Busy Bar & Restaurant - Hilton Smythe
£0 £1000000
£0 £1000000


Busy Bar & Restaurant

Brighton, East Sussex

  • Asking Price: £70,000 +SAV
  • Turnover: The turnover from the 2018 accounts will show £300-£350,000

  • Tenure: Leasehold

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Hilton Smythe are delighted to present to the market Shortts Bar, a highly desirable Food and Music led bar which comes with the added potential to add holiday letting income from the first and second floor accommodation. 

Our client purchased the business 4 years ago and due to other business interests is now looking to sell. Previously known as the ‘Royal Oak’ our client embarked on a list of exciting changes to breathe new life into this tired business. 

This included -

  • Establishing the bar as a destination venue for ‘Live Music’ with singers, musicians and bands appearing 7 times a week
  • Having a freshly cooked food menu available 7 days a week
  • Integrating the 2 separate bar areas into 1 open plan friendly space
  • Creating a venue catering for all sporting events
  • Utilising the secluded patio terraces to the rear of the pub for further dining space and private parties
  • Re-integrating into pub back into the local community
In our opinion, this list of original goals for the pub have clearly worked! The business is now a renowned community pub/ music venue offering excellent food and service -

  • 4.9/5 Facebook reviews with 1,455 followers - ‘great Sunday roasts, perfectly friendly service. Actually, the best roast in Brighton!’ ‘The pride party at the pub was ace, villa t. Js iD, great friendly service & awesome burgers and hotdog’s
  • TripAdvisor - 4.5/5 and ranked 46 of the 169 bars in Brighton - ‘fantastic bar, amazing food and live music’ ‘wow this place is a real find, we live in London and always make an effort to visit this great bar’
  • The Argus Newspaper/ Brighton - ranked Shortts as the 4th most recommended bar to visit over the St.Patrick's day weekend! The self-proclaimed ‘only Irish live music venue in Kemptown’ attracts people from all over the city, live music all weekend and great food
  • Gay Pride - the bar has revamped this part of St.James Street, offering an unmatched weekend programme of live DJ’s attracting hundreds of new customers. A great addition to this diverse and vibrant street.
  • Great Escape - Brighton’s festival for new music showcasing 500 emerging artists with 30 venues. Shortts Bar key venue for this growing festival
Turnover is split 70% Wet and 30% Dry.

The business is offered on a ‘part tie’ arrangement (beers only) with Enterprise Inns which can easily be reviewed by any new owner.

The phenomenal success of the Sunday lunches ensures an average of 70 lunches are served each Sunday.

Summer - as with many similar businesses in Brighton, a turnover uplift of around 40% is achieved throughout these months with an additional 50% achieved throughout the Pride festival activities.

Winter - the bar benefits from an original open fire which keeps the loyal local customers warm. There is an active dart team also.

The bar is proud to be dog friendly all year round.

Potential - even though many new areas of the traditional pub offering have been explored, the owner’s accommodation to the first and second floors provide any new owner scope for a 3rd income stream. Currently organised as 2 apartments, the space could potentially offer up to 10 self-contained holiday letting rooms.

In our opinion, bars of this high level and reputation rarely come to the market in Brighton and we advise early viewing to avoid disappointment.


The business is run and managed by our client with 7 members of staff

Monday to Thursday - 12pm - 11pm

Friday and Saturday - 12pm - 1pm

Sunday                   - 12pm - 10.30pm

Shortts Bar occupies a highly prominent corner trading position on St James Street and Chapel Street in the heart of Kemptown, Brighton.

The enviable location enjoys both day and night-time footfall, attracted by the many bars, restaurants, independent retailers, busy Co-op, coffee shops and hair salons which are located in the street.

St.James Street is located parallel to Marine parade and acts as a natural destination from those walking up from the many attractions along Brighton's famous seafront. 

Kemptown is a highly desirable area located West of the City and enjoys a long associated relationship with the LGBT community. The area is thriving with B and B’s, serviced apartments and houses for party groups as well as being the main party street for music lovers throughout the Gay Pride festival in August. This area is also an increasingly popular to live and socialise with several new apartment developments being sold on the Street.

Brighton is a famous seaside resort on the South East coast, about 1 hour from London. It has a popular day trip following as well, being a destination for both families and couples looking to stay for a longer break. It is famous for its Pier, Royal Pavilion, British Airways i360, amusement arcades and Regency buildings as well as a vibrant nightlife, arts scene and festivals.

The business is surrounded by pay and display parking, directly in front there is a main bus stop linking the centre of town to the nearby Marina and the mainline station is only 15 minutes’ walk away.

Ground floor - large open bar with large Georgian windows overlooking both St James Street and Chapel Street. 2 rooms have been incorporated into 1 large space licensed for up to 200 people. There are 3 entrances into the bar, 1 from each of the outside street and 1 from the rear beer garden.

Open bar - selection of solid wood tables and chairs with fixed wall seating covered in leather material, sports projector and pull down screen, 42 inch wall mounted TV, dartboard, original open fireplace.

Bar servery - 9 points of dispense (1 x cider, 1 x Guinness, 7 x lager & 2 real ale ), 3 x glass fronted chillers, 1 x glass chilled, under bar storage, sink unit, glass washer, post mix dispenser,  till, card machine, fixed spirit optics, full height wooden shelving display unit.

Gents toilet - 2 x urinals and 1 cubicle

Ladies toilets - 2 x cubicles

Rear hallway - separate owners’ entrance from Chapel street and internal private entrance up to accommodation, door to beer garden.

Door down to lower ground floor / cellar -

Kitchen - upright fridge, dish washer, double stainless steel prep sink unit, single sink unit, hand wash sink, 3 x stainless steel prep tables, salamander, 6 x ring electric oven, griddle, 3 x fryers, large extraction hood, storage racking, fridge / freeze. Dry storeroom

Office - 4 x upright fridge, chest freezer, desk, CCTV monitoring screen (7 x cameras)

Hallway - fixed storage cupboards and large walk storage cupboard

Cellar - room 1 - ice machine, cooler, post mix, storeroom area. Room 2 (chilled) - keg storage with 9 points of dispense

First floor (apartment 1)

  • Master bedroom and dressing room
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Large fully fitted kitchen / diner
  • 2nd double bedroom
  • Hallway includes original wooden storage cupboards
Second Floor (apartment 2)

  • Family bathroom with bath
  • Double bedroom
  • Hallway storage cupboard
  • Master bedroom
  • Fully fitted kitchen/ diner
  • Large living room
Rear external -

Large patio terraced garden with 2 area offering a further 40 covers, the private space is a sun trap with fixed planting containers for the array of flowers and shrubs.


We are advised the business is being sold as a Leasehold with 12 years remaining on a 20 year Enterprise lease paying £41,202 per year. The rates payable are £7,400 per year.

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