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Brakspear acquires Bicester pub for managed estate

Pub operator and brewer, Brakspear has purchased a pub in Wendlebury, just outside Bicester, as the 11th pub in its growing managed estate. The Lion is a 190-cover, food-led pub with 13 bedrooms under construction, due to open in March next year.

The Lion was purchased from Sarah and Kerr Robinson-Smith, who have built the pub's reputation for quality food, served in an informal environment. Situated in the heart of Wendlebury village, the Lion offers customers a traditional bar with open fire, relaxed dining areas and an attractive beer garden. A number of private dining options are also available.

Tom Davies, Brakspear chief executive, said, 'We're delighted to be adding the Lion to our managed estate. Its focus on top quality food and outstanding service in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere makes it a perfect fit with the ethos of our managed business. The addition of bedrooms creates an exciting opportunity which we are well-placed to maximise thanks to our experience of running several pubs with rooms in the Cotswolds.

'The Lion is a popular pub which is trading well under general manager Matt Gaby and his team, who will be staying in post. We have no plans to make big changes in the short term, and will be focusing on a successful launch of the letting rooms in the Spring.'

Earlier this year, Brakspear transferred the Dog & Duck in Wokingham and Little Angel in Henley-on-Thames from its tenanted & leased estate to its managed division. Its other managed pubs are: the Bull on Bell Street, Henley; Porch House and the Sheep on Sheep Street, both in Stow-on-the-Wold; George Townhouse in Shipston-on-Stour; Townhouse in Stratford on Avon; Chequers in Marlow; Running Horses in Mickleham, Surrey and the Retreat in Staines.