AT first glance, it might seem like an odd time to bring an estate of cherished pubs to the market.

Three Thistles, a pub investment company, has instructed Shepherd Chartered Surveyors to sell a portfolio that includes some prime hospitality real estate in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Balloch. The Clockwork Beer Co on Glasgow’s south side, Dram! in the city’s west end, and country-style inn The Steading on the outskirts of Edinburgh are among the seven-strong portfolio which Shepherd is seeking buyers for, it was announced today.

Given the well-documented challenges which are besetting the Scottish hospitality industry, you may be forgiven for thinking that it is not the best time for Three Thistles’ shareholders to sell the pubs. Why not wait until the cost inflation that has been hammering the sector begins to ease and consumers feel a little better about inflation, interest rates, and the general economic outlook before launching a marketing drive?

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No specific reason for the decision to sell was communicated by the owners today, and Gary Louttit, Shepherd’s head of hospitality and leisure, was keen to emphasise that there was “no stress on the sale”. But at any rate it appears that their decision to act now has been vindicated.

Speaking to The Herald today, Mr Louttit revealed that “the phone has not stopped ringing” since his firm effectively opened the sale process on Friday evening.

He suspects it will not be long before Shepherd sets a closing date for offers and perhaps this should not be surprising, despite the difficulties of the present trading environment.

This collection of pubs, which also includes the West Side Tavern in Partick, Glasgow, The Laird and Dog in Lasswade, Telfords in Paisley and The Dog House in Balloch, have the kind of hospitality pedigree that will always attract interest, no matter where we are in the economic cycle.

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