New life is breathed into borough pubs

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Regulars have been raising a glass across the borough after two pubs reopened after a refurbishment and a third opened its doors again after a change of management.

Big makeovers were carried out on The Welby in Melton, before it started serving again on Friday, while The Crown Inn, at Old Dalby, opened to customers at the end of August after being vacant for around 18 months.

The Carington Arms, at Ashby Folville, has also reopened under Guy and Catherine Kersey shortly after it had been spruced up.

Work on The Welby, on Nottingham Road, took just over two weeks. The biggest change is the addition of a new large ultra HD projector screen to the bar area.

Fresh paintwork inside and out has given the pub a bold new look, while the layout has been altered to give clearer definition between the bar and restaurant areas.

There’s also new furniture on the garden patio and two new booths with their own TVs inside the restaurant area, ideal for parents wanting to keep children amused with their favourite programme while they enjoy their meals.

Pub manager Sam Thorpe said: “The place looks a lot brighter and bolder than before and the new big screen is definitely going to be a hit with our customers.”

Aiming to restore The Crown Inn to its former glory is the Little Britain Pub Company which also has The Windmill Inn in Wymeswold, The Bluebell Inn in Rothley and The Curzon Arms in Woodhouse Eaves.

The company is co-owned by Mike and Lesley Herington and Ben and Katie Moore. Mike said: “We’re really pleased with how it’s gone since The Crown Inn re-opened and most of the feedback from the village has been positive. The place looks lovely. The menu, which is a version of what we do at the other pubs, but with an element of ‘smokiness’ to it, has proved popular and the extended bar area has been very well received.”

Mr and Mrs Kersey, who took over at the Carington Arms on September 21 after the business was briefly managed by Denis Donovan, have big plans to grow their customer base.

They have a big projector screen up for the Rugby World Cup, they plan to hold regular live music nights and have also just appointed a chef to bring in a new menu.

Mrs Kersey said: “We’re now trying to make people aware the pub is open again because it has been closed for a while. It’s a very pretty pub and we want to put a bit of life inside it. The reaction from local people has been very positive and I can really see the place thriving.”