Thorley Taverns completes sale of The Oak Hotel – with The Royal soon to follow

The Oak Hotel in Ramsgate Image by Braveheart, , via Wikimedia Commons

Thorley Taverns has completed a sale of the freehold for The Oak Hotel in Ramsgate to isle businessman Dayne Gooding.

Thorley Taverns director Phil Thorley confirmed the sale of the seafront venue today (October 28). The hotel has 34 en-suite bedrooms, The Restaurant Sixty – Six and bar.

It means that after 24 years of owning and operating The Oak Hotel and Restaurant 66, Thorley Taverns have called last orders for this site which is one of their 19 venues across Thanet and Sandwich.

The decision to sell the property was made by Thorley Taverns to provide funding for further investment in the remaining 18 venues they continue to operate and to provide financial security through the uncertain economic climate the UK faces.

The majority of the staff employed at the Oak are to remain with the company and have been redeployed to other locations within the pub group.

Mr Thorley said the site had not been put on the market but an agreement was made after an approach from Mr Gooding.

He said: “They aim for it to remain a hotel and he will invest in it and is really excited about the deal, as we are.”

Mr Thorley also confirmed The Royal, on Ramsgate’s harbourfront, is still going through the process of being sold.

Plans for the site were lodged with Thanet council by prospective new owner Jamie Copland back in June.

Mr Copland wants to demolish part of the existing building and erect a five-storey side extension with recessed balconies, single storey roof extension and roof terrace. He also wants to add a new three-storey building to rear to provide 8 apartments  and rearrange two existing apartments and reduce the scale of the current commercial unit housing The Royal pub.

The Royal plans (Image Lee Evans Partnership)

Documents from Lee Evans Partnership on behalf of Mr Copland say: “The site offers an opportunity for a bold landmark scheme that will create a statement, enhance the urban fabric and act as a catalyst for further regeneration for its location.

“Whilst the building has some historic relevance, it has been subject to minor changes over the years that it is submitted have negatively impacted its character and appearance, and thus the contribution it makes to this key local setting. It has also begun to appear tired due to lack of investment and upkeep recently. A new lease of life would benefit the site and historic frontage here and also encourage long-term occupation and upkeep, both of which are under threat.”

A decision on the application is yet to be made.

Thorley Taverns director Phil Thorley (Photo Thorley Taverns)

Mr Thorley said the company is focusing on investment on its existing estate.

He added: “The late night (economy) in Ramsgate, and everywhere, has changed. We have been looking at that change and a change of direction and are investing in our existing estate, spending lots of money inside and outside on different venues.

“We think (The Oak Hotel) is a good move for Dayne and it is a good thing for Thorley Taverns as we continue to invest.”

Thorley Taverns was created in London in 1971 by Phil’s father Frank and opened its first Thanet venue -The Charles Dickens in Broadstairs – in 1975.

The family made the permanent move to the isle in 1977 and continued to grow, selling the last London pub in 2013 to concentrate on the Thanet pubs, restaurants and hotels.

The company employs around 400 staff, retaining some 98-99% of those during furlough and then return after the pandemic.