£254,000 investment in Lutterworth pub to bring Christmas cheer

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Christmas has come early for Lutterworth residents. The Unicorn in Lutterworth closed this week for a major £254,000 revamp by Star Pubs & Bars Ltd., Heineken’s pub business1, and will reopen on December 11th in time for Christmas festivities.

The investment will see the old-fashioned community pub, which hasn’t been touched in over 20 years, brought into the 21st century.2 It will be a true local serving good cask ale where people can socialise together over a drink, watch live sports and entertainment or join in one of the pub’s games.

New operators, Martin and Claire Jones are moving from London to take on The Unicorn, which they want to make the beating heart of the community. The couple have extensive hospitality and retail experience and know the area as friends and family live locally. Having run tourist pubs in London for the last five years they are keen to run a proper community local again

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Funds are being spent reconfiguring the interior of The Unicorn, making it more open plan and accessible. The bar and lounge will be switched so the lounge with its soft tub and fixed leather seating, skittles table and TV will be on the left-hand side of the entrance and bar with its fire, TVs, high stools and tables and low wooden tables and chairs on the right. The bar will open out to the sports room which will have a pool table, skittles table, darts and TV.

The Unicorn, Lutterworth post refurbishment visualThe Unicorn, Lutterworth post refurbishment visual
The Unicorn, Lutterworth post refurbishment visual

The internal makeover will completely upgrade the pub throughout, making it more contemporary, warm and welcoming. The bright new decor will include a mix of new timber and carpet, stylish lighting, wallpaper, a panelled bar and four large TVs allowing viewing throughout the pub.

The exterior will be repainted in smart grey tones with new signage and lighting.

Other improvements include the installation of state-of-the-art dispense equipment in the cellar to ensure consistently perfect pints and an extensive drinks selection including three cask ales, premium lagers and ciders, an extensive gin collection and in time should there be interest, cocktails.

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Martin says: “We started out in hospitality and having worked in retail returned to it as it is in our blood. We love being publicans. We’re small-town people at heart. So, Claire and I are really excited about taking on The Unicorn, moving to such a nice community and getting to know everyone in Lutterworth. The plans for the refurbishment are amazing. We can’t wait to open the doors and show off the results.

New operators, Claire and Martin JonesNew operators, Claire and Martin Jones
New operators, Claire and Martin Jones

“We want to ensure that The Unicorn offers what people want and that it becomes the focal point of the community. So, we’ll be chatting to customers about whether they want a quiz and live entertainment, what local charity they want to support and will put a suggestion box on the bar for people to give us feedback. As keen pool and darts players ourselves, we’ll also be looking to set up pool and darts teams.”

Says Star Pubs & Bars Business Development Manager, Wayne McGarry: “Martin and Claire have both held management positions for a national retailer and worked in hospitality, and so understand all about delivering excellent customer service. They are ideal candidates to take The Unicorn forward and I wish them well.

“There’s lots of gastro style pubs locally, but no pubs that focus on sports, sociable drinking and pub games. With the new housing going up on the outskirts of Lutterworth, it’s important to have a place where new and old residents can come together.”

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