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South Manchester bar snapped up by new company

Sogbog Ltd has acquired the leasehold interest of Folk, a popular bar and venue-hire business in the affluent South Manchester suburb of West Didsbury, via Christie Finance.

Sogbog is represented by a group of four directors - Andrew Jane, Sarah Jane, Adam Turner and Rachel Caulfield, who are first-time buyers.

All four directors of the group have developed impressive management backgrounds throughout their careers before their involvements with Sogbog, and now the group have decided to acquire the leasehold interest in Folk, which is thought to be one of Didsbury’s ‘go to’ venues for the area’s hospitality offering.

Folk occupies a prominent and highly visible location on Burton Road, a bustling street in Didsbury lined with independent bars and restaurants.

The venue comprises a large L-shaped open-lounge and a handmade wooden bar, along with a mix of free standing tables and a large seating terrace with heating and a retractable awning.

The directors now plan to continue the venue’s strong trade whilst there are also plans to reinvigorate menus, creating both a family friendly offering in the day and a more sophisticated offering for the evenings.

As the group moves forward with the business, Andrew Jane will serve as the venue’s general manager who is highly experienced and well known in the hospitality sector, whilst the other directors will support the sustainability and development of the business’s current trade.

Rachel Caulfield spoke of the group’s delight after securing funding, ‘We would have really struggled to acquire Folk without the support of Christie Finance. We were put in touch with Lawrence at Christie Finance, and he made the process of acquiring funding so easy and simple. Lenders were understandably cautious, but in the end, we were delighted with the loan arrangement terms presented.

'Adam and I have lived in West Didsbury for a number of years. We were told from a local business owner about Folk being up for sale and then we approached two of our best friends, Andy and Sarah, about buying it.

'With Andy working in the hospitality sector for 22 years, we felt that it made perfect sense to purchase the business altogether which has been a pipe dream for us all.

'We’re really excited to launch our new menus, with our winter menu coming first for Christmas, and we also have plans to extend the Folk family to another neighbourhood, so watch this space!”

Lawrence Roberts added, “I am delighted to have supported Adam, Rachel, Andrew and Sarah with the leasehold purchase of Folk Didsbury. As soon as I spoke to them about their plans and ambitions for the bar, it was evident that they were the perfect buyers to move the business forward.

'The hospitality sector continues to be a difficult sector to fund, however with the expertise and business acumen that the buyers presented, this deal was a case of finding the right solution that worked for them.

'The other key aspects in securing the deal were the group’s plans and also Christie Finance’s whole of market approach, which is the key to unlocking funding and especially in such a competitive funding market.

'I look forward to hearing from the group in the future and sampling their new menus when I visit Didsbury in the near future!”