Welcome to ‘Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars’
Our Company was founded in 2008 by Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin.Tim was formerly part of famous pub entrepreneur, Michael Cannon’s management team turning round the fortunes of Pub companies such as Morrells of Oxford and Eldridge Pope. He was more recently MD of Brunning and Price and the Freehouse Pub Company within the Restaurant Group. Tim’s early career saw him work for Berni Steak houses, JA Devenish and Greenalls Pub Company.
Mary was formerly MD of La Tasca and grew the Spanish restaurant chain from three to over seventy restaurants nationwide. Prior to this Mary was with both Greenalls and Devenish Pub Companies having spent her early career with Disney and Harrods. We currently operate five famous pubs. All of which originally were either closed or on the verge of closure. We enjoy the challenge of restoring beautiful pubs that many would consider to be lost causes.
Our first pub was the Red Lion, Weymouth in the far away reaches of Dorset and was the original Devenish ‘Brewery Tap’ and the spiritual home to the Weymouth lifeboat crews past and present. It is one of Dorset’s most famous pubs. The Red Lion is renowned for its support of the lifeboat, its rum collection and its sharing seafood board as well as other seafood on the menu. It celebrates local and regional ales too. Tim, after working in the southwest with Eldridge Pope, felt there was an opportunity to develop a small pub business in Dorset and the Red Lion was acquired on that basis.
As so often happens in business the opportunity didn’t arise to develop further in Dorset but the Red Lion remains a really important part of the Cheshire Cat ‘family’ and we are proud of this historical pub and the team that work there. It also gives our northern based teams and customers an excuse to visit the seaside and the place that hosted to 2012 Olympic sailing!!!
Tim and Mary then focused on growing the business in Cheshire where they live and the Bulls Head in Mobberley, Cheshire was our second pub acquisition. The ‘Bully’ is a lovely village pub reflecting everything a true rural village pub should be. Umbro the sports manufacturer was founded in here in the 1920’s! The pub is also renowned for its commitment to local micro-breweries in Cheshire (with seven ale’s on offer), its large whiskey collection and of course its food which celebrates local suppliers and is as a pub has set the standard that many try to follow. The Bulls Head was Alistair Sawdays ‘Authentic Pub of the year’ in 2014.
The wonderful Cholmondeley Arms our third acquisition is a very rural village pub made unusual by the fact that it used to be a Victorian village school on the Cholmondeley Estate. The ‘Chum’, as it is known, is renowned for its Gin Collection of over two hundred gins and its commitment to local produce on its menu. This was recognized by the Countryside Alliance in 2014 when the Chum was chosen as the ‘Local Food Champion’ for the Northwest. It has six guest bedrooms in the ‘Headmasters House’ opposite.
The Three Greyhounds Inn our fourth acquisition is in the village of Allostock near Knutsford and Holmes Chapel. An old converted farm, the Three Greyhounds Inn had closed and we saw an opportunity to rescue, restore and re-open this once great rural pub. It has a great Brandy collection and is renowned for its menu and its selection of British farm cheeses. The Three Greyhounds Inn was recognized as the ‘Best Food Pub in 2013/14’ by Heineken.
The Church Inn in Mobberley. The Church Inn was another closed pub, now fully restored it is the proud ‘sister’ pub to the Bulls Head. The Church Inn offers another style of pub operation to complement the village of Mobberley and beyond. Famous for its ‘communion’ of wines and its seasonal menus, the Church Inn is a grade two listed building with an old ‘country tavern’ feel with intimate dining rooms, outdoor terraces, garden and private dining rooms on the first floor.
Our most recent acquisition is the Roebuck Inn, also in the village of Mobberley, which sits opposite our Bulls Head pub. The Roebuck Inn is the oldest pub in the village and like the Church Inn is Grade 2 listed. We have waited very patiently for planning permission and finally got the go ahead at the end of March. We now plan to start work in late September 2015 to restore this historic inn to its roots as a small restaurant with 6 boutique bedrooms. All being well we should be opening now in early Spring 2016.