Former pub to become neighbourhood café bar

James and Simon outside their new business venture

James and Simon outside their new business venture - Credit: Archant

A historic pub in Nailsea will soon be transformed into a neighbourhood café and its owners are hoping it will become a central meeting point in the town.

James Murray and Simon Extance have taken over The Queens Head, in High Street, and hope to restore it to its former glory under the name Coates House.

James said: “Our plan is to turn the Queens Head into a neighbourhood café bar. We want to restore it to its former glory and our aim is for it to become a community hub.

“Our other cafés have become a meeting place for mums and groups and it will have exactly the same menu and concept as our other café bars, with a relaxed atmosphere, licensed and serving food all day.

The business partners already own Hawkes House café in Thornbury and Theoc House in Tewkesbury.

The cafés stock board games and books and serve food from 8.30am-10pm and Simon and James are planning to offer the same in the Nailsea venue.

They are hoping Coates House will become a focal point in the town where people can meet with friends or enjoy a meal or drink in the evening.

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James said: “We chose it because of the property’s location and the 200-year history of the building.

“If you look at pictures of The Queens Head, it’s very run down, but there are gems of fireplaces and flooring underneath the modern exterior and interior.

“It’s going to be fun ripping it out and revealing some of its past.”

James and Simon are planning to do most of the work themselves and are expecting to finish in three months.

James said: “At the other sites we use the local butcher and green grocer and we try to get real ales from within 20 miles. We try to source everything as locally as possible.

“We are looking forward to taking on the Nailsea site. A lot of people in the town have been really supportive so far and we can’t wait to open up.”

James and Simon wanted a name for the venue which relates to the history of the town and they ran a competition through the Nailsea Then and Now Facebook page.

Coates House was chosen as Coates cider was manufactured in Nailsea.