Oxfordshire-based pub operator Brakspear has seen beer volumes double after spending £500k revamping three of its central London pubs and said it would like to take on more sites in the capital, writes Gurjit Degun. The company, best known for its Henley-on-Thames food-led pubs, has six venues in central London, with 25 pubs within the M25. Brakspear has worked with multi-site operators Fiveeightzero and the Proper Little Pubco on its London developments. Southward’s Albert Arms reopened after four months to reveal new decor inside and out, as well as a new kitchen. The interior was filled with exposed brickwork, some of which has been covered up. Proper Little Pubco has begun to offer food and aims to attract an older clientele. The Bowler Pub & Kitchen in Clerkenwell reopened with a fresh and local produce focus. New tenant Lee Curtis trained at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant. The Owl & Pussycat in Shoreditch also saw a major refit when Fiveeightzero took on the site, and is now Brakspear’s highest barrelage site in London. Chief executive Tom Davies said: “Sales in our London sites have held better than elsewhere through the recession, as customers here continue to eat out and indeed ‘trade down’ from high-end restaurants to quality food-led pubs such as ours. “We’re seeing a healthy sales uplift at our recent investment sites in London and are looking forward to seeing this growth continue into 2012. “With the Olympic Games under 12 months away, we’re confident our investment in our London estate will help Brakspear pubs capture a share of the estimated five million additional visitors to the city over the duration of the Games next summer.”