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Posted: 05 August 2014
Blog category: Pub of the Week
The Old City Bar in Canterbury held a launch party to celebrate its new look on Monday, August 4.
Licensee Charles Smythe has undertaken a major £120,000 revamp of the city centre pub, with support from brewery Shepherd Neame.
During the 10 week project, the old conservatory was demolished and an extension built at the back of the building, with folding French doors leading into the garden.
The pub’s interior was repainted throughout in contemporary colours, the toilets refurbished, and new furniture and wall decorations introduced.
Its exterior has been repainted, and the large family-friendly garden now boasts a new ping pong table, Giant Jenga and Connect Four, sure to keep all ages entertained.
A new kitchen has also been installed, and a range of snacks and classic pub favourites are now available from noon to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm every day.
Charles, 44, who has run The Old City Bar for 11 years, said: “I had thought for a long time that the conservatory was letting the pub down, as it was old and had begun to leak in places, so with the brewery’s support, I decided to replace it with an extension.
“While we were carrying out that work, I thought it was a good time to give the whole pub a facelift, and I am really happy with the results.”
The father-of-two, who lives in Canterbury and also runs three other pubs in the city, added: “We have received some great feedback about the makeover from our customers, and have already seen a surge in sales since the revamp.”
Local dignitaries and residents were invited to the official opening event with the first pint pulled by pub regular John Mitchell, retired deputy head of sixth form at Simon Langton School for Boys.
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame also attended the launch event, and to mark the occasion presented a cheque for £500 to the Oaten Hill & District Society, a local residents’ association.
Group chairman Fred Whitemore, who received the cheque, said: “We are very grateful to Shepherd Neame for their kind donation, and also to Charles for his hard work to make the Old City Bar such a thriving pub, and a great asset to our community.”
Property and tenanted trade director George Barnes said: “We acquired this pub just over two years ago, and are delighted with the improvements that Charles has made. He has given it a contemporary look while retaining its character and atmosphere, and we are sure that the pub will continue to go from strength to strength.”