Pub manager, Pete Hopwell, who made every effort to keep the pub open throughout its three months upheaval, says the premises had need of attention. “At the beginning, trade was very quiet and though the previous owners had made membership free to attract more custom, that hadn’t worked. Even so, there were comments from the dwindling band of members that everything would change. Their views made us all the more determined to keep The Willowbrook as a community asset.
“The new look is outstanding, and I can say that after 25 years in the trade. We’ve extended the bar, opened up the main lounge area, and replaced the formal dining room with a soft furnished snug. I’m sure there are areas to suit every type of pub-goer from the quietness of the lounge to the bar back where the attention will be on pub entertainment and dining.
“Our new large kitchen area means we can widen the menu to include many traditional pub choices with a modern twist. There’ll be up to 14 real ales, ciders and perries on draft at all times, with at least one mild available. We’ll be inviting drinkers to discover world beers from our extensive range of craft bottled and keg beers from Europe, North America and the UK. Our wine, spirit and soft drinks range will also be comprehensive.”
Managing director, Colin Wilde, is excited about The Willowbrook’s future. “Most of this comes from the customers’ enthusiasm for what we’ve been doing.
“As building work progressed, we could see them come over to our side. We stayed open deliberately so they could see what was happening day-by-day. They have been a massive part of the refit and it’s thanks to them for their patience.”
Guests on the St George’s Day opening included many from the local area, Nottingham’s official Robin Hood, Tim Pollard, and the Mayor of Gedling Borough, Councillor Bob Collis and his Lady Mayoress, Ann Collis.