Popular pub opens its doors with a new look after £200k revamp

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The Village Inn has a new look thanks to a £200,000 makeover and wants to become a home-from-home with more on the menu.

The pub in Botley Road, Park Gate is one of more than 100 Ember Inns pubs across the country to receive an update for 2016.

The chain is run by Mitchells & Butlers, which operates about 1,700 restaurants and pubs in the UK.

Daniel Aitchison, the manager of The Village Inn, is thrilled with the changes to the pub.

He said: ‘I cannot believe it is the same pub.

‘Walls have gone down and it looks a lot bigger. Even the general lightness of the pub is better.’

The refurbishment had been planned since Daniel took over the pub nearly two years ago.

Now he said he was delighted with the results.

Daniel had seen the Ember Inns design at other pubs in the chain before so he had some idea of what to expect, however he was not prepared for the impact it would have on his own business.

Now he is confident the combination of a new colour scheme, comfortable chairs and great food and drink will be the pub’s key ingredients for success.

Food has become even more of a focus for The Village Inn since the rebranding and Daniel has already declared the lamb shank as his number one dish. ‘It’s delicious,’ he said.

He also hopes that the pub will be a central point for the community.

There are photos of Park Gate decorating the walls, and craft beers are a new addition to The Village Inn.

Despite Daniel confessing to be more of a lager drinker, the London pale ale has his seal of approval.

He said the response to the changes at The Village Inn had been fantastic.

And regulars have given it the seal of approval.

Pubgoer Lisa Woodfine said: ‘It is lovely, fresh, airy and clean.’

Another local, Silvia Brown, praised the staff on the day of the pub’s reopening.

She said: ‘They are amazing.’

There is something is going on every night of the week, although Daniel said the pub is now large and spacious enough to come in on the busier evenings and still find a quiet area if preferred.

Daniel said he hoped the Village Inn would now expand, with the support of the community, and he said they would be looking to recruit some more staff.

He said: ‘We want to make the locals proud, we want it to be the pub to go to.’