New year, new lease of life for The Pineapple, Dorney
13 February 2020
The festive season may be over but residents of Dorney and the surrounding area, still have reason to celebrate. Building work starts on 6th January on a major £550,000 upgrade of The Pineapple, Dorney by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Barsand licensees, Chrys and Hanna Fisher, who also run the village’s other pub, The Palmers Arms.
The Pineapple will close at end of service on 2nd January reopening in early spring, hopefully in time for Mother’s Day. Four new jobs are being created on the back of the changes.
For Chrys and Hanna, the refurbishment can’t come soon enough. They’ve spent the last two years working with Star Pubs & Bars and in dialogue with the council to get an application approved that would be sympathetic to the pub’s listed status and create a pub for all seasons.
Chrys explained: “The Pineapple has a really nice energy to it which we were keen to retain, but it has a tiny kitchen, not much trading space and the décor is in a poor state of repair. Unfortunately, in its current state it isn’t viable in the long term. So we’re thrilled it’s to be given a new lease of life, as it is a lovely village pub.
“We hadn’t intended to take on a second pub, but the village wasn’t the same when The Pineapple closed at the end of 2016. It felt sad. Not anymore! Although we’re modernising it, The Pineapple is going to continue to be very pub like. We’re keeping the décor sympathetic to the age of the building and extending the pub to create more space inside and make it more comfortable for customers.”
Funds are being spent on a building a contemporary larch clad garden room extension with bi-fold doors and limestone flooring leading onto a flagstone terrace. This will almost double the pub’s internal seating capacity to 73 and create an indoor / outdoor atmosphere.
The rest of the pub will have a cosy ambience with two real open fires with leather fireside armchairs and a snug with booth style deep button back seating and decorated in soft muted colours.
The loos are being upgraded and a new accessible toilet installed.
Outside, the decking is being replaced and there will be a rustic timber clad wall with planting and a mix of fixed cushioned seats and upholstered chairs and wooden tables on the terrace, and picnic benches on the grassed area. In total, there will be seating outside for 166.
The pub exterior is also being redecorated in black and a soft grey hue with new signage, lighting and planting to create a smarter exterior.
As part of the refurbishment, the latest beer dispense technology, a HEINEKEN Smart Dispense system, is being installed to produce consistent superior quality draught beer and cider. A new gin menu will also be on offer when the pub reopens.
Foodwise, the pub will continue to serve its popular lunchtime sandwiches. The extended and upgraded kitchen will have a new stone pizza oven enabling the pub to offer stone baked pizzas as well as traditional pub classics and a great Sunday roast.
Chrys and Hanna moved to the village 11 years ago. Previously Chrys worked at Browns restaurant in London. The Palmers Arms was the first pub of their own. They have four children, aged 11 to 22 and as if that and running two pubs isn’t enough, Chrys is also a hypnotherapist and EFT practitioner.
He added: “Customers really care about The Pineapple. A post on Facebook mentioning we wanted to refurbish the pub spread to 4-5000 people in two days. So Happy New Year to everyone and to many happy days at The Pineapple when we reopen in the Spring.”
Matt Dyson, Regional Operations Director at Star Pubs & Bars said: “The Pineapple is a wonderful characterful pub in a fantastic village location. We’re delighted to be working with Chrys and Hanna to give The Pineapple the upgrade it needs and to create a more spacious pub, enabling them to create a great village local and maximise its potential.
“Having lived in the village for almost 12 years, Chrys and Hanna know the area well and know the real demand that there is for a traditional dog friendly pub from walkers, people using the rowing lake and from residents from the surrounding towns and villages as well as Dorney itself.”
“Heineken is a firm believer in the future of the Great British local and invested £50 million in 2019 in pubs like The Pineapple to help them keep pace with peoples’ changing needs and expectations so that they can thrive for the long term.”