A multi-site pub operator has set up a new company, Stella Inns, to run around a dozen substantive tied leases at wet-led community pubs he has successfully turned around. Tim Joudrey set up Pub Matters three years ago to run distressed tenancies-at-will for tenanted operators after running his own pubs and offering consultancy work in the sector. Pub Matters is said to have turned around a dozen community wet-led pubs in the Midlands and has converted agreements into substantive leases. These pubs will now be moved to Stella Inns. Joudrey has, for example, moved all three Punch Taverns sites he runs to substantive leases after a period of running them on non-substantive agreements: the Glade in Coventry, the Trees in Leicester and the Framesmiths in Bulwell, Nottingham. Joudrey said: “The Framesmiths is now a very successful wet-led pub, which has not even been given a refurbishment. The secret is strong management – the pub has a very strong management couple with good local knowledge. It’s caters for the day-time older drinker, in particular, with a fair bit of active involvement in the local community. “The Trees had a £60,000 refurbishment from Punch and has all-year-round trade now. We’ve also found the right manager for the Glade and it does well, week-in, week-out.” Joudrey’s company is currently overseeing refurbishments at five different pubs within its portfolio. He described the current trading environment as “tough” but said there are “definitely opportunities in the sector”. “My advice is that you have to get the deal right in the first place. Punch is one of our preferables right now.”

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