An historic pub in Brockdish celebrated a momentous occasion today as it opened its doors to customers for the first time in 18 months.
The Old King’s Head, a Grade-II-listed building in The Street with origins dating back to the 13th Century, held its official re-opening at noon under new sibling owners Jonathan Townley and Louise Lees, who purchased the pub a year after its initial closure in September 2013.
With the help of a grant from Norfolk County Council and assistance from the Pub is The Hub scheme, the Old King’s Head has undergone significant interior and exterior renovations, with a view to incorporating elements of a bakery and a café into the exisiting property.
Mr Townley, a Norfolk-born chef by trade with experience in restaurants across England, said: “Our vision for a rural pub like The Old King’s Head has married my culinary expertise and my sister’s business acumen with the community need for a social hub in Brockdish and the provision of new services.
“I am enormously grateful to Norfolk County Council for their grant and to Pub is The Hub for their guidance and encouragement.”
The pub now claims to feature a more “stripped-back style” using traditional pub furniture, with new additions including a café, accessible through a separate rear entrance, a two-tier stone bakery oven for cooking bread, cakes and pizzas, and a new bar top built with oak from a local tree felled more than 30 years ago.
Terry Stork, the regional advisor for Pub is The Hub in East Anglia, added: “Schemes like this help to secure a rural community pub’s long term viability.
“Jonathan and Louise have already made great progress to benefit their community and we wish them well in their venture.”