Oakman racks up twelfth site with signature open kitchen

The Navigation Inn

Oakman Inns has cut the ribbon on a new site in Northamptonshire following an investment of £500,000 and a first tie-up with tenanted and leased pub operator Greene King Pub Partners.

The Navigation at Cosgrove is the twelfth historic unit to be revamped by Oakman Inns, which opened the White Hart at Ampthill in May and will be opening the King’s Head in Chipping Ongar in early July.

It has transformed the iconic canal-side Inn, which has been a destination on the Grand Union Canal since 1809, into a light, airy and contemporary space which takes nothing away from its 200-year history.

The design includes Oakman’s signature open kitchen, complete with Josper charcoal grill and a wood-fired pizza oven, allowing diners to watch their food being prepared.

Oakman Inns CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, pulled no punches in describing the task it faced. He said: “This was an old wreck which needed some real effort, investment and love to turn it into the place it is today. We’ve received very positive comments from everyone locally and I’m confident that we’ll be busy from day one.”

Clive Chesser, business unit director for Greene King Pub Partners, commented: “We are very excited to embark on our first partnership with Peter and Oakman Inns. The investment at The Navigation has transformed the business into a pub that not only does the Cosgrove area proud, but Greene King and Oakman Inns too. Oakman Inns operates many beautiful and successful pubs and we are thrilled that The Navigation is joining the Oakman Inns family.”

As part of the refurbishment of the interior, the original stonework has been exposed and previously blocked-up fireplaces reinstated, while a glass fronted restaurant dining area can be approached by steps through the French windows from the garden.

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