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Celebrity chefs expand their empires

Both Marco-Pierre White and Raymond Blanc have opened pubs in the UK as the chefs expand their business enterprises further afield in moves not dissimilar to Heston Blumenthal’s recent pub acquisition in Bray.

Raymond Blanc’s chain Brasserie Blanc has gained the leases to two pubs formerly operated by pub group Massive, which went into administration two years ago.

There are apparently plans to invest up to £1 million in the King’s Head in Teddington and nearly £500,000 into the Queen’s Head in Weybridge.

The brasserie menu will be introduced to both sites although they will remain pubs first and foremost.

Meanwhile, White has opened a new pub in East Sussex under the Wheeler brand.

Chequers, an 18th-century pub in Maresfield, has a 100-seat capacity and has just undergone a £150,000 refurbishment.

The new venue is opening in partnership with pub operators Powder Chain, who have owned the site since 2006.

Having re-launched the Wheeler’s of St James’s brand last year, this new opening is part of a wider plan to launch as many as 14 pubs over the next few years.

Rupert Millar, 15.06.2010

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