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Celebrating International Women’s Day – From Waitress to Owner of Cocktail bars


DV8, the award-winning cocktail bars and dining venues in Sandbach and Congleton, are under new ownership after Life & Soul Limited agreed a sale to bar manager Stephanie Chaddock. Stephanie who has worked for the company for more than nine years seized the chance to take ownership of the bar and build on the brand’s good reputation and commercial opportunity.

Steph Chaddock joined the company in 2008 as a waitress in the company’s Congleton bar, however quickly showed organization and leadership skills. She progressed through the business until she was appointed to manage the new DV8 venue in Sandbach in 2016. She now celebrates owning the Sandbach and Congleton bars and employing more than 60 people.

Stephanie Chaddock, Owner and Director of the Deviate Bar Limited comments: “This is an amazing opportunity to build on the popularity and reputation of DV8. Having worked in the business for nearly a decade I have excellent relationships with the team and am excited by the opportunity that ownership now presents.”

Life & Soul Limited was looking to raise money to help extend the brand to new venues in the region and decided to sell ownership to the bar’s management to ensure continuity in terms of service and delivery. The bars were valued at £1.8m, however Steph Chaddock was able to raise money against this due to the bar’s proven financial performance.

The announcement comes 18 months after the award-winning DV8 Sandbach venue was restored and re-opened after a £250,000 refurbishment. The bar recently held a ‘re-birthday’ party and welcomed hundreds of visitors throughout the evening.

Martin Holmes, director at Life & Soul Limited, comments: “Steph has a proven track record in running successful bars and was the obvious choice for us to sell to. She has been an instrumental part of the team and we’re delighted to have been able to support her ambitions over the last decade. We will keep our excellent working relations and now look at further opportunities for the development and ongoing success of the group.”

The money raised from the sale will go towards ambitious expansion plans for Life & Soul Limited as the company targets a new larger Rumba venue as well as investments in new ventures including the Castle Inn and Cloud View Restaurant in Congleton.

The bars are located in the restored and much-loved 16th century ‘black bear’ building in the heart of Sandbach which was restored to its former glory in 2016 and an 18th Century building in Congleton which Life & Soul re-established back in 2007. The DV8 bars have recently been awarded the title of ‘Business of the Year’ by East Cheshire’s Chamber of Commerce and now offer a welcoming atmosphere for all, with an indulgent food and drink offering including more than 100 luxury cocktails, each served with unique garnishes.

Life & Soul Limited own and operate pubs, bars and restaurants across East Cheshire. Their pubs include the popular Tiki style bars, Rumba in Congleton and Macclesfield, which has recently just received the Great British Pub Award for Best Turnaround Bar 2017 as well as the Castle Inn in Congleton.