All Bar One firm buys Ha Ha Bar brand

All Bar One
Image caption The High Street is to gain another 12 All Bar One bars as a result of the deal

The Ha Ha Bar brand is to disappear after the chain was sold to pub operator Mitchell & Butlers for £19.5m.

M&B plans to convert all 22 outlets to existing brands, including turning 12 into All Bar One venues and six into branches of Browns.

It said the deal, while small, was a good opportunity to extend its core brands.

The deal came as peri-peri restaurant Nando's agreed to buy the firm behind Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

M&B said it planned to take on all retail and operational staff employed in the sites being bought.


Ha Ha Bar was put up for sale in April by the Bay Restaurant group - which also owns the La Tasca. In February it sold off the Slug & Lettuce brand.

Bay's website claims that Ha Ha Bar sells about 350,000 bottles of wine each year, more than 100,000 steaks and about 70,000 fish fingers.

"As anticipated, there was significant interest in the Ha Ha brand portfolio," said Bay's chairman Ian Payne.

"I am delighted to see both the business and all of its employees going to such a good home."

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