Chris Gerard, the former Mitchells & Butlers executive, has re-opened a Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) franchised site, the Royal Oak near Hitchin, as the Rusty Gun — a pub that includes a produce store selling local food items, writes Paul Charity. Gerard, who left M&B in 2003, has invested £200,000 of his own money into the re-developed pub, which took £28,000 in its first week of trading at the start of this month. At M&B, Gerard ran a £400m turnover division and opened around 270 pubs, before leaving in 2003 to start his current business, Innventure. The Rusty Gun is Innventure’s sixth pub. One of the other sites, the Wellington at Welwyn, a Greene King leased site, is due to re-open in mid-May after a fire closed it last year. A total of £1.6m has been invested in the new-look Wellington, a medieval building, which will re-open with six boutique bedrooms. Gerard said: “This development will be outstanding — I’ve invested around £350,000 in developing the boutique bedrooms.” Innventure also operates D’arry’s in Cambridge. Gerard reports that all of his existing pub businesses are in “substantial growth” this year.

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