Rufus Hall, the former Orchid Group chief executive, has been appointed chairman of the 11-strong Epic Pubs estate, with Jo Probert, formerly of Slug & Lettuce coming in as MD.

The new management team replaces Andrew Coath’s Unique Hospitality, which has run the Rockpool Investments-backed portfolio since inception in 2015.

The company operates three freehold and eight leasehold pubs under the banners of Epic Pubs, Heroic Pubs and Aspley Pubs, with Epic as the umbrella operating name.

The latest opening is Aspley Pubs’ The Hummingbird in Hertford which opened in November. Furhter acquisitions are being planned for late 2019.

Probert, who also previously held operational roles at Orchid Group and Greene King, said: “We are building a pub company of really great British pubs with fresh, quality, handcrafted food and standout specials boards. We see our general managers and head chefs as at the front of the business leading teams.”

She added: “We want our sites to be seen by customers as independent pubs, at the heart of their local communities. We want them to be the first choice for local people to go to have a drink, a sandwich or enjoy more extravagant dishes.”