Drake & Morgan acquires Corney & Barrow’s wine bar business

Drake & Morgan, which is backed by private equity firm Bowmark Capital, has bought London wine bar and restaurant operator Corney & Barrow Bars for an undisclosed sum. Corney & Barrow Bars launched as a City-based collection of premium wine bars in 1983.

The group operates 11 bars – ten under the Corney & Barrow name and the destination bar and restaurant, Devonshire Terrace. The historical Corney & Barrow wine merchant business will continue to operate independently under the direction of chairman Percy Weatherall and managing director Adam Brett-Smith. Corney & Barrow dates 230 years and is one of the longest established independent wine merchants in the UK and a holder of two Royal Warrants. Drake & Morgan will continue to work with Corney & Barrow as one of its preferred wine suppliers. Jillian Maclean, managing director of Drake & Morgan said: “The acquisition strengthens our presence in the City and we look forward to working more closely with the Corney & Barrow wine merchant business, introducing their fantastic portfolio of wines across the Drake & Morgan estate.” Weatherall added: “We are delighted that Drake & Morgan has acquired our wine bar business and we look forward to a continued and productive relationship as we work with the group to build its wine offering.”

The acquisition forms part of Drake & Morgan’s strategy to build a significant, multi-brand bar and restaurant portfolio in London and regionally. The next 12 months will see Drake & Morgan add another five sites to the current nine-strong group with openings planned at Heathrow Terminal 4, Spinningfields and One St Peters Square, both in Manchester, Edinburgh and London’s West India Quay. With the acquisition of Corney & Barrow, the portfolio will have increased to at least 25 sites by the end of 2017.