Michael Ibbotson and co-founder of Provenance Inns Chris Blundell have secured their fourth pub after securing the freehold of the Punch Bowl Inn in Marton-cum-Grafton, North Yorkshire. The pub, which is the company’s third capture within 18 months, will undergo a “substantial” refurbishment including new furniture and a large fully functional kitchen. Ibbotson, The Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s reigning Publican of the Year expects to make major changes to the electrics as well as aesthetic refurbishment to the pub, which has parts going back to the 16th century. “We are very excited about the Punch Bowl as we’ve known it a long time,” said Ibbotson. “It is a lovely pub with five open fires but the kitchen needs a lot of work and the bar and furniture are looking a bit tired.” The pub’s rooms will be refurbished at a future date when the pub’s food and drink offer is established. Ibbotson estimates that the business will level out at about 50:50 food and drink in the 94-seat venue. “Our inns serve quality well-presented food,” he explained. “We are very much pubs that encourage locals and drinkers and we emphasise that because drinkers can get squeezed out. We bake our own bread and make our own ice cream. Our food uses the best produce in traditional ways. We’re not making mousses and foams, but just good food with slick service in relaxed settings.” Best selling dishes at the pubs include prime Yorkshire ribeye with skinny fries, house salad & béarnaise sauce (£19.95) and Ox prawn & crayfish cocktail with homemade brown bread (£6.95). Provenance Inns promotes internally where possible and both an assistant manager and a sous chef in the company will be moving up to general manager and head chef in the Punch Bowl. The company includes flagship site the Durham Ox in Crayke, the Oak Tree Inn at Helperby and the Carpenters Arms at Felixkirk. The Carpenters Arms opened just over a year ago and is currently undergoing work to build eight bedrooms. The sites are all around 25 minutes apart to avoid overlaps of catchment and the business partners are still looking for suitable freehold “village inns in villages you would like to live in” in the North Yorkshire area.

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