Ascot Inns expands into café sector

Private pub company Ascot Inns is launching a new chain of branded café-cum-bars, which will also sell hot drinks supplied by Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee.

Private pub company Ascot Inns is launching a new chain of branded café-cum-bars, which will also sell hot drinks supplied by Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee.

The chain, called A Bar 2 Far, which is aimed at clubbers and trendy young professionals, will sell Costa Coffee-branded hot drinks and merchandise during the day as well as café-style food.

The first site will open in January in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. It will be followed by a second branch in Tooting, south west London, in April 2001.

The Sunningdale-based company then plans to roll out the new concept across London and the Home Counties over the next two years and aims for a total of six outlets by the end of 2002.

In the evening, the venues will turn into pre-club bars aimed at 25 to 35-year-old professionals.

The company, which already runs ten unbranded outlets in the south east, including several “country-style” pubs and a night club in Kingston, is confident the new venture will succeed despite the recent explosion in branded bars on high streets across the country.

“We want to be a bit more clubby than other branded places like All Bar One and the Tup Inn, which are more low key,” says Vincent Healy, managing director of Ascot Inns.

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