He has taken over the lease of The Royal Oak in Clapham High Street from multiple pub operator Livelyhood in a deal handled by leisure property specialist Davis Coffer Lyons. Demand for sites in the area meant that it was sold for above the guide price.
Stuart acquired the free-of-tie lease of Fifty Five in Camden in 2006, also through Davis Coffer Lyons, and now plans to revamp The Royal Oak over the coming months while keeping the bar open in the evenings.
The three-storey venue has 2,110 sq ft of space on the ground and first floors as well as three bedrooms on the upper floor.
Once completed, the new bar will be open throughout the day, offering a brunch menu, coffees and roasts on Sundays, staying open until 2.30am every night of the week.
The bar will serve a select number of draught beers and guest ales, alongside an “extensive and expertly executed” cocktail menu.
Stuart said: “Fifty Five is an unpretentious cocktail bar, which serves the best cocktails in Camden to a killer soundtrack. We are going to bring these principles to The Royal Oak but with twist.
“Not only will we serve up the best party at night, we will also provide the comfort and homeliness of your favourite local pub throughout the day.”
Stuart has been working in the bar trade since 1997 when he joined TGI Friday’s in Covent Garden. After bartending in Canada and France while travelling, he returned to work at London cocktail bar group Be At One where he became a general manager. He left to open Fifty Five in December 2006.
Chris Bickle, associate director at Davis Coffer Lyons, added: “Clapham High Street is currently one of London’s most sought-after leisure locations outside Zone 1, benefiting from a healthy mix of food and beverage operators, diverse demographics and good transport links as well as various late-night venues to satisfy the area’s many partygoers.
“The interest in The Royal Oak reflected the demand, attracting multiple bids – all from experienced operators – and was eventually sold in excess of the guide price.”
Livelyhood, which turned The Royal Oak from a shabby local into a cool late-night pub, operates other pubs and bars in the area including The Clapham North, The Frog, The Regent, The Old Frizzle and Four O Nine.