London-based multiple operator Red Car Pubs is to begin a £500,000 refurbishment and extension program at two of its five sites.

The Sheaf (formerly the Wheatsheaf) and Katzenjammers Bierkeller, both in the Hop Exchange at Borough Market, will be refurbished following the signing of a new 15-year lease with property owner Peer Group.

Tony Barry, owner of Red Car Pubs, said the work will include extending the basement of Katzenjammers Bierkeller to double its size and opening a new garden area with light heaters and furniture at the Sheaf to create a “more upmarket operation”.

The Sheaf is currently wet-led by 95%, but Barry plans for it to become more food-oriented and more appealing to women after the refurbishment.

“I was always nervous something might happen with the pubs but now I know we are in it for the long term and we have the money I thought it would be a good time to refurbish,” said Barry.

“We are absolutely full to capacity and booked out from Thursday to Saturday evenings six weeks in advance. This will give us some more much-needed space and hopefully increase trade.”

Red Car Pubs owns three other sites in the City of London - the Bell, the Castle and the Swan Tavern.