London-based operators The Johnson Collective taken on their first pub in the West Country – The Unicorn On The Beach, as they look to build a portfolio of eight sites over the next five years.

The coastal pub and kitchen with rooms is located in Porthtowan Beach and is the company’s second site through Star Pubs & Bars, and its first with rooms – something the business wants to replicate elsewhere in the South West.

It will undergo a joint £350k investment with Star, starting this week, with five luxury en-suite rooms being created, and a Surf House, which will sleep 20 people in luxury pods in New England-style dorm rooms. The newly refurbished site will reopen in late August.

The Johnson Collective – Taskin Muzaffer, Pru Clarke and Gareth Crosby – recently took on the former Grand Union in Chancery Lane which is to reopen at the end of September as Shutters – a bar and restaurant. The group also operates several other pubs and restaurants, as well as a London distillery which produces Little Bird Gin.

Commenting on the new acquisition, Muzaffer said: “We’ve been wanting to open a pub in Cornwall for some time and The Unicorn on the Beach ticks all our boxes – a fantastic beachside location, a site with unrealised potential and an opportunity to provide accommodation for the increasing number of staycationers and surf enthusiasts.

“Going forward, we’re looking for more West Country sites and aim to have around eight sites in total within next five years,” he added.

Neil Convery, regional operations director for Star Pubs & Bars, added: “Our investment is part of £50m being spent by Heineken on great British pubs this year. Pubs like The Unicorn on the Beach need this type of investment and great operators like these to flourish in the long-term.”

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