Company History

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In 2014 Beds & Bars Celebrated 50-years in the Hospitality Industry

Download the 50th anniversary company timeline.

Before It All Began
  • 1958 - Ron Knowles starts out with an Off License in Battersea, South London
  • 1960 - Ron Knowles takes over the management of his first pub, The Prince of Wales in Holland Park, West London.
The Birth of Beds and Bars - The 1960s
  • 1964 - Ron Knowles began to work for himself after taking on his first tenancy at the Queen of England pub on Goldhawk Road, West London. Ron Knowles went on to run the Greyhound in Luton under the Whitbred Tenancy, which he cofounded.
  • 1966 - The Royal Oak, a Trumans pub on Glenthorne Road in Hammersmith, joined the group. This pub became famous as the career launch pad of comedian Paul O'Grady and DJs Norman Scott, and Jerry Collins.
  • 1966 - The White Lion, a Watneys lease was added to the group.
The 1970s and 1980s
  • 1976 -The White Lion was renamed The Dickens and the Tenancy became R.C. Knowles and Sons.
  • 1982 - The Hercules Pillars, a Watneys lease on Great Queen Street, became the latest pub to join the business.
  • 1982 - Ron Knowles retired and nominated his son Keith Knowles to run the company.
  • 1989 - The Stag in Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire joined R.C. Knowles and Sons. This would be the company's head office for the next 20-years.
  • 1989 - Interpub is Formed
  • 1989 - With the company growing R.C. Knowles and Sons became Interpub.
The 1990s - The Birth of St Christopher's Inns and Belushi's Bars
  • 1994 - The company's first Belushi's bar opened in Covent Garden, Central London.
  • 1995 - The Grapes Inn at 121 Borough High Street was purchased and converted into a hostel with a traditional English pub downstairs. A bed cost £10 a night with no hidden costs and St Christopher's Inns came into being.
  • 1997 - To meet growing demand, 59-61 Borough High Street was also acquired and converted into a hostel with a coffee shop.
  • 1999 - As the company continued to expand, hostels and bars were opened in Greenwich and Camden. 161-165 Borough High Street was also added to the portfolio and would become The Village - the largest hostel operated by Beds and Bars in the UK.
Into the Twenty First Century
  • 2000 - The St Christopher's Inns hostel and Belushi's bar opened in Shepherd's Bush, West London.
  • 2001 - The first St Christopher's Inns hostel and Belushi's bar outside of London, opened in Edinburgh.
  • 2002 - St Christopher's Inns, Newquay opened with a cliff top Belushi's bar, overlooking Towan beach.
  • 2003 - St Christopher's Inns, Bath opens, with a Belushi's bar downstairs.
  • 2003 - St Christopher's Inns, Brighton and a Belushi's bar opened on the seafront, overlooking the famous Brighton Pier.
Into Europe
  • 2005 - St Christopher's at the Bauhaus opened in Bruges, offering backpackers hostel rooms, budget hotel accommodation, private apartments, a bar and a restaurant.
  • 2005 - St Christopher's at the Winston opened in Amsterdam, offering 50 themed art rooms, a hostel, bar and nightclub.
  • 2006 - St Christopher's Inns, Berlin is established with a Belushi's bar and apartment complex.
  • 2008 - The Flying Pig hostels in Amsterdam join the company, adding two world renowned hostels, and bars to the chain.
  • 2008 - St Christopher's Inns, Paris opened on the Bassin de la Villette. Built from the ground up and designed by architects Chaix et Morel, the site became the benchmark for 21st Century backpacker hostels, around the world.
Interpub becomes Beds and Bars
  • 2009 - Interpub was rebranded as Beds and Bars to reflect the two core businesses, St Christopher's Inns and Belushi's Bars, with one parent company.
  • 2009 - Franca Knowles was awarded an MBE by HM the Queen for services to skills training in the hospitality industry and to charity.
  • 2009 - St Christopher's Inns and a Belushi's bar opened in Prague.
  • 2011 - La Rotonde bar and brasserie was launched in Paris.
  • 2012 - St Christopher's Inns and Belushi's bars opened in Barcelona, at the top of Las Ramblas.
  • 2012 - After years of investment and development, Beds and Bars launched an independent, online, accommodation booking engine.
  • 2013 - St Christopher's Inns, Gare du Nord opened in Paris. This is the largest hostel to date with close to 600 beds, an atrium Belushi's bar and a basement entertainment space.
  • 2013 - St Christopher's Inns became the first hostel chain in the world to successfully develop and launch an online check in service for guest.

2014 to 2064 - Where To Next?