The Owls Nest, in St Helens, Merseyside, owned by pub company Red Oak Taverns, has won a regional award for best community pub.
The award recognises the hard work of tenant partners Debra Cunningham and John Walker and the substantial six-figure investment from Red Oak Taverns has transformed The Owls Nest from a run-down and tired venue into a thriving community pub.
Debra said: “There were some lovely people frequenting the place, however it had fallen into disrepair and had acquired a terrible reputation, which resulted in the pub’s rapid decline. It was running at a loss and destined for closure.
“Local community pubs like ours seem to be seen as a thing of the past, but we are a true testament that they are still well and truly needed in society.”
Mark Grunnell, co-founder of Red Oak Taverns, said: “On acquiring The Owls Nest, we quickly recognised, and were really impressed by, Debra and John’s hard work in turning around a failing pub, despite the lack of investment by the previous owner.
“We were confident that by investing in them and by providing a complete refurbishment of the pub, it would become even more profitable, despite not serving food.
“The Owls Nest is a fantastic community pub with a loyal customer base and is a perfect example of the success of the collaborative approach on which we pride ourselves, benefiting both ourselves and our tenant partner.”
He added, “Over the past six years, we have built our portfolio from 32 to 163 outlets and we are now on the acquisition trail, having transformed many un-loved pubs back into thriving concerns in the heart of their communities.
“We’ve achieved this through investment in our pubs and by working closely together with our tenant partners, and despite the economic and other external headwinds predicted, we have earmarked further substantial funds for investment in our pubs through 2018 and beyond to provide our hard working tenant partners with the best possible chance of success.”
Red Oak Taverns acquired The Owls Nest as part of a 146 pub-portfolio purchased in 2015.