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Historic Draycott Pub to Close for Major Refurbishment

An historic Draycott pub is to receive a major refurbishment that will give it the largest year-round garden in the area and upgrade it into a great quality family-friendly local.

The Olympic Hotel on Station Road closes from 27th September for a £210,000 revamp by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and new licensee Justine Cash. The pub will reopen its doors in time for a children’s Halloween party. Six new jobs will be created.

Justine took over the pub in August last year when it was tired and unloved. “I’d recently moved to Draycott and was looking for a pub. As soon as I clapped eyes on The Olympic Hotel I knew it was the one. It had been shut for months, but I could see its potential. I jumped at the chance to take it and, within four weeks, I had the keys. I was overwhelmed by the backing I got from the community. The pub was previously little used but was packed out when I reopened with people who’d never been in before. It’s stayed busy ever since. The Olympic Hotel has had no investment for years and everyone is really excited about the refurbishment. It’s a great way to thank them for their support and warm welcome.”

The project will give The Olympic Hotel a smart new exterior and plant displays at the front, enhancing Draycott. The pub’s sign will also have a refresh with a painting of three torches to reflect its name. A new children’s play area - installed by Justine this year -  has proved so popular that the investment will further develop the outside space. A beautiful 110-seater all-weather alfresco area will be created, complete with covers, heating, pretty lighting and a 65-inch TV. Brightly coloured soft furnishings, funky artwork and a plant wall will add to the look.

The changes inside The Olympic Hotel will be extensive, too. The work will keep the pub’s traditional feel whilst making it more contemporary and welcoming. To cater for the whole community, there will be a bar and games room with pool, darts and big screens for showing sports, as well as a comfortable lounge with space for dining.

A kitchen refit will enable Justine to launch homemade food. The menu will use ingredients from local suppliers – including meat from GW Dundas Butchers and eggs from the village. It will feature traditional pub favourites such as fish and chips plus a separate children’s menu. Pizzas – made in a new pizza oven – and Sunday roasts will be specialties, with Justine making Yorkshire puddings to her granny’s recipe.

Justine has a myriad of plans for events to bring residents together, ranging from quiz nights and live music to karaoke and bingo. Adds Justine: “With all the restrictions, people missed celebrating a lot of big occasions together last year. I want this Halloween, Christmas and New Year to be extra special for them and will be working up events whilst the pub is closed.”

Comments Star Pubs & Bars’ investment manager Mike Smith: “Justine has put her heart and soul - not to mention a lot of hard work - into reviving The Olympic Hotel. She has done a brilliant job at bringing the pub back to life. The designs are spectacular and just what the pub needs; it will be fantastic with something for everyone.”

Believed to have been built for workers constructing the Draycott to Breaston railway line, The Olympic Hotel dates back to the 1850s and was originally called The Draycott Hotel. Pictures of the pub in bygone days adorn the walls and will continue to have pride of place after the refurbishment. Says Justine: “The rooms upstairs are lovely and have gorgeous old fireplaces. I’m keen to hear from anyone who can tell me more about the history of the pub and solve the mystery of when and why it became The Olympic Hotel.”

The refurbishment at The Olympic Hotel is part of a £38m investment that Star Pubs & Bars is making in more than 700 pubs in 2021.