Historic community pub, The Hollybush, in Salt near Stafford, reopened on March 1st following a combined investment of £370,000 from leading community pub company, Admiral Taverns, and brand-new licensees, Ben Knowles and Neil Washington.
Working together with Admiral Taverns, the talented licensees have breathed a new lease of life into the pub following its forced closure in 2020 due to the pandemic. In December 2021 the new licensees, Ben and Neil, took the country pub over with a view to restoring it to its former glory.
The transformational joint investment has enabled Ben and Neil to give the historic pub an extensive interior and external refurbishment. Described as a ‘chocolate-box’ venue, The Hollybush dates back to 1620 and is one of the oldest pubs in England. Whilst the licensees were keen to refresh the pub’s aesthetic and atmosphere, they felt strongly about retaining the Hollybush’s unique features.
Externally, the passionate licensees have renovated the spacious beer garden at the rear of the pub and have also re-installed a completely new thatched roof to pay tribute to the pub’s traditional roots. Inside, Ben and Neil have had the snug area and wooden beams restored as well as a brand-new log burner fitted.
Licensee Ben Knowles, commented: “During Covid-19 I was extremely saddened to see this once vibrant country pub closed. I was determined to reopen it and bring it back to its former glory. We’ve invested heavily in the building and we’re working hard to make it the quintessential British country pub. I look forward to welcoming both new and old customers back to this wonderful and historic venue.”
Ben and Neil will be serving food seven days a week between 12pm – 9pm and will also offer a breakfast at the weekends between 9am – 12pm along with roasts on a Sunday. There is also a wide selection of drinks on offer with three cask ales, five premium lagers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks available.
Ben and Neil are extremely experienced operators with a passion for hospitality and the community. They’re both looking forward to taking this new chapter of their careers on and are excited to reintroduce TheHollybush to the village. The licensees are determined to bring it to the forefront of local life and establish it as the community’s go-to social hub.
Business Development Manager, Jody said: “We’re delighted that Ben and Neil have taken over The Hollybush! It’s a fantastic site that has so much potential and we’re confident that it will thrive under their management and support. I’m very pleased to have them onboard and I look forward to seeing the pub being re-introduced to the local community.”
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