1st February 2022

The Top 5 Famous Pub Landlords

What do you do if you’re famous, have a lot of money, love going for a pint and are looking for something to invest into? Well, you buy a pub of course! At least, that’s what the celebrities on our list did.

You might not think it, but many celebrities have tried their hand at running (or just simply owning) a pub! We’ve put together a list of famous pub landlords, some of them might surprise you.

pub interior
  1. Sir Ian McKellen

Obviously at the top of our list is the extremely talented Sir Ian McKellen! Ian is an English actor who has appeared in Broadway and the West End as well as The Lord of the Rings, playing Gandalf, and X-Men, playing Magneto. Shakespeare plays, TV shows and major films – Ian has got the scope to do it all. His long list of diverse talents is extended with the addition of ‘pub landlord’.

In 2012, Ian acquired The Grapes pub in Limehouse! You might think this celebrity affiliation is as good as it gets for this pub, however, there’s also another very well-known person associated with it. Charles Dickens knew the area of Limehouse very well and references The Grapes in his novel ‘Our Mutual Friend’ describing it as:

“A tavern of dropsical appearance… long settled down into a state of hale infirmity. It had outlasted many a sprucer public house, indeed the whole house impended over the water but seemed to have got into the condition of a faint-hearted diver, who has paused so long on the brink that he will never go in at all.”

McKellen was a local at The Grapes before he decided to buy it, he was a close friend of the previous landlady, Barbara Haigh, who had been asking McKellen for some time whether he wanted to buy the pub which he always declined. After hearing of her upcoming retirement, McKellen finally decided to invest in the pub as he didn’t want such a huge asset taken away from his area.


Limehouse, London

  1. Ed Sheeran

Yep, that’s right! Ed Sheeran is a pub landlord as well as being a gifted singer-songwriter.

The Shape of You singer opened his pub Bertie Blossoms in October 2019 in Notting Hill, London. Quite unfortunate timing due to the impending COVID-19 pandemic.

The name of the pub is a tribute to Ed’s wife and his business partner, Stuart Camp’s girlfriend (not the same person, don’t worry!) ‘Bertie’ is a nickname for Stuart’s girlfriend, Liberty Shaw, and ‘Blossoms’ relates to Ed’s wife, Cherry Seaborn.

When the pandemic inevitably affected the pub, Ed refused to furlough his staff and instead paid their wages from his own pocket. That certainly makes Ed a singer, pub landlord and overall nice guy!

  1. David Beckham

It makes sense that a former professional footballer makes our list, I mean, what could be more fitting than football and pubs?

David Beckham co-owns The Walmer Castle pub with Guy Ritchie, an English film director most known for directing the Sherlock Holmes films.

Transformed from a pub to more of a luxury restaurant and cocktail bar, the former footballer certainly gave this pub a trendy makeover. The menu sports a selection of gourmet burgers, sushi, seafood and more as well as their wide selection of cocktails and famous whisky.

beckhamMalt Whisky glass and hand













  1. Guy Ritchie

The Walmer Castle isn’t the only pub that Guy Ritchie has invested in. He also owns the Lore of the Land, a traditional British pub in London. Guy’s first pub was Mayfair’s The Punchbowl which he decided to sell back in 2013 before getting back into the pub business in 2018 with the purchase of the ‘Lore of the Land’ and the set up of Fatboy Pub Company on Companies House.

Ritchie’s the Lore of the Land pub features beer from his Gritchie Brewing Company and the menu provides a luxury twist to the classic pub food. The menu is said to be small but quality with some highlights being the steak, roast dinners, seafood and fancy desserts.

  1. Jodi Kidd

Model, racing car driver, polo player and TV personality – what else can Jodi Kidd do? Well, she’s also a pub landlord! Jodi certainly is a Jack of all trades. She purchased The Half Moon in July 2017.

Located in Kirdford, West Sussex, The Half Moon focuses on sourcing “quality seasonal ingredients and using modern techniques and international flavours to create dishes that are recognisable but evoke a smile”.

The Half Moon regularly changes its menu to match the season and it’s always sporting unique and adventurous dishes as well as classics. The January 2022 menu consists of tempura guinea fowl, smoked mackerel, chicken liver parfait, duck leg stuffed chicken and marinaded steak with marmite mayo. The pub also has many options for vegetarians or vegans with zero compromises on adventure and quality, sporting teriyaki aubergine, crispy polenta, kale and chilli dressing and a plethora of beautiful desserts. If you’re searching for something different, then The Half Moon is certainly the place to go and Jodi has done an excellent job on making this pub unique!


That was our list of the top 5 famous pub landlords! Did any surprise you?

Here at Trust Inns, we have a range of pubs to let all over the UK. Ever dreamt of running your own pub? You can add ‘pub landlord’ to your resume just as these celebs did! Contact us for more information.

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