Saturday, 21 May 2022

Pub welcomes customers back indoors... to library

Pub welcomes customers back indoors... to library

A PUB has opened a new library and IT hub.

Dan and Natalie Redfern, who run the Cherry Tree Inn in Stoke Row, unveiled the new feature on Monday when customers returned for indoor service in the latest easing of covid restrictions.

The couple received a £2,200 grant from Pub Is The Hub, a not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify, which funded half the cost.

They were approached by members of a local book club, who asked if the Brakspear pub could host their sessions due to the lack of certainty about accessing the village hall.

Mr Redfern said: “This room provides a great environment for our regulars to come in and have a coffee and get a book to read.

“The library and IT hub will be really important in helping many local residents to socialise after such a long period of isolation and lockdown.

“Since we took on the pub in 2018, we have become the hub of this local area, offering excellent food and drink as well as a place for our locals to meet and socialise.

“We are also planning to offer IT help to local retired residents as well as coffee mornings and even a small cinema when restrictions allow.”

The library was created by converting an area used for dining. It is stocked with more than 300 books, including 60 cookery and gardening titles, which were donated by Mr Redfern and his chef Matthew Allen. Mr Redfern said: “My chef and I donated our lifetimes’ collection of cookery books, which contributes something a bit different to the library.

“It is another element of us being as involved with the community as possible.

“We’ve had some really positive feedback about it. I think people feel it is a positive addition to the village.”

The pub was able to stay busy during the previous phase of lockdown restrictions, using a marquee to provide covered outdoor seating.

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