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Water Lane bar and former restaurant in Bishop's Stortford on the market for £825,000

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A link with Bishop's Stortford's brewing heritage is on the market for offers in the region of £825,000.

The Water Lane bar and one-time restaurant was one of nine award-winning eateries operated by Anglian Country Inns (ACI). The premises are being marketed by Everard Cole Ltd, of Cambridge.

The three-storey building was formerly part of Hawkes brewery, established in the 18th century, and has long been licensed premises, trading as the Baker's Dozen, Snake and Gooseberry and JR's over the past 50 years.

Water Lane bar is on the market for £825,000
Water Lane bar is on the market for £825,000

Its current configuration offers a basement bar, the main ground-floor seating area with space for 80 diners and a mezzanine with room for 20-25 more covers.

In June last year, ACI, which operates in Hertfordshire and Norfolk, secured £3.33m of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) financing from Cynergy Bank.

The company, founded by Cliff Nye and now run with his sons James and Howard, said the cash would refinance existing debt with Barclays and provide emergency working capital funding after Covid-19 forced the closure of its pubs in March 2020. The first year of the loans is interest- and fee-free as the Government pays this to the bank.

James Nye said then: "We were delighted to have completed the CBILS funding of both Anglian Country Inns and our sister company, The Farmhouse, which together means we are able to protect the business and ensure we come out of the pandemic stronger than ever."

ACI has not responded to Indie requests for an update on its business.

Water Lane was once called Brewery Lane to mark its connection with ale production. A tunnel, used to move barrels back and forth between the brewery and nearby malthouses, is said to remain under the cobbles of the street and stretch from the Charis Centre to the bar.

In August 1898 Hawkes & Co was taken over by Benskins Brewery. In 1916 it became part of Ind Coope and the town was used as a distribution centre. The main site is now Waitrose supermarket.

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