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New owner takes on award-winning Kent village pub

Family friendly riverside pub, The Fighting Cocks, situated in the picturesque Kent village of Horton Kirby, has been sold through Christie & Co, to an experienced operator, off a leasehold guide price of £175k.

The pub is situated in a fantastic riverside location and is well presented throughout, retaining a traditional feel with contemporary touches.

The Fighting Cocks has received Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as the Open Table’s Diner’s Choice Awards also in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

It was also the Best Tenanted Pub in the UK in 2010, and the Best Family Pub in the UK in 2014 at the Great British Pub Awards.

Providing substantial trading areas, the pub comprises a main bar area and 70 cover restaurant, and a 250-cover beer garden with bench seating and children’s play area, which earned the business a spot as a finalist in the Top 6 Best Pub Gardens in the UK 2017 in The Great British Pub Awards.

Previous owner, Chris Maskery, had been in situ for the last nine years, during which time the pub developed a strong reputation for being a family friendly and high-quality business.

New owner, Steve Catchpole is an experienced operator who also purchased the King and Queen pub in East Malling through Christie & Co in 2018.

Catchpole commented, “My wife Kim and I hadn’t expected to be buying another pub in Kent quite so quickly after the King and Queen, but when approached by Christie & Co about the Fighting Cocks, we both agreed that we would be foolish not to have this in our portfolio.

'We are both thrilled to have made this business number five and although we have no intentions of changing the ethos Chris has built up, we have some very positive plans of our own for the pub soon.'

James Hughes, Senior Business Agent at Christie & Co handled the sale and comments, “This pub gained plenty of interest due to its attractive price and high profitably. I’m glad to have sold this to an operator that we sold another pub to only at the end of 2018 and it shows that the market for free of tie leases remains strong and in high demand.”