Lesbury pub The Coach Inn reopens to the joy of locals

Lesbury’s village pub has reopened after a long four-year closure and it welcomed locals for their first round of drinks on Friday.

Well-known local pub operator Chris Greaves, who also runs the Newcastle House in Rothbury, has taken on the venue.

As the doors opened, residents headed straight in to have a good look at their beloved pub.

They are currently serving drinks only, but there are plans to install a catering kitchen so that the pub will be able to offer a top-quality menu using locally sourced ingredients and customers will be able to enjoy barbecues and alfresco dining in the large beer garden during summer.

Staff from the Newcastle House, Gemma Scollick and Tracy Hayes, have moved into to the pub to take on roles as manager and chef and are excited to start their new journey with the place.

Gemma said: “Finally seeing people coming in the pub is just absolutely amazing.”

"We really like the idea of the community around here. Everyone's been so welcoming and we've had lots of faces coming through the door. We've had people popping in all the time and sticking their heads in. They speak to you like they already know you.”

The building has benefited from a refresh with new décor, furniture, carpet and flooring as well as a newly installed heating and infrastructure.

Speaking about the atmosphere on the pub’s first opening night, Chris said: “It's been really good. I think the village has been crying out for getting their pub back and I think they're all going to be really relieved now it's back.

“The feedback I've had has been very positive. Right now it's had a refresh but all the systems, the electrical systems and all the boring stuff has all been fixed. Now it's just a case of coming in and making it into something amazing."

Heineken, who own The Coach Inn through its Star Pubs and Bars Estate, said the long-term plan is to undertake a major refurbishment that would transform the pub in the autumn, but after listening to residents who missed their pub they had decided to go all-out in order to get it open as soon as possible. So far, it has benefited from a refresh with new décor, furniture, carpet and flooring as well as a newly installed heating system plus all the infrastructure needed to reopen.

David Riddington, a local to the pub who visited on the opening night, said: “We moved in four years ago this week and we came round in the evening and we dropped off with the furniture to get a meal to find it was closed. And it’s been closed until tonight so we're coming in to celebrate.

"We knew the pub from a few years ago when we used to come on holidays and had meals here so we're very pleased to see it open again. The whole community is.”

Another local, Tom Pattinson, who came to enjoy the opening evening with his wife Judy, said: “We're just so overcome because we've got our pub back. You've no idea when you work hard during the week, we need to get here and have somewhere to relax.

"This is it. Long live The Coach Inn.”

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