Report by Tom Wright , Reporter
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
A VILLAGE pub has re-opened this week after undergoing a £250,000 refurbishment as a new manager looks to help it become a focal point of the community.
The Ship & Castle in Congresbury has launched a new menu following Mezze Restaurants’ takeover which will feature everything from Mediterranean dishes to English classics.
Mezze owner Alex Tryfonos stressed the pub wanted to remain a focal part of the village following years of rows over public use of its car park.
The previous landlady installed signs warning drivers they would be fined if they used the car park for anything other than visiting the pub.
Mr Tryfonos said: “I think it has been a centre point of the community for a long time. We see the car park as being part of the community too and all we ask is that people bear us in mind.”
The restaurant held a lavish VIP launch night on Friday to allow people to get a taster for what it would offer. Ex-Bristol City star Scott Murray and Australian cricketer Ian Harvey were among those who attended.
The pub, which will employ 30 more staff, has six hotel rooms, a garden overlooking the River Yeo and an outdoor ice-cream parlour.
The garden has seen a £75,000 makeover with new raised decking, herb garden, kids play castle, water features, an outside TV for the Olympics.
Mr Tryfonos said the pub would also run several events including wine tasting and cocktail making.
He added that security staff would be on site during peak times as a precaution to ensure the community’s peace of mind.
Mezze Restaurants currently owns two other businesses in the South West situated in Downend and Thornbury.