Bacon not chasing Living Room deal

TIM Bacon, the founder of the Living Room bar chain, says he now has only a “secondary interest” in buying back the ailing business.

The boss of Living Ventures told TheBusinessDesk: “We never say never, but it would have to be the deal of the century to go back in there.”

Mr Bacon who sold the Living Room and Prohibition chains for £28m to Ultimate Leisure, later renamed Premium Bars & Restaurants, said he had not contacted the administrators since PBR’s insolvency on Tuesday.

“We’re not actively chasing it. It would have to be a fairly left-field opportunity for us to do anything.”

He said the level of debt involved, around £40m, and that the  scale of the turnaround would involve much “pain” and had prompted him to walk away from the deal prior to the insolvency.

He is instead focused on a new opportunity, Living Ventures Management, which he and long-term business partner Jeremy Roberts have set up.

The new business has just acquired the One Six One nightclub in the affluent Manchester suburb Hale, and is set to buy four more sites, one in Alderley Edge, two in Manchester city centre and one in West Kirby, Merseyside.

Mr Bacon has invested £3m in the venture.

He said: “We’re looking to roll-out three new concepts – the first a late bar with dancing which we’ll see at One Six One; the second is something different – a bit like Living Room was in 2000; and the third is a a new restaurant concept.”

As well as the new business Mr Bacon owns Living Room Restaurants, a 14-strong chain made up of eight Gusto eateries and six Blackhouse Grills.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...