Bass Taverns puts Edward’s chain on ice

Bass Taverns has put the expansion of its Edward’s concept pubs on hold, claiming that it cannot find the right sites for the format.

The first Edward’s was tested in 1995, and the concept was rolled out in 1996/7. But Bass is thought to have only opened one this year, and it is unclear when it will open the next one. There are 30 in total.

A Bass Taverns spokesman says: “We’re still looking for good sites – site selection is critical, but we don’t want to pay silly prices.”

Edward’s has a “shifting format”, appealing to shoppers during the mornings and afternoons, serving lunches and attracting office workers in the evening. At night, it converts to a pre-club bar.

The Taverns division, which contributes nearly half of Bass’s operating profits, has come under pressure from expanding theme pub rivals, such as Scottish & Newcastle’s Rat & Parrot high-street bars.

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