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A Leap forward for this popular Penhill local
EXPERIENCED hands are again at the helm of a Penhill pub that re-opened at the end of last month following the first closure in its 56-year history.
The Deers Leap, in Penhill Drive, re-opened on-schedule on July 26 following a six-week closure while the ownership of the business changed hands.
Renovation and redecoration is yet to be completed, and a grand opening is still planned, but as business begins to tick over again, many customers are being greeted by the familiar face of Colin Knight.
Colin managed The Leap, as it is known locally, for 12 years until January last year, when personal issues came between him and his job. He had been looking for a return to the industry, but an opportunity did not arise until the new, anonymous owner of the pub approached him.
“A lot of the punters have been saying it’s good to see it back open and nice to see me back behind the bar,” he said. “It’s good to be back in here. I am enjoying it, just as I used to. I’ve missed it.”
The number one priority on Colin’s list for the new-look Leap, is live music, and bringing it back to the pub’s function room, which is in the process of being gutted.
The main lounge has already had new carpet laid and been redecorated, while the furniture has all been re-covered. The toilets at the pub are also due to be ripped out and replaced before builders move out. The owner is a builder by trade and has been carrying out the work himself.
Colin, who lives in Penhill, will co-manage the pub with another local man, Danny Smith.
Danny said: “We’ve lived here all our lives and we’re doing it for the community.
“So many pubs are closing at the moment and we don’t want our estate to turn into one of those. We want to support the community and get the community involved as much as possible.
“I’ve lived here all my life and it’s nice to have that connection. We want the community to support us because this is for them.”
The re-opening now allows the original regulars to flock back to what has been described as the heartbeat of the community by Colin. He said: “Now we are open again, I expect people will hopefully come back and begin using it as they once did.
“From the chats which I have, this pub is needed by the community.”
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