Drake & Morgan acquires 11-strong Corney & Barrow Bars


Corney & Barrow Fleet Street

Bar and restaurant group Drake & Morgan has announced that it has acquired leading City of London operator Corney & Barrow Bars.

The deal for the 11 outlets, for an undisclosed sum, has been backed by Bowmark Capital, the private equity firm that, over the past three years, has helped Drake & Morgan grow to nine sites.

The acquisition forms part of Drake & Morgan’s strategy to build a multi-brand bar and restaurant portfolio in London and regionally. Ten of the 11 bars operate under the C&B name plus bar and restaurant Devonshire Terrace.

The bars were part of the Corney & Barrow wine merchant business, dating back 230 years, which will still operate independently under chairman Percy Weatherall and managing director Adam Brett-Smith. Drake & Morgan will continue to work with Corney & Barrow as one of its preferred wine suppliers.

Drake & Morgan’s managing director Jillian Maclean, who founded the business in 2008, said: “The acquisition strengthens our presence in the City and we look forward to working more closely with the Corney & Barrow Wine Merchant business, introducing their fantastic portfolio of wines across the Drake & Morgan estate.”

Percy added: “We are delighted that Drake & Morgan has acquired our wine bar business and we look forward to a continued and productive relationship as we work with the group to build its wine offering.”

The next 12 months will see Drake & Morgan add another five sites to the current nine-strong group with openings planned at Heathrow Terminal 4, both Spinningfields and One St Peter’s Square in Manchester, St Andrew Square in Edinburgh and London’s West India Quay. With the acquisition of Corney & Barrow, the portfolio will have increased to at least 25 sites by the end of 2017.

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