Cheers to pub reopening
A HISTORIC pub hopes to become the 'heart of the community' after it was saved by villagers.
The Hollybush, in Seighford, is back open for business once again following a major refurbishment, backed by Burslem-based Titanic Brewery.
Earlier this year, residents clubbed together to raise £199,000 to buy the Grade II-listed building.
More than 400 people, including shareholders and local residents, were invited to try out the pub's fare on Wednesday night ahead of its official opening yesterday.
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Pub manager Charlotte Smith, aged 21, of Croxton, said: "The local residents are absolutely buzzing about the fact the pub is open again.
"I think it's brilliant that the community has got together to help it become a pub again.
"Everyone was really happy with it. Before, the place resembled a village hall but it looks so much better now. We are really excited about the potential of this place.
"We are hoping it's going to be the heart of the community."
Co-manager and head chef Richard Plant, aged 39, hopes his homemade food will also prove a hit with locals.
He said: "A lot of pubs use prepared food they can stick in the microwave but here, we serve homemade food and use locally-sourced ingredients. That's what makes us different."
Dishes include Titanic Beer-battered fish and chips and beef and ale pie.
Alison Gill, aged 46, of Seighford, worked at the pub 30 years ago as a waitress.
She said: "Everyone has missed having this community hub. I'm hoping to visit the pub this weekend with my family.
"It's nice to have a pub just down the road. Back in the day, the place used to be heaving. It would be great to get the atmosphere back again."
Andy Hartshorne, aged 45, of Seighford, added: "We are really looking forward to having a nice local pub we can walk to.
" I moved here in August and haven't had the chance to meet all the locals yet so this would be a good chance to get to know other people."