D&G pub group plans upgrade of whole estate with kitchens at heart of strategy

Phil Buckley outside the Wheatsheaf on Yarm Road in Darlington.
25/7/17  Pic Doug Moody Photography

Darlington-based pub operator, D&G Pub Company is investing more than £300,000 refurbishing two Darlington pubs, including a reformat of their kitchens, in conjunction with Star Pubs & Bars.

The Wheatsheaf in Yarm Road and The George in Bondgate are both undergoing makeovers as part of a modernisation programme aimed at driving up food sales and broadening the appeal of the sites to families.

The programme is being led by D&G’s senior team, which includes area manager Phil Buckley (pictured).

The Wheatsheaf plans to offer an all-day food menu, coffee and Sky sports.  10 jobs will be created as a result.

A new extended open kitchen with purpose built carvery is being installed so that customers can see their food being prepared.

The rear of the pub features a newly-laid lawn seating area with picnic benches for alfresco eating and dining.

The pub will open from 10.00 am serving light breakfasts and barista style coffee and tea. Light bites, snacks and sandwiches will be available all day as well as lunch and dinner.  All food will be freshly prepared and the menu will feature Teeside’s Chicken Parmo and pub classics including The Wheatsheaf’s special burger with a choice of home-made sauces and Sundary carvery.

The plans for The George include a complete internal and external refurbishment of the tired community pub to bring it up to date and improve facilities for customers.

Diane Hutchinson, director of DG Pub Company, said: “Our plan is to upgrade our whole estate through modernisation and renewal and to make our offer more premium throughout. The world is changing, consumers are trading up and it is important our pubs change too. Our next move is to open a premium gin bar, appealing to millennials.”

Gary Corney, operations and sales director at Star Pubs & Bars, said all-day food, premium products and coffee are “what people want and have come to expect from their local pub”.

D&G Pub Company was founded 20 years ago. It has a diverse estate of 25 pubs in the north east, which includes town centre, village and community pubs.

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