The award-winning chef-patron of a renowned Yorkshire Dales gastropub and boutique hotel has put the establishment on the market with a guide price of £1.2 million to take over the freehold. Nigel Stevens, who plans to retire, has instructed Blacks Business Brokers, which has an office in Leeds, to find a new owner for the Wyvill Arms in Constable Burton, Leyburn.
The Wyvill Arms is an 18th-century former farmhouse that now houses a pub, restaurant and seven-bedroom hotel. It has received beer, wine, food and accommodation awards from the Good Pub Guide, and has also been featured by the Michelin Guide.
The property has traded as the Wyvill Arms since the early 1980s and was taken over by Mr Stevens in 1998. It is located in the North Yorkshire village of Constable Burton, three miles outside the Wensleydale market town of Leyburn.
The property consists of a pub with two bars and a restaurant, providing seating in total for 80 covers, with seating outside for a further 20. It also houses seven en-suite double bedrooms, all finished to a very high standard, and a two-double-bedroom owner’s apartment.
The business, which will remain open as usual until a new owner takes over, is run by Mr Stevens along with 15 staff. It is on course to generate revenues of £500,000 in 2019.
Mr Stevens has a long pedigree in the pub and hotel trade in the Yorkshire Dales, having previously operated a number of different pubs in the area before settling on the Wyvill Arms more than two decades ago. He was named Licensee of the Year at the 2019 Pub of the Year Awards, announced this September.
The restaurant at the Wyvill Arms has established a particularly strong reputation based on its extensive use of local produce. Local meat from Hawes and the surrounding countryside is supplied by Nigel Hammond of Bainbridge, and game comes from Ian Lancaster of Thirsk.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are sourced from Campbells of Leyburn and fresh fish is delivered daily by Alan Hodgson of Hartlepool. All herbs used by the restaurant are grown by the Wyvill Arms’ gardener, John Willis, along with a range of vegetables.
The hotel is named after the Wyvill family whose ancestral seat is nearby Constable Burton Hall. Although housed in a historic property the pub, restaurant and rooms have been fitted out to a very high, modern standard, as has the fully equipped catering kitchen.
In 2016 and 2017 Mr Stevens invested £200,000 in refurbishing and extending the property, increasing the number of letting rooms from four to seven and refurbishing the existing rooms.
Megan Sutherst, sales negotiator at Blacks Business Brokers, said, “Mr Stevens’ desire to retire has created a fantastic opportunity for someone to take over and build on the superb reputation he has built up over the last two decades. I could see this business working well for someone at a senior level in the hospitality trade who wants to capitalise on their experience, either as a chef or a manager.
“Alternatively, if it were to be run under management it would make a great addition to an existing portfolio of high-end pubs or boutique hotels. The location is incredible – just outside the national park, with the same fabulous scenery but without the same planning restrictions. I am expecting significant interest now the word is out.”
All enquiries should be directed to Blacks Business Brokers on 0333 370 0000, quoting reference 5200.