Town’s longest serving licensee celebrates 20-year anniversary

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

The Robin Hood, Penrith licensee celebrate 20 years behind the bar

Related tags Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators Tenanted + leased

The longest serving licensee in Penrith, Cumbria has marked 20 years at the town pub and been presented with an award.

Star Pubs & Bars operator Craig Creegan has been running the Robin Hood for two decades. The pub was his first site after he moved from Manchester to Penrith to work at Center Parcs as a lifeguard and scuba diving instructor and fell in love with the town.

At the time, the lease for the Robin Hood came up while he was managing the Dockray, formerly known as the Gloucester Arms.

Craig said: “I liked the small size of the Robin Hood and its real community fell so when the lease came up, I leapt at the opportunity to take it on [and] I haven’t looked back.

“I enjoyed running the Robin Hood so much that four years later, I decided to take on a second site – the Woolpack."

Competitive pricing

He said: “Over the 20 years I have been at the Robin Hood, I have seen 15 pubs close in Penrith. However, the Robin Hood has stood the test of time because I keep prices competitive and it has a fantastic friendly atmosphere that can’t be matched.

“Sad though it has been to see pubs fail, Penrith now has a sustainable number of pubs, each with their own niche and ours is undoubtedly sports.”

After taking the Robin Hood on, Craig invested in upgrading the interior, introduced cask ale, installed TVs to broadcast live sports and started hosting live entertainment.

While when he first started at the pub, he didn’t take anyone else on to work as trade was so quiet, over the years, he build a strong reputation for its service and atmosphere, now employing five team members.

Community star

He added: “I feel so fortunate to run the Robin Hood. The best bit is my customers, many of whom have become friends.

“It is because of them I have no intention of retiring anytime soon. I want to thank them and my staff without whom none of this would be possible, for all their support over the years.

“I plan to host a weekend of live entertainment to celebrate our anniversary in the summer.”

Five years ago, Craig was one of the founders of the Penrith Rugby 300 club. The Robin Hood and other businesses donate money to support grassroots rugby in the town. It also supports the air ambulance and other local good causes.

Star Pubs & Bars area manager Rick Rose-Coulthard said: “The Robin Hood might be small but it packs a punch when it comes to live sports and a warm welcome.

“The atmosphere in the pub is fantastic and is one of the reason why so many locals and tourists come back time and again.

“I wish Craig many happy years at the Robin Hood as I am sure do his regulars. He’s doing a fantastic job and is a real community star.”

Related topics Star Pubs & Bars

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