Award-winning community pub, The Rose Inn, Redwick, has had a complete overhaul to allow it to reopen and serve locals in the tiny South Wales village.

With Welsh government guidelines only initially allowing pubs to open outdoors, long-term pub partner, Gary Webb and his partner, Sarah McDonald, used their initiative to transform the pub, building eight outdoor pods in the grounds of the neighbouring village hall for dining, as well as creating an additional covered area outside the front of the pub for al fresco drinking.

Gary, who has been shielding, as he suffers from asthma and emphysema, has invested his own money in the refurbishment, having been supported throughout the lockdown by community pub operator, Hawthorn Leisure, which owns The Rose Inn, as well as more than 700 other pubs across Wales, England and Scotland. 

Gary says, “The Rose Inn is a cosy pub so we weren’t sure if we’d be able to open indoors at all. We’ve always had a great beer garden, so we decided to do whatever it took to make the most of the space outside and create a safe place for the community to get back together and meet up over a drink or a bite to eat. Everybody got behind us when they saw the work we were doing, and we’ve loved welcoming the village back to the pub.”

Originally hailing from the Rhondda Valley, Gary has run The Rose Inn for the last fifteen years, with the pub winning the award for Gwent’s Best Kept Pub a number of times under his stewardship. The Rose Inn has long been an important hub in the community, standing on the corner of a triangle which defines the centre of the village, with St Thomas’ Church, and the Village Hall occupying the other two corners.

Locals have been thrilled at the effort put in to making sure the pub can serve the village again, showing their appreciation for Gary and Sarah’s hard work on the pub’s Facebook page. Villagers have been unanimous in their praise, calling the pub ‘fantastic’, ‘amazing’, ‘inviting as well as safe’, and declaring the recent reopening as “brilliant news.”

Hawthorn Leisure Director of Leased and Tenanted Operations, Andy Parker said: “Gary and Sarah are experienced operators and always put their local community first. They’ve made the most of a very bad situation, and we’re proud of the work they’ve done. We’re passionate about running pubs that are more than just a place to drink, but serve as a hub for communities to come together and enjoy a fantastic experience, and Gary and Sarah have really gone the extra mile at The Rose Inn.”

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