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17 June 2019

New owner takes on award winning Kent village pub, The Fighting Cocks

Family friendly riverside pub, The Fighting Cocks, situated in the picturesque Kent village of Horton Kirby, has been sold through specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, to an experienced operator.

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The pub is situated in a fantastic riverside location and is well presented throughout, retaining a traditional feel with contemporary touches. The Fighting Cocks prides itself on being an award winning business, receiving Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as the Open Table’s Diner’s Choice Awards also in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. It was the Best Tenanted Pub in the UK in 2010 and the Best Family Pub in the UK in 2014 at the Great British Pub Awards.

Providing substantial trading areas, the pub comprises a main bar area and 70 cover restaurant, and a 250 cover beer garden with bench seating and children’s play area, which earned the business a spot as a finalist in the Top 6 Best Pub Gardens in the UK 2017 in The Great British Pub Awards.  

Previous owner, Chris Maskery, had been in situ for the last nine years, during which time the pub developed a strong reputation for being a family friendly and high-quality business. Chris comments, “I am happy to have now sold the pub so I can focus on my new life abroad. Not everything was plain sailing, but we got there in the end thanks to James Hughes at Christie & Co. In my absence, James has continued to push the sale through and has always been on the other end of the phone when required. 

“We have had plenty of great years at the pub and will be sad to see it go but it is now time to try something new.” 

New owner, Steve Catchpole is an experienced operator who also purchased the King and Queen pub in East Malling through Christie & Co in 2018.  He comments, “My wife Kim and I hadn’t expected to be buying another pub in Kent quite so quickly after the King and Queen but when approached by Christie & Co about the Fighting Cocks we both agreed that we would be foolish not to have this in our portfolio. We are both thrilled to have made this business number five and although we have no intentions of changing the ethos Chris has built up, we have some very positive plans of our own for the pub soon. Thanks as always go to James Hughes and the Christie & Co team. They remain professional to the end and I would recommend anyone looking for a pub to speak to these guys first.”

James Hughes, Senior Business Agent at Christie & Co handled the sale and comments, “This pub gained plenty of interest due to its attractive price and high profitably. I’m glad to have sold this to an operator that we sold another pub to only at the end of 2018 and it shows that the market for free of tie leases remains strong and in high demand.”

The Fighting Cocks was sold of a leasehold guide price of £175,000.