Pub's new beginning brings festive cheer to community
JUST UNDER two years ago St Austell Brewery pulled the plug on its association with the Fountain Inn in Newbridge, causing the popular pub to close.
It had seemed the once thriving centre had gone the way of pubs up and down the country; the deserted building symptomatic of issues facing businesses and small communities across Cornwall.
Residents in the dwindling community complained of how its loss had driven a further divide between them and to some it had seemed the damage was irreversible.
However, in a welcome turn of events, the pub will open its doors to the public this weekend, 22 months after closing.
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Bought last November by Jennifer Dennis and Pete Turner, it has been painstakingly restored and is finally ready to open as a bed and breakfast and haven for real ale drinkers.
Pete, who had been running a pub in Stafford with Jennifer, said the pair were really looking forward to getting started.
"It's been quite a big project which is still ongoing," he said. "I have been working in the trade since 1979, worked for various people and been self-employed for a number of years. Real ales are a passion of mine and Jennifer has experience as a hotelier."
The pub will serve a variety of real ales from the South West using barrels placed behind the bar. All lagers will be served from bottles.
It now boasts four guest bedrooms and can offer a basic menu, including meals such as ploughman's and pasties.
Craig Weatherhill, who frequently used the pub to host Cornish language lessons, told The Cornishman last year locals would be delighted it was reopening.
"When you've got a village that's strung out along a main road like this without a pub we don't get to see each other very often," he said in November.
"It's been dreadful not having a pub – everyone has become strangers. I wish the new owners every success, the pub deserves it, it's lovely."
The Fountain Inn has sat in Newbridge since the mid-18th century and remained in use until February 2011.
In November 2010, the brewery announced its intention to sell the pub after deciding it didn't 'fit into its portfolio any more'.
At the time, estate director Adam Luck blamed the Fountain's remote location.
The pub was also given a stay of execution 11 years ago, when residents campaigned to stop the brewery turning it into residential units.
Its winter opening times will be from Monday to Thursday from 4pm to 11pm, and from Friday to Sunday, from noon to 11pm.
For more information, phone 01736 332590.