Town centre pub up for sale

Wilmslow - Bollin Fee External 1

JD Wetherspoon has put the Bollin Fee on the corner of Swan Street and Alderley Road on the market.

The pub operator has appointed CBRE to handle the disposal of 34 of its pubs which are located in town and city centre locations within England, Scotland and Wales. They are being considered for sale either as a portfolio, in small packages or individually.

The 34 pubs are generating total sales of in excess of £38 million (net of VAT), with an average weekly turnover per pub of more than £22,000 per week.

Paul Breen, Senior Director in CBRE's Specialist Markets team, commented "The portfolio represents a rare opportunity to acquire substantial high volume businesses which have seen sales growth in each of the last five years. Food sales represent more than a third of total sales, having increased by 40% over this period, which makes the pubs ideally positioned to benefit from the continued growth in eating outside of the home.

"We anticipate strong interest from existing operators and new entrants keen to create a platform which can be used to build a successful managed estate."

The 34 properties are in addition to the 20 units that were put onto the market by JD Wetherspoon earlier this year.

Bollin Fee


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Tuesday 10th November 2015 at 6:19 pm
I guess ... If this was profitable... it wouldn't be for sale..... Weatherspoon's are pretty slick business operators protecting shareholders interests ... This was a very busy establishment... A real shame that another business prepares to vacate town.. lets hope a suitable purchaser can be found for mutual benefit.
.... ( and maybe allow certain councillors some more column inches when they really should be looking at the local plan ! )
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 11th November 2015 at 12:49 pm
This is bad news. There's been a tremendous rise in the popularity of cask beers in UK, but Wilmslow remains a bit of a beer desert. We have some excellent local brewers in the area (Bollington Brewery, Bear Town Brewery in Congleton, Storm Brewery in Macclesfield, Mobberley Brewhouse just couple of miles down the road, Tatton Brewery in Knustford, Dunham Massey Brewing, Wincle Brewery to name just a few) yet hardly any of these excellent beers can be found on bars in Wilmslow.

The Bollin Fee is one such pub where local beers are available, as is The Old Dancer in Grove street. After that, one struggles to think of anywhere locally one can reliably enjoy good beer. Knutsford, Macclesfield, and Congleton are well served by real ale pubs, but not Wilmslow. Instead, we are over-run by 'theme bars' selling heavily-marketed drinks at high prices, or a few pubs selling staid and nondescript 'big brewery' ales, mainly because they are tied to scourge-of-the-industry pubcos who dictate bland big brewery beers at high prices to these pubs, having done 'mass purchase' deals with those big breweries.

Wetherspoons bucks that trend, as does The Dancer. If Wetherspoons can't make a real ale pub work in the centre of Wilmslow, it's unlikely any purchaser of the pub will be able to do so and it'll morph into yet another dreadful theme bar.

What's wrong with the drinkers of Wilmslow that we seem unable to support pubs selling proper, real beers when other towns around Cheshire support several?
Martin Duguid
Wednesday 11th November 2015 at 3:24 pm
A disaster for drinkers! Our Wetherspoons may be profitable - but obviously not enough for their shareholders....
Jon Armstrong
Wednesday 11th November 2015 at 3:52 pm
My experience of the Bollin Fee is limited mostly to weekends during the day, but at those times it seems its problem is it is neither one thing or another.

It has loads of dining space and a good cheap and cheerful menu - it's never going to be fine dining but you can get a perfectly decent burger and chips or whatever - but there's always enough of the all day drinking brigade in there to make it feel slightly seedy and not that great a family environment, which must surely put some customers off, especially those with kids.

However, conversely, there don't seen to be nearly enough people who want to stand at the bar and drink all afternoon to make make it successful on that alone, the way the city centre branches of Wetherspoons can.
Graham Shaw
Wednesday 11th November 2015 at 4:14 pm
Quick somebody tell Hickory's - after all they stated they were desperate for a property in Wilmslow after searching for 3 years and failing when the residents of Dean Row and others stopped them turning the Unicorn Inn into one of their restaurants (quite rightly so).

If they reckoned they could turn The Unicorn into a profitable enterprise given its location then surely The Bollin is a no brainer given its location and would give Wilmslow town centre a boost.
John Clegg
Wednesday 11th November 2015 at 5:06 pm
Vince, you've missed out Worth Brewing (at Poynton Royal British Legion - altho' it remains to be seen whether they will have any surplus to sell on), Bollington's Happy Valley, Red Willow from Macclesfield, Front Row and Cheshire Brewhouse also from Congleton, Merlin from just a little further out in Arclid. There are also several - 5 or 6 - in Srockport as well as Frederic Robinson.
Wetherspoon;s offering has become a little more safe of late, with more nationally recognized brands on the bar as smaller breweries are unable to budget for a prolonged listing campaign which requires bigger discounts - not something smaller businesses can sustain.
Many smaller breweries' ales appear on the bar at the Unicorn despite it now being owned by Greene King.
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 11th November 2015 at 5:26 pm
Yes, John, mine were just examples of local ales I have drunk and know to be excellent. There are indeed many top notch small breweries in our area.

Just a couple of miles out of Wilmslow is the Bird in Hand at Knolls Green - superb Sam Smiths bitter at £1.80 a pint, a roaring coal fire in every cosy room - the ideal pub! Just what Wilmslow needs.

Quite a few locals use the 88 bus to get there and back, but that finishes a bit early!

I'm struggling to see how a tacky American burger house would give the town centre a boost?
Ryan Dance
Wednesday 11th November 2015 at 6:48 pm
Vince - perhaps the site go unoccupied rather than being occupied by a so called "tacky American burger house".....

Or maybe you have some other novel idea how to occupany such a large highly expensive site? The old sports bar has been empty for over 2 years now.

Umm....that would be far more sensible..but at least it won't be "tacky".....