in the Cowley Road area of the city, is the sixth in its Pizza, Pots & Pints portfolio, which the company plans to increase to 25 over the next three years.
The Pizza, Pots & Pints concept was first introduced by Charles Wells in 2015 with the opening of The Salisbury Arms in Cambridge. Since then, it has been rolled out to The Queens Head in Peterborough, The Old White Horse in Baldock, The Radcliffe Arms in Hitchin, and most recently a second in Cambridge, The Carpenters Arms. All locations offer a community-style pub for local residents and businesses, within easy walking distance, and have a menu of freshly made pizzas and terracotta one-pot meals. They also serve a selection of Charles Wells’ beers including Charlie Wells, and its monthly artisanal beer from The Wandering Brewer Project. The sites are set to offer all new beers from the new Charles Wells craft brewery in 2019.
The Oxford Blue, an EI Group pub, has undergone extensive refurbishment and is an iconic pub within the Cowley Road area close to the running track where Roger Bannister complete the first 4-minute mile. It is Charles Wells’ first within Oxford, with plans being finalised for a second Pizza, Pots & Pints pub across the city opening later in the year. It will be staffed by a team of 14 and offers 85 covers inside and out across the 2,200sqft establishment.
Commenting on the opening, Benjamin Smith, Operations Director for Charles Wells said: “Since we opened the doors on our first Pizza, Pots & Pints three years ago, the concept has been an immediate success with our customers. It offers a fantastic local pub to go to with friends and family, with the added benefit of freshly cooked artisan food from our pizza oven. The Oxford Blue is a welcome addition to the portfolio, and it is great to see this well-known and locally loved pub re-open with a contemporary new look helping us to establish the Charles Wells name in Oxford.”
This latest opening is part of a strategic move by Charles Wells to develop two strong branded offerings as part of its managed pub portfolio, to complement its 186 leased and tenanted pubs across the UK. Pizza, Pots & Pints and Apostrophe offer different drinking and eating occasions: smaller, community-based pubs with informal eating and larger, gastro-pubs with overnight accommodation respectively.
“The Pizza, Pots & Pints format is a key part of the Charles Wells growth strategy over the next three years,” adds Chief Executive, Justin Phillimore. “We are actively looking for individual sites as well as smaller, regionally based multiples to expand this portfolio, and major towns and cities (within 70 miles of Bedford) where we currently do not have a strong presence such, as Oxford, are top of our list. Our ambition is to have 25 Pizza, Pots & Pints sites over the next 3 years.”
Further information about Charles Wells and its Pizza, Pots & Pints concept, please visit: www.charleswells.co.uk.
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Note to editors:
- Charles Wells has been crafting ales in the heart of Bedfordshire as a family brewery since 1876, using its own certified natural mineral water well for all the beers it has produced since 1902.
- It owns and operates 186 leased and tenanted pubs and 23 managed houses across its Pizza, Pots and Pints, Apostrophe and Charles Wells France brands.
- In May 2017, Charles Wells sold its brewery on Havelock Street and most of its brands to Marston’s. It retained its Charlie Wells and John Bull beer brands.
- The business has earmarked £9 million to invest in its pub estate in 2018.