Freehold Pub Operator Takes On First Leased Pub

Freehold Pub Operator Takes On First Leased Pub Hurt Arms in Ambergate

Multiple operator, BKJ Leisure has taken on its first leased pub, the Hurt Arms in Ambergate, outside Belper and is undertaking a joint £1m refurbishment with Star Pubs & Bars to turn it into a top-quality country inn and wedding venue.

The Hurt Arms is the freehold operators first leased operation. Its other sites include: The White Hart at Moorwood Moor – a country hotel and wedding venue and The Horse & Jockey country inn and hotel at Wessington. 

The funds are being spent on a complete overhaul of the 19th century building, creating an industrial vintage style contemporary country inn, unlike anything else in the area. Exposed metal work, reclaimed rustic wood panelling and industrial lighting are being incorporated into the design to create a warm vintage look.

The interior is being reconfigured to include:  an expanded restaurant area, which will double the seating capacity from 60 to 120; a new zinc covered central bar with cosy alcove and booth seating; and an 80 seater function room, The Tollgate Suite (named after the toll house and gate that was adjoined to The Hurt Arms in the 1870’s) which can be hired out for private events and weddings.  Six boutique bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms with a rustic contemporary country look are also being created.

The kitchen is being upgraded to enable the pub to offer top quality gastro food and cater for large numbers. 

Following the refurbishment, The Hurt Arms will be open for breakfast and all-day barista style coffee and gastro quality pub food featuring fresh locally sourced ingredients. On Sundays, the family friendly pub will host a traditional carvery. There will also be community pub quiz nights, live music and regular entertainment including a comedy club. In the summer, the Hurt Arms will host a monthly classic car club.

There will be a wide selection of drinks including premium lagers such as Birra Moretti, Amstel and Heineken Served Extra Cold, craft ales including local favourites Thornbridge, Amber Ales and Dancing Duck, an extensive gin menu and cocktails made to order.

Luke Richards, General Manager of BJK Leisure said: “The location of the Hurt Arms is second to none, nestled in the Ambergate valley and overlooking the village cricket club. When the lease came up, we leapt at the opportunity to take it on as we could see its potential as a unique country inn and an outstanding wedding venue. 

“It’s been a new experience working with a partner as we normally do everything ourselves. We’ve had great input from the Star team and have been really interested in their ideas. Hopefully, this will be the first of a number of projects as we want to continue to expand with more properties throughout Derbyshire.” 

David Pritchard, regional operations director for Star Pub & Bars said: “It’s great news that a company with BKJ Leisure’s track record, reputation and local knowledge has taken on the Hurt Arms. Their experience together with the investment will transform it. I look forward to seeing the BJK Leisure team put their exciting plans into practice and make the Hurt Arms the best pub in the area.”