England's oldest pub reopening under new management

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks to re-open: Britain's oldest pub to re-open under new management (Credit: Getty/sturti)
Ye Olde Fighting Cocks to re-open: Britain's oldest pub to re-open under new management (Credit: Getty/sturti)

Related tags: Mitchells & butlers, St albans

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans, thought to be England’s oldest pub, will be reopening its doors from midday on Monday 4 April.

In a post on the pubs Facebook page confirmed it will welcome customers once again from next Monday under new management. 

Former manger turned licensee Martin Robinson has teamed up with head chef's Ian Baulsh and Sam Walker to give the pub, which is owned by brewery Mitchells and Butlers ​(M&B), a new lease of life after its closure early last month. 

In the Facebook post, Robinson said: "I have worked here for 12 years as the manager so I have a clear vision of how to ensure the future success of this pub. Ian has been Head Chef for the past eight years and is excited to share the pub’s new menus and his food strategy going forward.

"Sam brings a talent for aesthetics and design which will help us to enhance our customer experience, while retaining all the wonderful features of its rich history." 

The M&B site, which dates back to 793 AD, announced it closure ​via Facebook in February 2022 with former manager Christo Tofalli citing the Covid pandemic and rising business costs as having made trading "extremely tough".

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks​ will reopen with a new menu, including changing specials and an updated children's menu, a new BBQ area in the pubs garden overlooking the lake in St Albans’ Verulamium Park and live music events planned for the summer, including a festival. 

Robinson added: “I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to Christo Tofalli who worked so hard to steer the pub through many acutely challenging trading conditions. Covid was one challenge too far, but I will always be grateful to him for the loyalty he has shown the pub, and his team, and for his unwavering friendship.

“Ian, Sam and I are now excited to be taking the pub into the next chapter of its story, and very much look forward to welcoming many familiar faces back here, and hopefully some new ones too.”

Related topics: Mitchells & Butlers

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