Chef maps out plans to build group of six food-led pubs

Licencees Mark Anderson and his wife Sarah on site at Bingham's White Lion pub, which is being refurbished and will reopen at the end of August

A Star Pubs & Bars licensee has outlined plans to build a group of six pubs in the Nottingham area, using his expertise as a chef to create a compelling food offering for customers.

Mark Anderson, who already runs the Ruddington Arms, which has won awards for its food and is listed in the Michelin guide, has taken on The White Lion in Bingham as his second site.

His newest acquisition is a more traditional, wet-led urban pub but he plans to broaden its appeal by reintroducing food and upgrading its facilities.

Around £180,000 is being ploughed into the venture by Anderson and Star Pubs & Bars, with the pub set to open for business later this month.

As well as a new interior look, an outdoor pool table, fire pits and heated garden sheds are being installed with hot water bottles and blankets for use in colder months, offering private drinking and dining spaces.

The menu at the White Lion will include pub classics such as fish and chips, steak and kidney pudding, burgers and grilled steaks as well as sharing platters and grazing food like hot camembert, British meats and cheese boards.

But Anderson will be putting the emphasis on the equipment to do all the hard work.

“This style of pub requires less skilled kitchen staff, who are hard to come by, and so can be rolled out more quickly,” he explained. “My ambition is to have six pubs in similar large villages and small towns with a mixed demographic outside Nottingham.”

Mr Anderson said the revamp will lead to between 15 and 20 jobs being created.

David Pritchard, Star Pubs & Bars operations and sales director, backed the new site to prosper. “Mark has done a fantastic job with the Ruddington Arms. He’s successfully managed to appeal to a broad customer base with white van and Porsche drivers enjoying a pint alongside one another,” he said.

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