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Pubs, restaurants, entertainment

We regularly undertake work on buildings used by the entertainment and hospitality industry including pubs and restaurants.  These establishments are often housed in existing and often old and historically significant buildings which require the specialist knowledge and expertise that we hold.  It also requires experience of the function and special needs of buildings such as these to provide the commercially active spaces within them.  For example, we may be called to ensure that floors are able to sustain the load from a crowded bar area or to create the openings within the existing construction to allow free passage around the spaces and maximise the commercial advantage from them.  This can sometimes require the removal of a considerable amount of load-bearing construction to open out a space within the building.  This was particularly the case for projects such as Brazz in Taunton.  It is also important to provide solutions that can be quickly applied to minimise the disruption to the building and its money-earning capability.

Many of these buildings are let to tenants who may have little knowledge of how to maintain them and tend not notice that a serious structural problem has developed until it is too late.  This was the situation with one pub in Exeter where a section of cob wall became saturated due to leaking rainwater goods and finally collapsed inwards onto a first floor dining room in the tenant's accommodation.  This left the thick cement render still in place so that from the outside the degree of devastation could not be seen.  

In another case of a pub in Bideford, cracking and bulging in the plaster indicated that a section of cob wall had become saturated and was suffering from failure.  

Portobello 2



Portobello 4

In this instance, we were able to design and specify repairs that could be carried out relatively quickly while allowing the pub to continue trading.  


Portobello drg
Portobello 5


Some of the restaurant and hostelry chains we have worked for carry out maintenance and repair work on their properties that inevitably uncover structural problems when areas of the building are revealed.  This was the case with the former Turk’s Head in the High Street in Exeter. 


Turks Head rear

The building is Listed with construction that goes back at least 400 years and is adjacent to the 13th century Guildhall.  The owners of the Turk's Head, Prezzo, were undertaking general renovation of the building’s envelope.  Once slate roofs had been stripped

Turks Head repaired

or render removed, we were able to quickly provide advice or design solutions to structural problems such as decayed timbers, leaning trusses and unstable chimneys that were appropriate to this historic building and met the requirements of the Local Authority Conservation Officers.



The Three Crowns in Chagford was in the process of being renovated by the new owners, St Austell Brewery, with structural repairs and alterations which we specified.  The outer face of the front wall has for a long time had a very significant bulge.  The removal of the 1st floor window sills revealed a gaping void between the inner and outer stonework.  To solve this, the two halves of the wall were tied together using Helibar drilled and grouted into the inner and outer stonework

Three Crowns, Chagford 1








Hospitality clients we have worked for include the following:

  • Heavitree Brewery
  • Scottish and Newcastle/Heineken
  • Punch Taverns
  • Whitbread
  • Courage
  • St Austell Brewery
  • Castle Hotel, Taunton
  • Prezzo

In extreme cases, extensive fire damage can occur in buildings requiring large-scale or total reconstruction.  We have provided structural engineering services for both the Chichester Arms at Bishops Tawton and the George Hotel in Hatherleigh where extensive fire damage or total destruction had to be resolved.


The Chichester Arms

Chichester Arms gutted 2

Gutted by fire.

Chichester Arms canopy

The canopy to protect the building

while repairs are carried out.

Chichester Arms int roof

New roof with oak trusses.

Chichester Arms ext roof

Ready for thatching.

Chichester Arms finished

Restoration completed.