Skip to main content
30th August 2023

Growing multiple operator takes on first Greene King pub after £400,000 transformation

Doolin Rock Pub Company has taken on its first Greene King Pub Partners site, The Acorn in Barking, London.

The pub, which was previously known as The Royal Oak, reopened after a £400,000 investment by Greene King.

The new look pub is well known in the local area with a long history in a standout location on a busy junction in a leafy part of Barking.

As part of its transformation, The Acorn has been overhauled both inside and out.

Inside, the trading spaces, bathroom facilities and kitchen have all been significantly enhanced to provide a much more premium experience for pub goers including new and high-quality fixtures and fittings including tables and seating throughout.

Outside, the pub’s beer garden has also been transformed and now features a custom stretch tent for year-round use, as well as a refreshed suntrap terrace at the front of the pub.

Doolin Rock Pub Company currently operates three other pubs with The Acorn becoming the fourth pub of the growing multiple operator.

As a Doolin Rock Pub Company pub, The Acorn will provide a “premium local” offer as the place to go locally for a quality pub experience, whatever the occasion.

First and foremost a great pub with an extensive drinks range, The Acorn will also provide a quality food offer via a menu of freshly cooked pub food.

Alongside its food and drink range, The Acorn will also show a large array of live sports and an eclectic live music offer.

Colin Coogan and Austin Whelan, Co-founders of Doolin Rock Pub Company said: 

“We cannot wait to welcome people to The Acorn. We really believe this pub has so much untapped potential and we look forward to establishing it as the pub to visit in Barking.

“We’ve been very encouraged by Greene King Pub Partner’s willingness to invest in the pub and ourselves as proven multiple operators. This is very much a partnership we hope to expand in the future.” 

Phil Arnold, Operations Director for Greene King Pub Partners, said:

“Our £400,000 transformational investment in The Acorn has given this pub a new lease of life and exciting future.

“It is great to be partnering with Colin and Austin – who are experienced and ambitious operators – to help them grow their pub business. Here’s to an exciting future for the both of us!”


Notes to editors

Press Contact: Nick Lawrie Email: Tel: 07812 256245

About Greene King:

Greene King is the country’s leading pub company and brewer with c.2,600 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland.

At Greene King we are passionate about delivering our purpose to ‘pour happiness into lives’. That’s for our customers, our team, our pub partners, our suppliers and the communities in which we live, operate and serve. Founded in 1799 with offices in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk and Burton on Trent in Staffordshire we employ around 39,000 people across the group with four divisions: Greene King pubs, Destination Brands, Partnership and Ventures, and Brewing & Brands.

  • Greene King pubs are located where people and communities come together; pubs enjoyed in cities, towns and villages throughout the country
  • Destination Brands is a mixture of food and drink-led brands including Hungry Horse, Farmhouse Inns, Chef & Brewer, Wacky Warehouse, and Pub & Carvery, Pub & Dining and Pub & Grill
  • Partnerships & Ventures includes Pub Partners, which runs our tenanted and leased pubs business and Hive Franchise pubs, and our Ventures Brands which is made up of Metropolitan Pub Company, Hickory’s, Hotels Group and Crafted Pubs

Brewing & Brands covers the brewing sides of the business. Quality ales are brewed at the Westgate brewery in Bury St Edmunds and the Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar. Our industry-leading portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, Ice Breaker and Belhaven Best and our premium beers, Level Head and Flint Eye, brewed for the modern-day drinker.

About Greene King Pub Partners:

Greene King Pub Partners operates over 1000 leased, tenanted and franchise pubs across England, Scotland and Wales with independent business partners. In March 2023 it was recognised as the best leased and tenanted pub company at the Publican Awards, the 6th time Greene King Pub Partners has won the national industry award.

Press Contact: Nick Lawrie Email: Tel: 07812 256245

Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.