A VILLAGE pub is back in the heart of the local community following a revamp.
The Crown, in Kingsclere, closed in March, following negotiations between landlord Dan Wilkinson and Enterprise Inns to refurbish the premises.
The former Bournemouth restaurant owner had acquired The Crown last August, after it had been vacant for about seven months.
“It certainly needed a little bit of TLC – it was looking a little tired,” explained Dan, who was delighted when Enterprise Inns agreed to spend thousands of pounds on carrying out major renovations at the pub.
The revamp has involved redecorating the premises, working on the electrics, kitting out the kitchen, modernising the toilets and extending a courtyard behind the pub.
Dan (below) was happy to give regulars an opportunity to have a look round before The Crown officially re-opened last Wednesday.
Dan said: “It was a wonderful day – we were heaving and we’ve certainly listened to what people were saying about the things they missed about us.
“One customer said ‘you’ve put the heart back into the village’ and others have said that there hasn’t been that focal point.”
Dan feels very much part of the community and recalled when he first saw an advertisement when the pub came on to the market last year.
He said: “I saw that it’s a beautiful building, and when I came to Kingsclere, I liked the feel of the place. It’s a charming village and it just seemed very welcoming. It just had a nice feeling as a quintessentially English country village.”
In addition to a new menu, The Crown has also opened The Crown Parlour, Kingsclere, tea room, complete with its own entrance, offering teas, coffees, home-made cakes and 14 varieties of New Forest Ice Cream.