South East multiple operator, Austin Whelan, is to open his 11th site on 21st September under his family run AK Whelan Management portfolio, which consists of a mix of seven leased and four freehold pubs including the successful Whelans brand of Irish pubs.*
The latest acquisition is a freehold pub on Beckenham high street. Formerly known as the Manor House and prior to that a Slug and Lettuce site, the pub has undergone a £750,000 revamp with the intention of creating the best pub on the high street appealing to workers, young professionals, and local residents, with children welcome until 7pm.
Renamed Erin’s, after Austin’s daughter, like his other sites the focus is on top quality food and drink with live entertainment.
Erin’s is Whelan’s second Beckenham pub. He also has the popular The Elm Tree, in Elms End, Beckenham.
Says Austin of his future plans for AK Whelan Management: “I want to expand my portfolio to 15 sites in the next 12-18 months if good opportunities arise and am looking for more freeholds to increase the value of the business.
“Part of being a multiple operator is enjoying taking risks and seeing the rewards. The day of opening the pub door following a refresh have gone. You have to invest properly in properties and staff. Going forward it’s investment that will mark out those that will be in business in the long-term and those that will fall by the wayside.