The owners of a Star Pubs site have agreed terms to open a second property in Oxfordshire and will launch a new menu based on what they say is ‘pub food done right’.
Kate Hayden and Paul Warriner are taking on The Hare at West Hendred for a joint £500,000 investment and will reopen the pub in March after a four-year closure.
The pair, who already run The Snow Goose at Farnborough, want to revive it as a great traditional local and a hub of the community, where people are comfortable coming to drink and socialise or for a meal.
The pub’s original name – The Extraordinary Hare – will be reinstated.
Mrs Hayden explained: “There are a number of top-end food pubs in the area and when we talked to residents, they wanted a more traditional local, where people could come together for a drink and to meet up casually as well as for great food – so we’re aiming for that balance.”
The site will be refurbished in a warm, welcoming style, keeping and restoring original features such as timber floors and open fires to retain the building’s character. The large bar will remain at the heart of the pub and the cellar will be upgraded with SmartDispense technology.
A new extension will house a separate dining area. The menu will focus on what Mr Warriner, a chef, describes as “pub food done right”. Dishes will be freshly prepared and use locally sourced ingredients.
Having taken The Snow Goose as their first leased pub in 2015 after extensive careers in managed houses, the duo feel ready to take a second site and plan to acquire more leased pubs once The Extraordinary Hare is relaunched.
Mrs Hayden said: “We’ve established The Snow Goose and got a brilliant team in place, so it makes sense to expand our business by adding a second pub with a view to ultimately building up a group of three or four sites within a reasonable driving distance of each other.”
The couple are leasing The Extraordinary Hare on a five-year agreement. “Free houses are out of the question as it’s so expensive to buy a good one, or even an underdeveloped one with potential. Though we’re not risk averse, we also like the added security and safety net that leasing pubs offers,” she said.