Bringing The Dukes Head back to life

Sarah and Jo at the bar in The Dukes
Sarah and Jo at the bar in The Dukes

Plans to restore an 18th century pub are in full swing and the doors will open to the public on Saturday, April 2.

The Dukes, formerly known as The Dukes Head, a Grade II listed pub, opposite The Green, Heath and Reach, has had a makeover, thanks to its new owners.

Sisters Sarah and Jo are opening The Dukes in April

Sisters Sarah and Jo are opening The Dukes in April

The owners, sisters Sarah Smith and Jo Carter, have spent weeks getting the building ready for the opening and last week they set up a crowd-funding page to involve the community and to raise money to help with the last stages of the refurbishment.

Sarah, who has worked in hospitality, is the driving force behind the project.

She said: “I have known the pub for many years, and had both my daughters’ christening parties there, so it was sad to see it fall on hard times.

“I drive past it every day and it has always been my dream to bring the place back to life so when the opportunity presented itself I leapt at it.

The Dukes before the refurb

The Dukes before the refurb

“I think it needs to be a pub, the village needs it. I have always loved this place and the locals have been very supportive.”

Thousands has been spent on the refurbishment which includes restoring the open fire, re-equipping the bar and restaurant areas, refurbishing the six bed and breakfast rooms, and restoring the pub garden.

The mother-of-two added: “There has been a great deal of work to do to retain its original features as well as bring the facilities up to date but we are almost there, with a great head chef in place and interviews going on for a sous chef, bar and restaurant staff, ahead of opening the doors to customers in April.”

The Dukes will offer freshly-cooked food, real ale and bed and breakfast accommodation.

The Dukes after some of the refurbishment

The Dukes after some of the refurbishment

> To get involved, visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thedukes