Friday, 24 May 2019

Pub saved from threat of closure is now being run independently

Pub saved from threat of closure is now being run independently

A PUB in Caversham that was at risk of permanent closure is now trading independently.

The Baron Cadogan in Prospect Street, which was previously part of the Wetherspoons chain, has been taken over by landlord Darren Brett and manager Jake Ketteridge.

The pair, who have three other pubs in Yeovil, Worcester and Dudley, moved in on March 24 and spent two weeks refurbishing the premises.

They are offering a similar food menu to the old pub for now but will look to widen their range later in the year.

They have also introduced a children’s menu and several new ales at the request of customers as well as a weekly quiz on Tuesday nights. There could also be poker evenings in future if there is enough interest.

Earlier this year Mr Brett learned through contacts in the industry that Wetherspoons wanted to surrender the pub’s lease.

The pair visited in early March and spent several days talking to customers before deciding they wanted it and putting in an offer. They also struck a deal with Jennings of Caversham, the butcher’s shop next door, to supply meat.

Mr Ketteridge, 30, who has worked in the industry for more than a decade, said: “We immediately fell in love with the pub as well as the area. After a few days sitting in here to see how it was run and find out a bit about its background, we knew it was the right fit for us. This is the kind of place that has a lot of loyal regulars who love it and feel very strongly about it.

“Wetherspoons served fairly cheap meat but Jennings was able to compete with their prices so now we’re pumping money back into the community instead of diverting it somewhere else.

“The pub was completely bare when we moved in and even the toilet signs had been taken down so we had to start from scratch and get it up to a high standard as quickly as possible. Feedback has been very good so far.

“There had been all sorts of rumours that this place was going to shut forever or be converted into something else so customers are relieved and really pleased to see the place open again.”

The pub is named after William Cadogan, who was commander-in-chief of the British army in the 18th century. In 1716 he bought Caversham Park estate and was made Baron Cadogan of Reading.

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