Former Beverley Minster virger Neil Pickford and the staff at Monks Walk in Highgate are celebrating the first anniversary of the pub’s successful reopening by asking Beverley folk to help them buy the freehold.
The pub reopened on 8 April 2016 after a refit that removed all the TVs and jukebox, transforming it into a proper ‘Chatter’ pub – and it has been so successful that Neil thinks his appeal for crowdfunding will be very popular.
“Monks Walk pub – housed in the oldest timber-framed building in Yorkshire – has become a really bustling social centre,” said Neil. “It’s absolutely alive most evenings with a growing number of regulars.”
“Families are coming to us for christenings, birthday parties, wedding receptions and wakes. Community groups meet in side rooms, there is live acoustic music on Mondays and Wednesdays and musicians can often be heard practicing on other nights of the week. And in the background there’s always plenty of chatter and gossip flying around.”
Already winning praise for the high quality and range of locally-brewed beers, ciders and lagers on offer, Neil and Gill Pickford will soon be opening Monks Coffee Room in an underused part of the building for lunchtime seekers after sandwiches, cake and coffee or tea, as well as revamping its menus to serve traditional pub grub seven days a week
“It’s been a fantastic year, transforming what was a very sad Sky Sports venue into a vibrant social centre for men, women and families,” said landlord Neil Pickford. “And it’s dog-friendly, which is increasingly popular.”
“Many long-established customers who’ve known the pub for years say that it’s the most welcoming and friendly it’s ever been – which is fantastic. And now we want to build on this and secure its future as a true focus for the town and a reminder of how great a traditional English pub can be.”
Neil is inviting would-be investors to a public meeting in the newly-opened “Upstairs at Monks” room on Thursday 6th April at 7.30pm where he will present his business plans to anyone interested in lending or investing anything from £500 to £150,000 in a profitable business with potential to grow still further.
“I’ve already received pledges totalling tens of thousands of pounds without really pushing too hard,” said Neil.
“Even my staff have promised to invest in it. But now the first year is up and we have shown what we as a team can do then it’s time to really go all out and give this wonderful and historic building a golden future.”
“I’m asking for investors with both a brain and a heart to come along and see what we can offer both them and the town of Beverley.”