Booze empire expansion for family firm with new Poulton pub Stocks and Shilling

A Fylde coast family business is preparing to expand its 22-strong pub empire with a new upmarket offering for the market town.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 1:40 pm

Stocks and Shilling will open its doors in the former Natwest bank building in Market Place, Poulton on May 18.

The pub is the latest venture from Inns and Leisure, a family business set up 50 years ago by brothers Dave and Colin Clark.

The firm remains a family affair, with Dave's son Peter, 50, Peter's son Charlie, 26, and Dave's brother-in-law Ray Fisher also taking the reins over the years, with 22 pubs in its portfolio.

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New "upmarket pub" Stocks and Shilling is preparing to open its doors to the public for the first time on May 18. Picture: Peter Clark

Peter, from Kirkham, is also the owner of longstanding Poulton pub The Old Town Hall, so is confident he knows what Poulton's punters want.

"This is going to be different to the Town Hall, it's more upmarket. It's the kind of place you take your Mrs," Peter, an ex-Hodgson Academy pupil, said.

"I was looking for another venue and I had looked at the former Grapevine a couple of years ago. But when I came out I saw people pulling the bank apart so I went to have a look.

"I thought yes, I'll have this. Poulton is a cracking little circuit.

New "upmarket pub" Stocks and Shilling is preparing to open its doors to the public for the first time on May 18. Picture: Peter Clark

"But this one isn't just a pub, I keep telling people it's a posh pub. It's more upmarket than your standard boozer."

Stocks and Shilling will also be open during the day to serve coffee, custom-made cocktails and beers, and food will be served further down the line.

It features a mezzanine seating area above the bar, and has kept much of the feel of the former bank, with manager Samir Aga at the healm.

The project is one Mr Clark said he was "really proud of," having employed a small, tight-knit team of contractors to get the new pub up and running.

New "upmarket pub" Stocks and Shilling is preparing to open its doors to the public for the first time on May 18. Picture: Peter Clark

He continued: "I only had two builders, three electricians and one painter working on this, and they grafted every day during lockdown to get it done.

"I'm just really proud. The whole place is completely purpose built, it was a total blank canvas when we bought it. It looks amazing now.

"We've already had people trying to book, looking at what's going on and I've shown people round. I think everyone will absolutely love it."

Leader of Wyre Council and Poulton councillor David Henderson said: "Whilst I wish them well with their venture, Poulton has more than enough licensed premises.

New "upmarket pub" Stocks and Shilling is preparing to open its doors to the public for the first time on May 18. Picture: Peter Clark

"It's a shame it's come at the loss of a bank."