Alex Polizzi-famed Dorset boutique set for transformation under new ownership

Black Bear exterior

The new owners of the Black Bear in Wareham High Street, which featured on the Channel Four series The Hotel Inspector with Alex Polizzi, have embarked upon an ambitious refurbishment aimed at transforming the business.

Experienced hospitality operators, mother and daughter duo Janet and Emily Strange bought the Grade-II listed hotel off a guide price of £750k and now plan to embark on a three-phase renovation to create a boutique B&B with a bistro, Love Cake at the Bear.

Hotel Inspector Polizzi visited the Black Beat two years ago and despite the business attempting a revival, it later closed down.

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Janet and Emily also run a successful café in Swanage, and will be hoping to build up a more substantial food offering at the Black Bear, as well as utilising a two-bedroom cottage for lettings.

“We have so much to do, but we’re hoping to use the enormous kitchens to provide a classic food offering including deli shop and takeaway cake, fine local catering and an artisan bakery. There is also a two-bedroom cottage which we are hoping to open up for lettings,” said Janet. 

“We’re aiming to re-launch the downstairs element in time for Christmas, and are confident we will create a fantastic local business.” 

Ed Jefferson from the Hotels team at Colliers International’s Hotel’s team: “Before it was placed on the market, the Black Bear was clearly under-performing, and this became apparent during the filming of the Hotel Inspectors.

“But Janet and Emily have launched a complete refurbishment programme which will transform the business offering and provide a massive boost for locals and visitors alike. I am confident the Black Bear has a bright future with Janet and Emily at the helm.”    

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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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