The Alchemist secures £15m loan as it eyes 10 new sites

2nd February 2024 | Jack Oliver

Cocktail bar and restaurant group The Alchemist has secured a £15m loan from digital bank OakNorth as it looks to roll out new sites and refinance existing debt.

The business – which is backed by private equity firm Palatine – is looking to open 10 new sites over the next three years.

Founded in 2010, The Alchemist now operates 23 sites across 12 major cities, including six in London, three in its hometown Manchester, and three in Scotland. It also opened its first overseas venue in Berlin last year.

The group’s next location, in London Victoria, is set to open this month.

Stewart Haworth, director of debt finance at OakNorth, said: “The Alchemist is a perfect example of the creativity that’s currently on offer by the UK’s top bar and restaurant operators. The group has built-up a highly impressive reputation, with the management team delivering an experiential and theatrical food and drink offer across all day parts, in an array of locations, as they plotted their expansion here in the UK and abroad. With the pub and bar industry set for significant growth over the next five years, driven by a rising demand for craft spirits, the group is in a prime position to capitalise on this, and we look forward to visiting the new sites in the future.”

Simon Potts, CEO of The Alchemist, added: “Despite the well-known challenges facing the hospitality sector, we take pride in our unwavering commitment of growing our brand across the UK. Looking ahead, we have ambitions to roll-out 10 new sites over the next three years, with the funding from OakNorth being a key catalyst for this. This was our first-time working closely with OakNorth after being aware of its reputation for backing experienced and innovative bar and restaurant operators. Stewart [Haworth] and his team lived up to this reputation, providing a level of flexibility and transparency that was simply not offered by other lenders. With this capital, we will be able to open additional sites and continue bringing our unique cocktail bar and restaurants to more areas of the UK and overseas.”


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