Sweet pounds 7m of notes for Pitcher & Piano player

A former Rolls-Royce aero-engineer netted pounds 7m yesterday when his chain of seven Pitcher & Piano theme bars was sold for pounds 20m to Marston, Thompson & Eveshed, the regional brewer and pub group.

Crispin Tweddel, 49, started the Pitcher & Piano chain as a single bar in Fulham West London in 1986. Yesterday Marstons said the bars would provide a retail brand to match its Pedigree ale.

Marstons hopes to double the number of Pitcher & Piano bars to 14 with outlets in Islington, Newcastle Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh.

The deal underlines the high value of themed or branded pubs and restaurants. It follows a similar bout of corporate cheque-waving last week when Greene King paid nearly pounds 200m for the Magic Pub Company, a group of nearly 300 pubs founded by Michael Cannon.

Mr Tweddel has made his fortune via the Piper Trust, his investment vehicle which also owns Cranks wholefood restaurants. The trust's venture capital group also owns a stake in the Sofa Workshops furniture chain and Pied a Terre, a group of fashionable shoe shops. He will stay on as chairman of Pitcher & Piano.

The Pitcher & Piano is aimed at trendy 18-35-year-olds with a relatively high disposable income. With an emphasis on quality design and a high level of comfort, the bars include stripped wood floors, waitress service food, sofas and the obligatory grand piano. Mr Tweddell, 48, who used to work at the Fitch and Wolff Olins design consultancies, says he hatched the idea as a way of moving away from the notion of the old-fashioned boozer. "We could see people were not happy with what was on offer. Men went to pubs and women went to wine bars. The bars were intended as a kind of home from home with a simple selections of drinks. None of this palaver with wine lists."

The venture proved a terrific success, riding on the back of the yuppie boom but continuing to prosper thorough the recession. In the year to June 1995 the chain made profits of pounds 830,000 on sales of pounds 5.4m. This year it expects to make pounds 1m profit on sales of pounds 7.7m.

Mr Tweddell is already dreaming up his next venture. Called Dream and Do, it will be a gardening catalogue with telephone-based ordering. He hopes to get the concept off the ground next year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before