Town’s ‘longest-serving’ licensee marks 30 years behind bar

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Cheers: Greene King Pub Partners gifted McGrath a plaque
Cheers: Greene King Pub Partners gifted McGrath a plaque

Related tags Greene king pub partners Social responsibility Hertfordshire

The “longest-serving publican” in town has celebrated his 30th anniversary at the Poachers pub in Bedwell Crescent, Stevenage.

Gerry McGrath has run the Greene King Pub Partners site since 1993.

Originally from Sligo in Ireland, he left home in 1989 at the age of 22 for a holiday in England and never returned, eventually taking on the Poachers in Hertfordshire just a few years later.

In recognition of his 30 years at the Poachers – as well as his commitment to the local community​ – Greene King Pub Partners managing director Dan Robinson presented him with a specially made plaque to display at the site.

Mcgrath said he was “very honoured” to have received the plaque.

He added: “The community has always been at the heart of what I do. I’d like to especially thank the local community who welcomed me with open arms all those years ago, as well as my customers, staff and Greene King for their support over the years.

“Here’s to many more happy years!”


During his 30 years of tenure, McGrath has transformed the site into a community hub.

The pub is renowned for its darts and pool teams, sports coverage, live music, and charity fundraisers – all in aid of local charities.

McGrath also met his partner, Lucy, at the Poachers.

Robinson added: “I am delighted to recognise Gerry’s incredible 30 years operating The Poachers. What he has done at The Poachers is the epitome of what a local, community pub is all about. I am proud to call him our Partner and look forward to many more years of success together!”

Greene King Pub Partners​, the leased, tenanted and franchise business unit of Greene King, recently received accreditation from the British Franchise Association (BFA).

Looking back

Through the accreditation, the franchise has also become a member of the association, which is an independent, self-regulatory body offering guidance, support and accreditation to businesses who provide franchises.

Since its launch in 2021, the pub operator and brewer’s Hive Pub’s model has grown to more than 30 pubs.

Offering operators a ready-to-trade pub with an in going cost of £5,000, Hive Pub franchisees can expect a minimum guaranteed income of £20,000 as well as a percentage of the food and drink sales plus a share of the profits in their pub and the opportunity to earn a bonus.

Through its BFA accreditation and membership, Greene King Pub Partners stated it had committed to best practices, transparent operations and the welfare and success of its franchisees.

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