Midlands & East Anglia

Unveiling Water Lane


Water Lane Bar and restaurant, Bishop’s Stortford

Anglian Country Inns Ltd (ACI) is an award-winning hospitality company based in East Anglia. At the beginning of 2014, ACI acquired its fifth establishment a freehold property in Water Lane, Bishop’s Stortford.

It will be known as Water Lane Bar & Restaurant and is situated on the site of an old brewery and will be opening at the end of April 2014. The building is being completely renovated and restyled but has retained lots of its original stunning features.

Led by James Nye Managing Director, ACI has four additional hospitality establishments within its portfolio, including The White Horse, The Jolly Sailors, The Fox and Hermitage Road Bar & Restaurant. This new £1 million+ freehold acquisition was obtained by ACI through a combination of internal investment with very strong support from Barclays PLC and like its sister-sites, will offer guests great food and excellent service within a desirable location.

Water Lane Bar and restaurant, Bishop’s Stortford

James Nye, said:

“It has been a very enjoyable experience working closely with Barclays. Their incredible support has been central to the organic growth of ACI over the past two years. The 2% cash back initiative under their Funding for Lending Scheme, which helped us enable our recent acquisition, really helped to sweeten the deal.”

Since its inception, ACI has built up a strong reputation within the hospitality sector, picking up peer recognition and industry awards along the way. This latest venture continues to demonstrate ACI’s thirst for development and showcases that ACI is a company which is always looking to expand its offering to meet the ever changing needs of the market.

ACI Operations Director, Howard Nye, said:

“We are first and foremost a family business, with my father at the helm and my brother James Managing Director. The Water Lane Bar & Restaurant is our fifth site, with our other venues located in Hertfordshire and Norfolk. We have an interesting mix of establishments in our portfolio, with each property offering something different. Water Lane Bar & Restaurant is the second town centre venture for us. Water Lane will serve a menu for all tastes including a choice of seafood, grill and a great selection of flat breads and sharing boards, with all ingredients sourced locally. The Restaurant will seat 100 and is backed by an 80 seat cellar bar.”

Water Lane Bar and restaurant, Bishop’s Stortford

Work began on the project at the beginning 2014 and comprised the complete strip out of the existing three-storey site in order to transform the building into a fantastic new venue. The restaurant is located across two floors, with a cellar bar below.

The site was completely refurbished and can now accommodate 100 covers, offering diners a fantastic selection of fresh dishes, which incorporate local produce and some of the finest seafood from Norfolk. The restaurant’s menu is backed up by a strong drinks selection with real ales and lagers joining a fine selection of wines, spirits and cocktails.

ACI Director of Food, Harry Kodagoda, said:

“We are really excited about this new venture in historic Bishops Stortford. The town has a great feel for us and the building in Water Lane has amazing original features and character to accommodate our exciting ideas.”

Similar to its sister site Hermitage Road Bar & Restaurant in Hitchin, Water Lane looks to break down the barriers of traditional dining by offering a modern equivalent and is sure to become the talk of the town over the coming months.

Howard added:

“This site is very important to us and we will always be looking to maintain and grow our offering. ACInns group has just been awarded Best Food Offer across all its sites by the Publican Awards 2014 for the second year running, which is an amazing achievement. Harry Kodagoda, ACI Director of Food was only just awarded Group Chef of the Year by Restaurant Awards – the icing on the cake for all at ACInns.

Water Lane Bar and restaurant, Bishop’s Stortford

“Water Lane Bar & Restaurant demonstrates our desire to expand our catchment area and is our second freehold property. We have invested greatly into this venture and it took a while to find the right location. We know the Bishops Stortford location with be perfect and is a great project for the team.”

Each ACI establishment operates under an entirely individual nature, which is part of their growing success. For more information please visit: www.acinns.co.uk.


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