A remarkable fundraising campaign by villagers at Frisby-on-the-Wreake generated hundreds of thousands of pounds inside a year and enabled them to buy The Bell.
It had been closed since December 2020 but Lucy and Gordon Jackson reopened it as mine hosts after being appointed by members of the The Bell Frisby Community Benefit Society.
Thirsty customers were queuing at the door when Lucy opened up. She said: “After months of hard work it was exciting to finally get the pub open and serving.
"There was a real party atmosphere amongst a diverse and enthusiastic crowd, both old and young.”
Although there is still repair and renovation work going on to improve both outside and inside areas, the main bar has had a makeover with a fresh new look enhanced by a gallery of works by local artists on the walls.
Steve Hardy, pub operations manager, said: “It was a great day and very rewarding to get such overwhelmingly positive feedback from everyone who came down to celebrate with us.
"We also have ambitious plans for the outside area and the conservatory.
“We debated delaying the opening, but once we’d completed the bar area and revamped the cellar, we just wanted to get the doors open and start trading.”
Villagers raised more than £300,000 through selling shares in the pub and a loan for £130,000 was also secured.
Tony Bird, chair of the community ownership group, said: “We have achieved so much in such a short space of time, but there is still a great deal to do.
"We have already erected scaffolding to give the exterior a facelift and the kitchens are undergoing complete renovation with a view to starting food service on Wednesday June 1.”
Melton MP Alicia Kearns commented: “I am so utterly delighted that the Frisby Community Group have achieved their dream and reopened The Bell.
"It was such a joy to see everyone together for the opening.”