Beautifully Presented Upmarket Bar & Bistro

Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire

£40,000 +SAV

Ref: B04997

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Hilton Smythe welcomes to the market, Saint Johns Place Restaurant. Saint Johns Place Restaurant was founded by the current owner in August 2013 and has been a real labour of love for her and has become a firm Hay-On-Wye favourite with many regular customers. The business is now being sold, albeit reluctantly and with a heavy heart only due to other business interests. The vendor is keen to see her beloved business pass to an ambitious and entrepreneurial new owner who can take this already thriving business to the next level. Saint Johns Place Restaurant is an upmarket Bar and Bistro. Known for its bright colourful and inspired presentation of unusual flavour combinations, the food stands out as the shining star in this ambient restaurant with its accents of Scandinavian light wood and simple, stylish layout. The menu changes weekly but remains consistently first-class. The menus have three choices in each category, allowing for the ingredients to sing out whilst also offering the diner plenty of choice. The business offers a range of British and European dishes all freshly prepared on the premises using local ingredients wherever possible. The menu (at the time of booking) includes; Cocktails • Bellini • Negroni • Caipirinha • Rosemary Paloma • Pear & Bay Collins Bar Snacks • Pickles & Quails Eggs • Sage & Anchovy Fritters • Cauliflower, Leek & Taleggio Croquettes • Celeriac Bhaji Roll, Tamarind Chutney & Coriander • Salt Hake Barndade, Mushroom & Soft Egg • Eartha, Oatcakes & Fig Jam. Plates • Winter House Salad • Mackerel Frites & Paprika • Steak Frites & Café De Paris Butter Puddings • Fried Custards, Rhubarb & Lemon Curd Ice Cream • Salted Caramel Truffles The sale will include the company website, Facebook and Instagram pages and the business enjoys great visibility on the internet with some fabulous reviews. The business is proud of its five-star hygiene rating. Scope to Improve • Advertising and marketing campaign • Update website, ideally including an on-line booking facility • Extend the opening hours, the business currently opens just two evenings a week • Expand the outside catering side of the business • Consider introducing a sandwich round • Explore online voucher discounters such as Groupon and Wowcher • Introduce a Sunday lunch offering Reasons to Buy • A well-established business with an enviable reputation and many regular customers • Perfect trading position in the centre of the town • Current owner happy to offer a handover to ensure continued success • A real opportunity to increase turnover significantly, the current owner has been running at a pace to suit on reduced hours • Ideal owner managed or partnership business • Low running costs with inexpensive rent and no business rates • All fixtures and fittings included making this a real turnkey business opportunity. • Offers the opportunity of sub-letting during the Hay Festival which has proved to be especially lucrative. • A ‘lifestyle” business offering a lucky new owner the chance to work in the beautiful town of Hay-On-Wye. Hilton Smythe highly advise early viewing to avoid disappointment. This lovely and exceptional business is likely to attract considerable interest.



We are advised that Saint Johns Place Restaurant is being sold as a Leasehold business opportunity. A new 3-year Lease will be offered to a new owner at a proposed rent of £5000 per annum which is incredibly reasonable given the size and location of the premises. We are advised that the business benefits from being exempt from business rates.


The business opens currently for only two days a week. Friday to Saturday 5.00 pm – 11.00 pm A new owner should look at increasing the opening hours and would see a significant increase in turnover. This really does present a fantastic opportunity and shouldn’t be missed!


The business is run and managed by our client with the help of three part time members of staff.

Financial Profile

Saint Johns Place Restaurant generated an advised turnover of circa £78,000 as of the 2017 accounts with a gross profit of approximately 31% but it needs to be appreciated that the business is currently being run at a pace to suit with limited trading hours and has enjoyed higher turnover previously (approximately £114,000 in 2016 for example ). An experienced new owner should expect to see a significant increase in turnover.


Saint Johns Place Restaurant is located in Hay-On-Wye Hay-On-Wye is a pretty little town swept by the River Wye on the north, with the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons to the south and west, and the lush agricultural land of Herefordshire to the east. It is famous as “The Town of Books”, and for the annual Hay Festival. Hay-On-Wye is friendly, lively and vibrant and, unsurprisingly for a town with such individuality and literary associations, is twinned with Timbuktu, which itself has the oldest Islamic library in the world. Hay is used to welcoming visitors drawn by the books and by its annual literary festival. President Clinton, speaking there in 2001, called Hay ‘the Woodstock of the Mind’. There are dozens of second-hand bookshops. Tourist gift emporiums full of trinkets are mercifully absent as are one-way-through-traffic systems and multiples. Instead there is a good range of practical shops as well as antique and high-quality art and craft shops, plus high fashion boutiques and practical country wear shops. On Thursdays the market stalls scattered about the town do a roaring trade and the streets are full of groups of people exchanging news. Any number of pubs, cafes and take-always can also be found and there is a wide choice of accommodation in the town and surrounding countryside. Hay-On-Wye has more energetic attractions. It’s a good base for serious walking in the protected countryside of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Offas Dyke Path, which extends 173 miles along the England-Wales border between Prestatyn and Sudbury Cliffs near Chepstow, runs through Hay. Then there’s canoeing on the Wye, sailing on nearby Llangorse Lake, Off-Road mountain biking, Rick climbing, caving, fishing and gliding. Saint Johns Place Restaurant is ideally positioned in the main shopping area of the town alongside other complimentary, independent retail businesses and thus benefits from high levels of footfall. The business is beautifully presented and maintained with with visible, clear signage. There is an inexpensive public car park a short walk away and free on street parking in the surrounding streets.


Saint Johns Place Restaurant occupies the ground floor of a period stone-built building which began as a chapel for the garrison of Hay Castle. In the 16th century it also served as a guild church for local tradesmen. The original chapel was almost completely rebuilt in 1934. The original church graveyard is said to lie under the modern roadway in St. Johns Place. The business is beautifully presented and and fastidiously maintained and briefly comprises: Restaurant • Beautiful generously proportioned restaurant with high ceilings • Retaining many period features • Arched door to front and a further door to side • Period windows to side creating a light airy and inviting interior • Lovely parquet wood flooring • Bespoke bar area • Light oak effect chairs and tables currently providing 27 covers but able to accommodate 35 for functions • Wood panelling to walls • Feature pendant lighting • Chalked menu boards This really is a lovely space and perfect for an intimate dining experience. Kitchen • Comprehensively equipped catering kitchen • Window to side • Two under-counter fridges • Two Gastro fridges • Stainless steel preparation tables • Stainless steel splashbacks • Twin basket stainless steel fryer • Stainless steel sink • Full extraction system with stainless steel canopy • Six burner range cooker with oven beneath Wash-Up Area • Fluorescent lighting • Non-slip vinyl flooring commercial dish washer • Stainless steel sink with Monobloc tap • Stainless steel preparation tables • New combi boiler • Stainless steel urn • Freestanding stainless-steel shelving unit • Door to side

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