Brucan Pubs Expands to Four Sites with £400,000 Refurbishment

Brucan Pubs, founded in 2018 by ex-ETM Operations Director James Lyon-Shaw and the former head chef of The Club at The Ivy Jamie Dobbin, have announced their fourth opening for their fast-growing portfolio of pubs.

Brucan is leasing The Star at Witley in Surrey from Star Pubs & Bars. It will undertake a £400,000 joint refurbishment with Star before reopening the pub’s doors in late August, creating 25 new jobs.

The investment will transform The Star into a great quality village pub with a focus on British seasonal fare, community links and Brucan’s signature hospitality.

Like Brucan’s other pubs, The Star will have a weekly-changing menu of traditional dishes* and daily seasonal specials, including plenty of British game, meat and fish, as well as a bar menu of pub classics. Sunday lunches will be a big fixture.

James and Jamie currently operate three other pubs under the Brucan Pubs umbrella: The Greene Oak (Windsor), The Drumming Snipe (Mayford) and The Greyhound (Finchampstead). In addition, the duo run the village store and farm shop, Goswell & Birds (Finchampstead). Brucan Pubs is now looking for further leased and freehold sites to meet its ambition of building up an estate of ten gastro pubs in the next five years.

Says Lyon-Shaw:
“We search for sites that will sustain a high percentage of food sales and where we can build a strong business by optimising or transforming the current offer. The Star ticks all the boxes and is in our core operating area south west of London. Good freeholds rarely come to market and are either very expensive or extremely run down when they do. The tied model is proving an affordable way for us to access great pubs. Star are very easy to work with, and we’re keen to find more opportunities with them.”

Adds Star Pubs & Bars’ area manger Ron Barnes:
“We’re delighted to be joining forces with Brucan Pubs to give The Star the investment it needs to thrive and maximise its potential. James and Jamie are passionate about quality food and drink, and have built up a superb collection of destination dining pubs, each with its own unique feel. Their approach is ideal for The Star. It will be a fantastic local as well as an exceptional drive-to pub for those from further afield.”