Greene King has opened its first joint venture business on the managed side, writes Paul Charity. The company has teamed up with former Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) executive Chris Gerard to open d’Arry’s at the Cart & Horses in Kings Worthy, Hampshire. Gerard, who oversaw the development of the Vintage Inns brand during his 20-odd years at M&B, left M&B in 2003. Since then, he has opened three Greene King tenanted pubs and taken on two M&B franchise pubs, which sit inside his Inn Venture business. His Greene King tenanted pub in Cambridge is branded as d’Arry’s Wine Shop and has impressed industry observers with its quality food, unusual décor, private dining room and focused wine offer. The venue, located in a side street close to the city centre, takes around £10,000 on Saturdays alone. It is understood Greene King executives believe the offer may be suitable for a rollout. The Cart & Horses opened in May and is the first within Greene King’s managed division. One industry observer, who has visited the site, said: “It is little short of fantastic, delivering the feeling that you’ve come across something quite different. There’s an open kitchen and the cellar is visible as you step up to a mezzanine level. “It repeats the Cambridge site’s focus on wine, with a wine servery tray on the customer’s side of the bar ‹ each menu item is also paired with a suggested wine on the menu. It’s a gastropub offering, but feels quite different to anything else out there - a hard thing to pull off.” The move by Greene King to work with a private entrepreneur will be compared to Mitchells & Butlers’ involvement with entrepreneurs Paul Salisbury and Paul Hales, who have overseen the rollout of around 50 up-market Project S sites. Chris Gerard’s other pubs are: the Broadway, Letchworth; the Wellington, Welwyn; the George, Fordingbridge; and the Foresters, Church Crockham.