An historic village pub which has been closed for almost seven months is set to reopen soon under new ownership.
Grade II-listed The George, in the village of Ashley, near Market Harborough, is being brought back to life by local couple Neil and Steph Price.
Together with their son, daughter, and grandson, they have moved to The George and are making it a family-run business.
Steph and Neil have had varied careers, but both with a strong base in hospitality, which they were keen to return to.
Neil currently has a building company, which has been trading for 10 years and will continue to run, although Neil will now concentrate on The George as his main focus.
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He is a qualified chef and has managed a bistro/wine bar and been a sales rep for a wine company.
He has also been director of a contract catering company with 50 sites throughout the UK.
Steph has, up until now, been working in an accounts office for the past 18 years, but has a TEC Diploma in Hotel Catering, and has worked in pubs and restaurants.
Talking about their decision to take on the pub, which dates back to the 18th century, Steph told LeicestershireLive:
“We are both originally from hospitality backgrounds but have never worked together.
“The building trade is physically demanding and has taken its toll on Neil’s knees and it is something that he won’t be fit enough to do for too much longer.
“We have always had in mind that at some point we would take on a pub. The George became available so we decided the time was right.
“We first looked at in January, decided that we wanted to go ahead with it, put our offer together, instructed our solicitor, we were then due to sign at the end of March but lockdown put a stop to that.
“Everything then went on hold with us not knowing whether we would continue with it or not. We decided we would hold off until July and make a decision then. Obviously we have decided to run with it!”
Steph and Neil are currently refurbishing the pub and plan to open in mid-August.
According to Steph, it will be a traditional, family-friendly country pub offering good quality ‘pub grub’ with a frequently-changing specials board.
They intend to prepare everything fresh on site, using locally sourced produce – sourced within a 30 mile radius where possible.
The George is freehold with no ties to breweries, so will take 60 per cent of its beers through Heineken and will put on guest ales from the many local breweries in the area.
The George has six letting rooms located at the back of the main building in a separate, recently-converted old Coach House.
There are four double rooms, one twin and one family room, all of which are en-suite.
Bookings are now being taken for stays from August 17.
The George is in Main Street, Ashley, Market Harborough.