Drake & Morgan snaps up City-based bar group

Corney & Barrow Bars

Drake & Morgan, the bar and restaurant group, has doubled the number of sites it owns by acquiring Corney & Barrow Bars Limited in a deal backed by midmarket private equity firm Bowmark Capital.

Corney & Barrow Bars launched as a City-based collection of premium wine bars in 1983 and today operates 11 bars – ten under the C&B name and the destination bar and restaurant, Devonshire Terrace.

The historical Corney & Barrow wine merchant business will continue to operate independently under the direction of chairman Percy Weatherall and managing director Adam Brett-Smith.

Corney & Barrow dates back 230 years and is one of the longest established independent wine merchants in the UK and a holder of two Royal Warrants. Drake & Morgan will continue to work with Corney & Barrow as one of its preferred wine suppliers.

Jillian Maclean, managing director of Drake & Morgan, said: “The acquisition strengthens our presence in the City and we look forward to working more closely with the Corney & Barrow Wine Merchant business, introducing their fantastic portfolio of wines across the Drake & Morgan estate.”

The acquisition forms part of Drake & Morgan’s strategy to build a significant, multi-brand bar and restaurant portfolio in London and regionally.

The next 12 months will see Drake & Morgan add another five sites to the current nine-strong group with openings planned at Heathrow T4, Spinningfields and One St Peters Square, both in Manchester, Edinburgh and London’s West India Quay.

With the acquisition of Corney & Barrow the portfolio will have increased to at least 25 sites by the end of 2017.

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