New owners at The Boars pub in Spooner Row

The new owners of the Boars at Spooner Row, Clare and Russell Evans, with general manager, Laura Bir

The new owners of the Boars at Spooner Row, Clare and Russell Evans, with general manager, Laura Bird, left, and head chef, James Stewart. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A historic village pub is entering a new era after it was bought by a husband and wife who live a stone's throw away.

The new owners of the Boars at Spooner Row, Clare and Russell Evans, with general manager, Laura Bir

The new owners of the Boars at Spooner Row, Clare and Russell Evans, with general manager, Laura Bird, right, and head chef, James Stewart. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

The Boars, in Spooner Row, near Wymondham, dates back to the 17th century, and has also been known as the Blue Boar and the Two Boars over the years.

It has now been bought by Russell Evans, 54 and his wife Clare, 46, after the previous owners, who ran the pub for two decades, decided to retire.

'We've been using the pub since we moved to Spooner Row 19 years ago,' said Mr Evans. 'We care so much about the pub we decided to acquire it.

'It's a beautiful building and you get a real cross-section of society in here.'

The new owners of the Boars at Spooner Row, Clare and Russell Evans, with general manager, Laura Bir

The new owners of the Boars at Spooner Row, Clare and Russell Evans, with general manager, Laura Bird, right, and head chef, James Stewart. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016


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Mr Evans, who also runs three pubs in Norwich and one in Thorpe St Andrew, said their first move was to re-open the kitchen, which had been closed since October.

On the first service they served 80 meals, and the aim is to change the menu every six to eight weeks, with meals from £10 to tempt people to consider a mid-week meal instead of a rare treat.

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'It's always had a fantastic reputation for food but it's never cracked being a village pub for local people,' he said. 'We're going to make some changes by a process of evolution not revolution.'

He said they wanted to forge links around the village including with the church, village hall, parish council and school.

Head chef James Stewart, 31, aims to champion local ingredients

and general manager Laura Bird,

25, wants to create a warm atmosphere.

'We're so excited and the locals are so excited,' she said. 'We've asked staff to be themselves and show their personality as we want people to have a good time.'

It is a former Bullards pub and will stock Bullards beers among others.

Mr Evans said he wanted to change the decor, expand the trading area and showcase the beer garden in the warmer months.

The original thatched building burned down in 1926, and the remains of this can be still be seen.

It is said that a thatcher moved all the beer barrels to safety during the fire, for fear that all the beer would be destroyed while waiting for the horse-drawn fire engine from Wymondham.

The kitchen at The Boars is open at the following times: Tuesday to Saturday from midday to 2.30pm and 6pm to 9pm; Sunday from midday to 6pm; the kitchen is closed on Mondays but the pub opens for drinks from 6pm.

Mr Evans recommended that people book in advance for meals on 01953 605851 as demand has been high.

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