The founders of ETM Group are raising £4.3m through the private equity investment firm Growthdeck to open a range of new bars taking advantage of historic low hospitality rents.
Maven Leisure, a new venture led by Ed Martin and the management team of ETM group which was founded by Ed and Tom Martin, aims to open seven bars in central London. The Martin brothers previously built the ETM Group, which operates the Aviary rooftop bar and restaurant on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel in Finsbury Square and the Botanist bars in Sloane Square and Broadgate Circle, as well as a number of other premium sports bars, pubs and restaurants and Long Arm Brewery.
Maven’s group of bars will be anchored by a new rooftop site on King William Street in the City of London. Located moments from Bank and Monument tube stations, the venue will feature an all-day premium indoor bar and restaurant space, terraces heated and lit for year-round use and 360° views of the London skyline.
Maven will use the £4.3m to fund the fit-out and pre-opening costs for the group’s first three bars and restaurants. As well as the King William Street site, the business is in advanced negotiations for two further sites, aided by the weak central London leisure property market.
Where lease premiums were once common on the most sought-after London bar sites, some landlords are now offering lengthy rent-free periods to bar operators in order to avoid void periods on key sites. This has created an opportunity for experienced bar operators to secure the most desirable sites in central London on favourable long-term leases.
“COVID has pushed rents on bars about as low as they will go. Sites are being offered at rents that could not have been dreamed of 15 months ago,” says Gary Robins, head of Business Development at Growthdeck.
“ETM have built a group of London pubs, bars and restaurants that are the envy of the industry. The reopening of the leisure industry is an opportunity for them to do that again, but in a far more favourable property market.”