Monday, 22 April 2019

Pub back in business with wine bar feel

A PUB in Henley will re-open tomorrow (Saturday) with a new landlord.

The former Station House in Market Place, which closed several weeks ago, has been refurbished and renamed Hof’s and will focus on sales of wine.

Christopher Hof, a South African, is the third landlord of the Brakspear pub in about 16 months.

He will be offering more than 25 wines from smaller vineyards around the world together with wine advice as well as Brakspear cask ales.

He has been supplying handcrafted South African wines to restaurants around the world for 10 years but this is his first retail outlet.

Mr Hof said: “Hof’s is all about bringing the vineyard to the customer, helping them to further their wine appreciation.

“We have all the well-known wine styles as well as some more unusual ones not widely available in the UK, so we have something for wine novices and connoisseurs alike.

“Although we’re serious about our wines, Hof’s has an informal, friendly vibe. People are welcome to join us for a glass of a wine they already love, or let us choose a flight of new styles that will expand their wine horizons. We have a full bar to cater for customers who prefer beer, spirits or soft drinks.”

The pub menu will feature meat and fish dishes from South Africa, Germany, Switzerland and Japan and there will also be a deli section offering salt beef bagels, boerewors (sausage) and biltong.

The 10 staff will be led by front of house manager Sophie Meldau, who has worked for Hof’s wine business for years, delivering wine tastings and events.

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “We’re delighted to welcome Christopher, Sophie and their team to Brakspear and to Henley. Their proposition of handcrafted wines and wine education is quite distinct from anything else currently offered in the town and we’re confident Hof’s will quickly find an appreciative audience.

“We look forward to helping them grow their business with Brakspear.”

The pub, which was previously Henley police station, first opened as the Henley Brew House in 2012 when it was owned by the City Pub Company and used to sell beers brewed on site.

Brakspear bought it two years later.

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