Greene King pub destroyed by fire reopens after £1.6m overhaul

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Cheers: Themis Christou, David Christou and Dan Robinson
Cheers: Themis Christou, David Christou and Dan Robinson

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Greene King has invested £1.6m to bring modern technology and historic values together in reopening a family-run pub after a fire destroyed it more than a year and half ago.

The Axe & Compasses in Arkesden, Essex, was ruined when a fire broke out after an electrical fault.

However, the pub was officially reopened by Greene King Pub Partners managing director Dan Robinson, alongside operators David and Emma Christou, whose family have run the pub business for more than 30 years.

Greene King said aspects such as the pub’s historic chimneys were removed and rebuilt brick by brick, and the pub’s original floor was discovered, conserved and relaid as part of the renovation.

Additionally, modern technologies have been incorporated with the inclusion of a heat pump and a solar thermal system that has “united tradition and heritage with an eye on the future”.


Long and arduous

The outdoor trading space has also been upgraded so customers can enjoy the garden all year round.

The Axe & Compasses was originally operated by Themis Christou and, in more recent years, son David and daughter-in-law Emma Christou.

David and Emma Christou said: “Words cannot describe how happy we are to see the Axe & Compasses back open.

“The clean-up and rebuild process has been long and arduous, but also exciting. The pub has been lovingly restored and brought back to life and we cannot wait to now welcome the community back in.

“The level of detail with the restoration has been second to none and along the way we have discovered previously hidden fireplaces, flooring and more.”


Incredible atmosphere

They continued: “The restoration has also been a great opportunity to enhance the pub, particularly outside the front and the beer garden.

“Now we are back open we will continue to provide the same incredible atmosphere and sense of community we have long been known for in the local area with our loyal and dedicated team.”

Greene King’s Robinson added: “We are beyond delighted to see the Axe & Compasses back open and serving the people of Arkesden once more.

“The £1.6m restoration and rebuild has not only brought the pub back to life but given it a whole new lease of life.

“The horror of the fire and the difficult rebuild process has been exceptionally tough, but now David, Emma and the local community can look forward to exciting times again in this much loved and cherished pub.”


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