Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans, which is believed to be England’s oldest pub, will reopen in April with former staff taking over the lease.
The pub which dates back to the 8th century will reopen on April 4 under new management with former staff teaming up to give the pub a new life.
Former manager Martin Robinson, who is now landlord of the pub, has teamed up with head chef Ian Baulsh and Sam Walker to transform the venue.
The pub closed in February, with the previous landlord Christo Tofalli cited the pandemic as “devastating” for the pub.
Martin Robinson, landlord, said he is looking forward to delivering the new team’s vision for the pub.
He said: “I am delighted to announce that myself, Ian Baulsh and Sam Walker have now taken over the running of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks.
“I have worked here for 12 years as the manager so I have a clear vision of how to ensure the future success of this pub. Ian has been head chef for the past eight years and is excited to share the pub’s new menus and his food strategy going forward.
“Sam brings a talent for aesthetics and design which will help us to enhance our customer experience, while retaining all the wonderful features of its rich history.”
The new strategy will include a rejuvenated food offering: new menus with regularly changing specials; an extensive barbecue area in the pub’s garden, which overlooks the huge lake in St Albans’ Verulamium Park; a kids’ menu; live music events; and summer ‘Fighters’ Festivals’.
Martin also wanted to thank Christo for his dedication to the pub and the team during his time as landlord.
He said: “I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to Christo Tofalli who worked so hard to steer the pub through many acutely challenging trading conditions. COVID-19 was one challenge too far, but I will always be grateful to him for the loyalty he has shown the pub, and his team, and for his unwavering friendship.”
The brewery, Mitchells and Butlers, is fully supporting the new management team.
Ye Olde Fighting Cocks will reopen on April 4 at 12pm.
Photo credit: Ye Olde Fighting Cocks