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The Oak Kelsall, Cheshire Drinking and dining in style is the watchword phrase for business partners Max Baker and Steve Cooper. The pair have...

The Oak

Kelsall, Cheshire

Drinking and dining in style is the watchword phrase for business partners Max

Baker and Steve Cooper.

The pair have developed trade at the

Oak in Kelsall to a standard that has quickly made the village inn the place to visit for growing numbers of discerning Cheshire pubgoers.

The Oak's rapid rise to fame is not surprising when you discover where Max and Steve first plied their trade.

Both are former banqueting managers of the five-star Grosvenor Hotel in Chester

and were brought up on the exacting retail standards demanded by the prestigious venue.

They have now transferred their skills to the Oak, which they took on 12 months ago following a £650,000 joint investment scheme with owner Punch Taverns.

Courtyard dining

A focal point of the newly-restored pub is a converted courtyard dining room fashioned out of old outbuildings, which had not been used in years.

Attractive features make up other parts of the refurbished pub, exemplified by an exclusive dining area dominated by a King Arthur-style handmade oak round table.

The swift growth in business is highlighted by food turnover that has risen from a standing start to more than £450,000 in the first year, with more than 600 meals served

every week.

A range of quality cask beers and food sourced from across the county underpins the retail offering.

"The Oak is not a pubco concept," stresses Max, pictured left with partner Steve. "It is our concept, which has been enthusiastically supported by Punch."

Planning ahead

A new function room on the first floor is already providing valuable bolt-on business.

Further developments, including the

addition of letting bedrooms, are planned.

"Our philosophy is to constantly look at new ideas to grow the business and we have plenty of ideas in the pipeline," says Max.

"We change our menu every quarter and have launched a series of initiatives to involve our regular customers. We need to know what they really think if we want to move the

business ahead in the right way," he adds.

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