MPs celebrate their local pubs' success stories

16th May 2014

MPs Graham Evans, the MP for Weaver Vale, and Gloria De Piero, the MP for Ashfield, joined Star Pubs & Bars lessees at the Coachman in Hartford, Cheshire and The Fountain Bridge in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottingham to see how a combination of investment, good business plans and hardwork had turned around the pubs' fortunes a year down the line.

Trade at The Coachman in Hartford pub had tailed off over time before lessees Chris & Vicky Lane took the pub on at the start of 2013. Thanks to their hard work and a joint £270K investment with Star Pubs & Bars, Chris & Vicky were able to put the pub back on the map and have tripled trade since re-opening.

They created what they describe as "a village pub and kitchen" for the community and for travellers, upgrading the kitchen to enable them to offer good quality food for the first time. They also introduced wi-fi and now offer excellent coffee and snacks as well as lunchtime and evening meals. Most recently they have upgraded the six ensuite bedrooms to offer excellent value from £39.50 a night and added a self catering apartment.

MP Graham Evans said of the pub: "I am delighted to support The Coachman in Hartford. Pubs make up the heart of local communities and so I was delighted to learn about investment from Star Pubs & Bars, as well as the hard work of Vicky and Chris to revitalise The Coachman.

"I was especially impressed by the way they have adapted to modern technology and diversified their business.

"The Coachman has returned to its rightful place in the heart of Hartford's wonderful community and I look forward to learning about its progress in the future."

Says Chris: "The Coachman had like many pubs become somewhat tired over the years. It only appealed to a small number of customers. It needed an injection of cash to bring it up to date, broaden its appeal and offer the comfort and standards customers increasingly expect.

"It's not enough to open the doors and expect customers to come to you, you have to keep pace with customer expectations and continue to invest and adapt your offer accordingly."

The Fountain Bridge has experienced a similar new lease of life as result of a £245K investment by Star Pubs & Bars and the new carvery offer introduced by multiple operators, Carvery Heaven , which has made it one of the most successful pubs in the area and resulted in the group achieving their first year business targets three months early.

The pub attracts a broad customer base, including regular lunchtime retirees as well as families in the early evening. At weekends there is a total cross section of customers including parties and groups of people.

Local MP Gloria di Piero joined Michael Perry of Carvery Heaven and regular customers at the Fountain Bridge and held a constituency surgery for local residents to drop in and meet her. She said:

Says Gloria: "It was a real pleasure to meet Michael and his staff and toast their success. All of their hard work has paid dividends and really transformed the pub. It's a good to see any local businesses doing well and long may it continue."

Says Michael Perry: "To be successful you have to provide an excellent service and give customers what they want. In our case it is consistently good food at great value for money prices."