Wraith Trading, the pub group led by John Wraith, has secured a pub in London and one in Surrey as it targets expansion in the capital and the Home Counties.

The acquisition of the Duchess in Battersea and the Red Lion in Redhill take Wraith’s estate to six, which are operated as mixture of leaseholds run by the company and freeholds with sit-in tenants.

Wraith told M&C Report that both pubs need refurbishment. “The Duchess is in a poor state but all the features are there so I’ve bought lots of antique pub furniture and we are installing a fully commercial kitchen. We will put a lot of money into the Duchess and make it a really nice pub”

The pub, a Wellington Pub Company leasehold, has a balcony overlooking Battersea Power Station and a function room with separate bar. The kitchen will serve traditional English pub food with best quality local ingredients including pie, mash and liquor and salt beef sandwiches.

In the past year the company has acquired the freeholds of three Buckinghamshire pubs – The Crown in Chalfont St Giles, the Phoenix in Steeple Claydon which have sit in tenants and the Old Swan in Cheddington which is under offer for lease.

Wraith said his group’s focus is on central London pubs and will run these while the Buckinghamshire pubs will be leased. “I like to get hold of the pubs and get them up and running then my team runs them.”

There are no plans for any immediate acquisitions but Wraith said he is always interested in new opportunities. “My main focus is to get the Duchess and the Red Lion up and running but in three to six months we will see how it’s going.”

The Duchess is in an area of regeneration as apartments, shops, bars and restaurants are being built in the Battersea Power Station region.

Wraith also holds the leasehold of the Mason Arms on Devonshire Street, London, which is run under management.

Davis Coffer Lyons handled the lease assignment of the Duchess.