Iconic Warwick pub set to undergo transformation - and a new name - after being taken over by Kenilworth pub owners

The new owners have big plans for the pub

The owners of Kenilworth' s oldest pub are expanding their business by taking over an iconic pub in Warwick.

Hospitality group Caviar and Chips, owners of The Famous Virgins and Castle, will be taking over The Racehorse in Warwick.

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The Racehorse in Stratford Road was built in 1953 and underwent a £700,000 refurbishment in 2018.

The Racehorse pub in Warwick. Photo supplied

But like many pubs, bars and restaurants over the last two years, Covid-19 has had a serious impact on the pub’s success and trade quickly declined.

Everards Brewery, who own the property, had to step in and bring in temporary management until new owners were found.

Everards then offered the venue to the owners of their Virgins and Castle pub in Kenilworth.

Caviar and Chips first took on the 16th century Kenilworth pub in March 2020 and in less than two years have increased trade by more than 50 per cent despite going through a global pandemic.

The iconic racehorse statue that sits outside the Warwick pub. Photo supplied

As well as the Virgins and Castle, Caviar and Chips run an external catering business across the UK and a boutique wedding venue in Shropshire called Stockton House.

Co-founders of Caviar and Chips, Jonathan Carter-Morris and Marc Hornby have been running the company since 2017.

Jonathan lives in Kenilworth and will be known to residents for previously running The Almanack and The Rose and Crown in Warwick town centre.

Jonathan said: “Running the Virgins and Castle for the last couple of years has been a huge challenge with the pandemic and the issues that has brought to the hospitality industry.

Jonathan Carter Morris and Marc Hornby co-founders of Caviar and Chips. Photo supplied

"However, we have absolutely loved it and it's been great to see the pub busy, vibrant, engaging with our community and we’re creating many new jobs.

"The Racehorse will be a different challenge all together and so we had to get really creative with what we will do and how we’ll go about building another exciting brand.

"That’s why we’re going to change its name and bring in a new concept called No.34 Garden and Grill.

"No.34 because its address is 34 Stratford Road in the CV34 postcode. And garden and grill as we’re going to create two fantastic, seasonal menus that are reflective of what people are looking for in a great restaurant experience.”

No.34 Garden and Grill will be open from Thursday March 3.

Marc added: “The concept of No.34 is a simple one.

"Two distinctive menus; one from the garden and one from the grill served in the backdrop of a restaurant that works in a sustainable way that focusses on doing the right things – being a great place to work, a place to visit and a business that looks after its community.

"We’ll have a delicious selection of plant-based and vegan dishes prepared using great tasting seasonal ingredients on our garden menu.

"Alongside a celebration of great British farming and local produce that our chefs use to create tasty dishes on our grill menu.

"We’re also creating a beautiful, tranquil space where we bring the outdoors in. Touches of nature and all things that connect us with the natural world.

"A restaurant, dining and relaxing place where you can unwind, recharge and boost your well-being.”

The team are already looking to recruit people for No.34 Garden and Grill. For more information go to: https://www.caviarandchips.co.uk/join-our-team/