Village pub reopening inspired by community

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Positive feedback: the local community has embraced the reopening of the Royal Oak in Warboys
Positive feedback: the local community has embraced the reopening of the Royal Oak in Warboys

Related tags Property Social responsibility Finance Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office Tenanted + leased

Community power has seen a popular Cambridgeshire village pub reopen thanks to new licensees and Admiral Taverns.

The Royal Oak in Warboys, Huntingdon, has been taken over by Helen Pertoldi and Andrew Lea, who have worked together with community pub company Admiral Taverns to breathe new life into the venue.

As well as using a joint investment to refresh the pub’s interior and exterior aesthetic, the licensees have retained the Royal Oak’s community roots. Cosy interiors such as a wood-burning stove and low-beamed ceilings have been kept while local history is on show throughout the pub via framing and hanging old newspaper clippings and original building plans.

Ideal social hub

The pub is keen to encourage a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere and a spacious beer garden will provide an ideal social hub for village activity.

Pertoldi and Lea are old friends, now business partners, who have been residents of the surrounding area for much of their lives. Having worked in hospitality for over 20 years – at times even together – they are both extremely experienced operators who have a passion for people and the community.

While their career paths have previously taken them to other sectors, the licensees have a strong affinity for the pub industry and enjoy the challenge of taking on and growing successful, sustainable businesses.

Pertoldi said: “Since reopening, we have been overwhelmed by the incredible support we’ve received from our customers. Pubs are nothing without their locals and our priority is to give something back. We feel the Royal Oak has the potential to become a pillar within the community and it is our mission to make it so.”

Fantastic feedback

To celebrate the reopening, the licensees are offering wine and Prosecco at a discounted price. They are also hoping to expand their offer in the near future by introducing a food menu for families and friends to enjoy plus other plans.

Lea added: “The Royal Oak offers a fantastic space for the residents of Warboys and the surrounding areas. The feedback from customers has been fantastic so far and we’re extremely proud of what we have created. It’s such a great feeling to give the locals their pub back.”

Admiral Taverns business development manager Jean-Paul Russek said: “The Royal Oak is the definition of a traditional village pub and it deserves hardworking, community-minded licensees like Helen and Andrew. Their passion for both the pub and local area is phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

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