Emerging pub operator Heartstone Inns has splashed out £835,000 on a Devon boozer to continue its mission to buy 10 freehold pubs in their first 18 months of operation.
The Cricketers in Dorset is Heartstone's second outlet in the West Country with the small scale expansion concentrated in the south of England.
Heartstone has been set up by Stuart Hawthorn and James Birch, former directors of Oxfordshire brewer and drinks importer Refresh UK, with backing from Balmuir Fund Managers.
The pub is food-led and featured in the Campaign for Real Ale's (Camra) Heritage Pub Guide.
Heartstone took control of their first pub, the Butchers Arms in Gloucestershire for £850,000 on 10 January. Hawthorn said at the time they would be looking for 1"0, 20, maybe 30 freehold sites" with an established food trade.
By Christopher Walton