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3 January 2020

Work is set to start on a £165,000 refurbishment of a historic Bamber Bridge pub to restore it as a great quality community local. The project at Ye Olde Hob Inn on Church Road is being undertaken by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and new licensees, brother-and-sister team Sarah and Matthew Locke.

The pub will close on 6th January. Work is expected to take five weeks, with Ye Olde Hob scheduled to open its doors again in mid-February. Ten new jobs will be created.

The Lockes – who are Penwortham born-and-bred – reopened Ye Olde Hob Inn in August following an eleven-month closure after a fire devastated the pub’s famous thatched roof. Says Sarah: “Our grandparents used to come here many years ago, so we’ve known the pub all our lives. We’ve always wanted a pub of our own, and it’s a dream come true to get Ye Olde Hob Inn. It’s such a beautiful old pub and a real landmark of the town. We want to bring it back to life and give Bamber Bridge a pub it can be proud of. Local residents had been concerned for Ye Olde Hob’s future, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support they’ve given us.”

The plans will carefully redecorate the outside of the Grade II-listed Seventeenth-century pub, rendering it, painting it cream and installing new lighting and signage. A pretty south-facing garden will be added at the front overlooking the green, with seating for 40, festoon lighting and new planting.

The pub’s dated interior will be completely renovated and upgraded throughout in keeping with the building’s history to make it more comfortable and cosy. Pictures of Ye Olde Hob Inn in bygone days will adorn the walls.

A kitchen revamp will enable Sarah and Matthew – a talented chef – to offer home-cooked food prepared from scratch. Focused on pub favourites, the menu will include Lancashire specialities such as coddled eggs, parkin, hot pot and pie barms, made following the secret recipes of the Lockes’ granny and using locally sourced ingredients. An extended drinks range will span good coffee, craft and cask beer, Proseccos and wines plus premium spirits. The couple will seek Cask Marque accreditation and plan to offer products from nearby breweries and distilleries.

The Lockes have not forgotten customers’ four-legged friends either, who will be well catered for with bowls of water and a new dog menu.

Like any good local, Ye Olde Hob Inn will host events and activities to bring the community together, with a quiz night, acoustic music and Sky Sports all on the agenda. Comments Sarah: “We’d like Ye Olde Hob Inn to feel like a home-from-home and welcoming to all.”

Adds Star Pubs & Bars operations director for the North West, David Pritchard: “Ye Olde Hob Inn is an iconic pub. We’re delighted to be working with Sarah and Matthew to help it thrive again and preserve it for future generations to enjoy. Sarah and Matthew have a great knowledge of Bamber Bridge, are passionate about service and highly experienced. They’ve already done a fantastic job. The refurbishment will take Ye Olde Hob Inn into another league and further broaden its appeal.”