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Brucan Pub Expands to Four Sites With Massive Refurbishment

Brucan Pubs, founded in 2018 by ex-ETM Operations Director James Lyon-Shaw and the former head chef of The Club at The Ivy Jamie Dobbin, today announce their fourth opening for their fast-growing portfolio of pubs. 


Brucan is leasing The Star at Witley in Surrey from Star Pubs & Bars. It will undertake a £400,000 joint refurbishment with Star before reopening the pub’s doors in late August, creating 25 new jobs. 


The investment will transform The Star into a great quality village pub with a focus on British seasonal fare, community links and Brucan’s signature hospitality. 


Like Brucan’s other pubs, The Star will have a weekly-changing menu of traditional dishes* and daily seasonal specials, including plenty of British game, meat and fish, as well as a bar menu of pub classics. Sunday lunches will be a big fixture. 


Brucan Pubs is passionate about local sourcing. Serious meat lovers can expect 

45-day aged rare breed steaks from traditional and regenerative farms. Fish will be wild, sustainable and sourced from day boats on the South coast with the daily catch delivered to The Star in a matter of hours. 


Whilst food will be a major feature of the relaunch, The Star will also have a relaxed drinking bar with real fires, rotating cask ales and carefully curated wine lists. 


The refurbishment will sensitively restore and refurbish the Grade-II listed, 17th- century building throughout, retaining its atmosphere and individual charm. Outside, the investment will landscape the garden and add a dining terrace, heated pergola and pods for year-round socialising. 


James and Jamie currently operate three other pubs under the Brucan Pubs umbrella: The Greene Oak (Windsor), The Drumming Snipe (Mayford) and The Greyhound (Finchampstead). In addition, the duo run the village store and farm shop, Goswell & Birds (Finchampstead).  Brucan Pubs is now looking for further leased and freehold sites to meet its ambition of building up an estate of ten gastro pubs in the next five years.


Says Lyon-Shaw: “We search for sites that will sustain a high percentage of food sales and where we can build a strong business by optimising or transforming the current offer. The Star ticks all the boxes and is in our core operating area south west of London. Good freeholds rarely come to market and are either very expensive or extremely run down when they do. The tied model is proving an affordable way for us to access great pubs. Star are very easy to work with, and we’re keen to find more opportunities with them.”


Adds Star Pubs & Bars’ area manger Ron Barnes: “We’re delighted to be joining forces with Brucan Pubs to give The Star the investment it needs to thrive and maximise its potential. James and Jamie are passionate about quality food and drink, and have built up a superb collection of destination dining pubs, each with its own unique feel. Their approach is ideal for The Star. It will be a fantastic local as well as an exceptional drive-to pub for those from further afield.”


*Examples of dishes:

Starters such as: Leeks vinaigrette, soft egg, anchovy; Grilled asparagus, brown shrimp butter; Potted mackerel, toasted crumpet.


Mains such as: Cheddar cheese, spring onion and potato peel pie, creamed kale; Whole Cornish plaice, cockles, sorrel sauce; Red mullet, samphire, crab butter; Cheek and trotter steamed pudding, purple broccoli