An historic Wirksworth pub has entered a new era after a major revamp by new bosses with food and drink they say is “unrivalled” in the town.
The Hope & Anchor, on the Market Place, reopened a few weeks ago, with business partners Ben Robinson and Alan King, gradually unveiling the changes to the amazement of discerning local customers.
Ben, 28, said: “The biggest challenge has been getting people to come back in and trust the place.
“The pub closed in 2016, but even before that it had been nicknamed ‘the hopeless’.
“We’ve spent eight months and about £100,000 completely refurbishing the ground floor. It’s so different now and we’ve been getting a lot of good feedback. People are saying ‘wow’ when they come in and leaving us good reviews online.”
The refurbishment has been complicated by the building’s Grade II-listed status, but has still seen the interior stylishly remodelled to create a restaurant space, two bar areas, new toilets, disabled access and baby-changing facilities.
Ben said: “The final step in the reopening has been to hire our head chef and introduce the full menu. The pub never did food before.
“Now we have rustic pub food with a few modern twists, and a drinks range which is unrivalled in Wirksworth, all for reasonable prices.”
Ben and Alan will pride themselves on hospitality standards, after many years training staff at businesses across Derbyshire.
Ben said: “We decided to put our heads together with all the experience we’d gained, and open our own business.
“This was the perfect opportunity at the perfect time.”
For more information, see www.hope-and-anchor.co.uk.