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Third pub for ex-Bibendum chief

Published:  01 November, 2010

West Country pub company Flatcappers, run by ex-Bibendum general manager Pierre Woodford, has opened its third pub, the Battleaxes in Wraxall near Bristol.

The Battleaxes, which is a Grade II Listed free-of-tie pub, opened last month after a comprehensive £325,000 refurbishment.

The pub, which is Flatcappers' largest to date, was originally built as a temperance house by the Gibbs family who lived in the now National Trust owned gothic mansion Tyntesfield. The Battleaxes is very large and work will continue as Flatcappers look to add five boutique letting rooms, an additional 60-cover separate bar and a 90-seater terrace. Turnover, which is currently forecast to be in excess of £1 million, is expected to rise to £1.5 million once all of the works are complete.

Flatcappers was established in 2007 by the former Conran restaurant chief Woodford amd Bristol-based café/bar operators Loungers. Flatcappers opened the Castle Inn in Bradford on Avon in 2007 followed the Bell Inn in Rode, near Frome, in October last year.

Flatcappers managing director Woodford said: "The pub had been in decline for a number of years and was rumoured to be only taking £2,000 a week and yet it was known by so many people in the area as having been a very busy pub 20 years ago."

"There's a very large, strong catchment and not many decent food pubs. Plus we have the benefit of the ties the Battleaxes has with Tyntesfield, which now attracts in excess of 100,000 visitors a year. It's fair to say we did a very quick deal to secure the pub".

Loungers managing director Alex Reilley added: "Loungers is delighted to continue to assist growing the Flatcappers brand and we're particularly chuffed with the Battleaxes - it's a cracking pub."