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New year, new start for The Claypipe in Leighton Buzzard

29 January 2020

The festive season may be over, but Leighton Buzzard residents still have reason to celebrate.  A major £226,000 refurbishment of The Claypipe pub in Leighton Buzzard by HEINEKEN owned Star Pubs & Bars & Bars1 and licensees, Mick and Lorraine Loasby is to transform the pub into the best sports pub in the area. The pub is closing for four-weeks from the end of service on 25th January reopening at the end of February.

Funds are being spent on a new games room extension, which together with the sports bar provide the best sporting facilities in the area.  This will give more space for sports fans, drinkers and diners, enhancing the pub’s appeal as a top-quality, family-friendly community pub.

Mick and Lorraine have run The Claypipe for the last five years during which time they introduced sports.  It now boasts eight hockey teams, three darts team, a pool team and a dominoes team.  And in 2019 The Claypipe was shortlisted for best sports bar in a national pub awards.   

Mick and Lorraine now feel it is time for a complete upgrade in order to provide residents with the type of offer on their doorstep that previously they would have had to travel into town for.

Inside, the new dedicated games/pool room will have two pool tables, a sign writing feature wall, high stools and drinks shelves and bi-fold doors leading out to the beer garden.  The sports bar will have an enhanced competition-ready dedicated darts area with four darts boards (two for competition and two for practice) with cameras allowing customers to watch darts matches on TVs elsewhere in the pub. 

A 65inch TV is being installed in the new games room and a number of 55-inch 4K TVs installed throughout the pub offering the latest technology and a beebox system showing live music videos and for karaoke use.

The lounge dining area will have a new comfortable button back fixed seating, coloured hanging pendant lights and new curtains, carpets and double glazing to make it cosier. 

Outside, The Claypipe will be given a complete facelift, rendered in natural stone colour with a blue porch and signage.  There will be a new flagstone patio area, and timber trough planters and a new covered pergola entrance to the sports bar.

When the pub reopens there will be an updated menu offering a choice of popular pub classics, from burgers and grilled meats to fish & chips, pies, vegan options and children’s menu as well as the pub’s cracking Sunday lunch.  Mick and Lorraine also intend to broaden their extensive gin range, creating a gin bar.

Entertainment-wise, it will be bigger and better for sports and live music and something for everyone, whether its dominoes, darts, pool, a quiz, karaoke or bingo.

Mick said: “For Lorraine and me, running The Claypipe is all about providing a service for the local community. We’re excited by the refurbishment which will make the pub more comfortable and broaden its appeal.   The upgrade of the sports facilities will mean we’ll be the best pub for pool and darts in the area.  We will increase our darts team from two to four and now be able to join both pool leagues, participate in knock out matches and host league matches.   And for those who are wondering, our classic car events will start again in April.

“Finally, we’re putting on a closing party on the evening of the 25th January with a top band from London, including a guitarist, keyboard player and two singers.”

Paul Linton, regional operations director of Star Pubs & Bars said: “Mick and Lorraine have done a great job creating a popular pub at the heart of the community.  The changes being made will help them build on its success, taking it to a new level. With 2000 houses being built nearby, The Claypipe’s focus on activities, great drinks and affordable pub food make it the ideal place to bring the new and existing communities together.

“Heineken is a passionate supporter of the great British pub and invested £50m in 2019 in pubs like The Claypipe ensuring they continue to be relevant to their local communities and are sustainable in the long -term.”