Heartwood Collection, a hospitality group which runs upmarket inns and restaurants across southern England, has bought The Prince of Wales public house in East Barnet and is promising a "multi-million-pound" refurbishment.


Its bar and dining room would be enhanced to provide a combined capacity of 150 covers and in the rear garden there would be a terrace for up to 55 covers.  

Stonegate Group, which has been in financial difficulties, closed The Prince of Wales in mid-February, raising fears that the last licensed premises in East Barnet village might be sold for redevelopment.

Such was the concern over the potential loss of a pub that was at the heart of village life, that the East Barnet Residents’ Association succeeded in registering the premises as an asset of community value with Barnet Council.

A petition was organised to save the pub and a protest over its closure was held outside attended by local councillors and the Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers.

Heartwood Collection, which is backed by Alchemy Partners, has been expanding its chain of freehold pubs and pub-with-rooms and recently acquired the 28-bedroom Royal Forest in Epping Forest which is due to re-open in the autumn.

Currently the group has a portfolio of 22 Heartwood Inns pubs, many of which are in towns in the London suburbs and surrounding counties.  Another six are due to re-open over the coming months.

In addition, it operates 14 Brasserie Blanc restaurants in London and across the country.

Heartwood Collection, which recently secured an additional £100 million from Alchemy Partners and its banking partner Oak North, is aiming to grow to over 60 inns and brasseries by June 2027.

Richard Ferrier, the company’s chief executive, said they were delighted to have acquired The Prince of Wales – “a much-loved local at the heart of East Barnet village”.

“We will now embark on an ambitious redevelopment for the pub to ensure that The Prince of Wales remains a hub for the local community for many years to come.”

Guests would be able to enjoy Heartwood’s “seasonally changing menu which is developed in line with the group’s ethos for delivering sustainable, fresh food., alongside a carefully selected win list, cask ales, beers and cocktails”.

Heartwood has a three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association – the highest possible – and recently won the best food-led pub group in the Restaurant magazine's 2023 awards.

News of the sale of The Prince of Wales to another pub group and the promise of a major refurbishment has been welcomed by Rob White, secretary of the East Barnet Residents’ Association, and Councillor Philip Cohen, who led the campaign to save the pub.