Ed Turner, former MD of Geronimo Inns and his wife Buffy have opened the The Old Ale & Coffee House near Salisbury Cathedral, a Star Pubs & Bars site, and are in discussions with the company about a second pub.
The new site is the first of a portfolio of Hampshire and Wiltshire top quality pubs that the duo intends building as the Buff & Bear Saloons.
The eclectic pub showcases the best of Hampshire and Wiltshire, from food and drink to art, craft, wine and local joie de vie.
The Old Ale & Coffee House has 70 covers inside and 70 outside and is proving a hit with locals and tourists.
Ed Turner, said: “The reaction from locals has been fantastic. They’ve loved seeing a pub re-opened after a closure, they love that it is damn good looking, unique, locally run and they love the great beer range as well as variety of menu items on offer.
“Regional towns are overrun by casual dining brands and all starting to have a standard offer, like the high street. I believe it is time for change and time to protect individuality and local provenance in line with London street food trends. People want something unique and the feedback from locals about The Old Ale & Coffee House shows that our vision for Buff & Bear Saloons is hitting the mark. We’re very excited.”
The outside of the pub has been completely redecorated including new signage and lighting as well as a new courtyard garden for alfresco drinking and dining with its own bar.
Inside, the traditional features have been retained while creating a more contemporary environment. The walls feature local art and quirky landscape photography of Wiltshire such as its chalk stream rivers, the beautiful cathedral and Stonehenge. In addition, there are modern interpretations on classic games such as Ring the Bull, Bagatelle and Cornhole
The pub menu includes small dishes such as pork rillettes, Dorset crab, avocado and rye and Godminster welsh rarebit. Larger plates feature Chalk Stream Trout with crème fresh, Linguini, clams, chilli, parsley and lemon, alongside favourites of Hampshire pig chop, duck egg, black pudding and of course fish and chips. On Saturdays there are all day boozy brunches with coffee supplied by Southampton based artisan coffee roasters, Mozzo.
Turner, added: “Our intention is to build a pub portfolio of pubs in provincial cities and towns stretching from Newbury and Winchester to Guildford and Southampton. We’re delighted to kick off this new venture with Star Pubs & Bars. The Old Ale & Coffee House is a good looking historic pub in a great location dating back to 1411 and offered loads of potential. We look forward to taking on more projects with Star in the months to come.”
Star Pubs & Bars, managing director, Lawson Mountstevens, said: “The Old Ale & Coffee House is just what Salisbury needs. It has broad appeal for tourists and young and old alike. We’re delighted to be working with Ed and Buffy on their first site and look forward to building a long term relationship with them both.”