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The Eight Bells in Old Hatfield to benefit from major upgrade
One of Hatfield’s most historic pubs1, The Eight Bells in Old Hatfield, is to close for four weeks at the end of service on 14th November for a £230,000 sympathetic refurbishment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars2 and the pub’s operators, local brewer and hospitality group, Farr Brew3. The pub will reopen from 5pm on 10th December.
The investment is designed to broaden the pub’s appeal, creating a top-quality family and dog friendly local offering locally sourced food at lunch and in the evening as well as barista style coffees, locally supplied teas, cakes and snacks throughout the day.
Drinks wise, there will be over 30 wines as well as Farr Brew’s own award-winning real ales on tap, and at least 25 gins, including their own Farr Brew London Dry, alongside premium whiskies and rums.
The plan is to host more music and quizzes and to highlight the pub’s literary link to Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist and its historical link to Dick Turpin.
Funds are being spent upgrading the exterior with the intention of creating the best outdoor pub garden in Old Hatfield. As well as external top-to-toe redecoration, there will be new planters and a living wall, new seating, paving and festoon lighting.
Inside, the layout is being reconfigured to increase covers from 27 to 45. Original features like the pub’s old flagstone flooring and fireplaces are being retained with a revamped bar, new carpets, furniture and wallcoverings added to update the interior.
The Eight Bells was taken on by Farr Brew at the end of 2019 with a refurbishment planned for 2020. The pandemic delayed plans and meant the pub was closed for many months, opening whenever possible. Since taking on the pub Farr Brew has created six jobs at The Eight Bells with a further four new jobs being created at the pub on the back of the upgrade.
Co-founder and director of Farr Brew, Nick Farr says: “My business partner Matt Elvidge and I could immediately see the potential of The Eight Bells. Its historic background, close locality to Hatfield House plus a lack of family friendly nearby pubs made the pub very appealing.”
“Becca Di-fonzo, the manager of The Eight Bells, has done a great job creating a warm and welcoming environment - introducing high service standards in spite of the delay in the upgrade. She knows the area really well and is looking forward to taking the pub to the next level once the décor is improved and the kitchen fully up and running.”
Star Pubs & Bars Business Development Manager, Oli Bishop adds: “We’re delighted to be investing in the Eight Bells with Nick and Matt. They’re well-known, multi award-winning local Hertfordshire operators who have built their business on their passion for beer and excellent service. The revamped pub will be a place everyone can enjoy and will be an asset to the area. I wish them and Becca well. This investment is part of £38m we’re spending this year in England and Wales creating top quality locals.”
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