Finance deal enables six-figure country pub acquisition by celebrated entrepreneur chef

Gary Usher (credit Lee Brown)

Liverpool chef entrepreneur, Gary Usher, has acquired a Cheshire pub as part of his latest expansion, following funding support from Oldham-based business finance broker PMD Business Finance.

The firm provided part of the funding to enable award-winning chef Usher’s Elite Bistros to complete the six-figure acquisition of its first pub, The White Horse in Churton.

The building, which has been empty since closing in 2020, will be transformed into a new dog-friendly gastro pub with accommodation, expected to create 25 jobs and likely to re-open in early 2023, with the rooms aiming to be completed in 2024.

Elite Bistros has gone from strength to strength since launching its first solo venture, Sticky Walnut, in Hoole, Chester in 2011.

The business has since expanded to six award-winning restaurants, a nationwide meal-kit delivery service and an events catering company operating across the North West.

Since purchasing the pub and land, Elite Bistros has launched a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter to fund its renovation.

Included in the plans are the addition of a sheltered outdoor dining area and a complete overhaul of the kitchen facilities, including converting an outbuilding into a prep kitchen and a new walk-in fridge.

There are plans for four bedrooms above the pub which will be revamped to create new accommodation for guests and their dogs in the next stage of the renovations.

The deal team at PMD included Jill Shaw, Chris Lever and John Platt. John said: “We have a long standing relationship with Gary and his team and have worked closely with them for the last seven years, so we’re proud to have helped them see this deal over the line.

“It will allow Elite Bistros to continue diversifying its offering and brings a disused pub back to life for the Churton community.”

He added: “It’s rewarding to have also helped fulfil Gary’s lifelong ambition of buying a country pub and changing its concept to focus on accessible fine dining with quality ales. I have no doubt this latest venture will be a huge success.”

Usher added: “A pub as beautiful and charming as The White Horse deserves to be buzzing with life and energy.

“And you can feel that energy already from the community who have been offering tools or a pair of hands to help us with the renovations. It’s incredible. They can’t wait for us to throw open the doors next year.”

Gary Usher is one of the most celebrated chefs on the North West food scene and has made several TV appearances, starring on shows including Channel 4’s The Rebel Chef: My Restaurant Revolution and How to Save a Grand in 24 Hours. He was named by The Caterer as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the industry.