For the past two months, the community has kept the George and Dragon at Hudswell, near Richmond, going after previous tenants left.
Now Hudswell Community Pub Limited (HCP) have appointed Stuart Miller to take over just in time for Christmas on December 22.
For the past 13 years it has been run as a community pub – with Mr Miller behind the bar for eight years from 2014, when it won many awards including Camra National Pub of the Year in 2017.
One HCP director, Caron Grundy, said there had been a lot of interest from people wanting to take over.
“This led to three high quality applications which made our decision very difficult, but in the end we decided to offer the tenancy to Stuart,” she said.
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Mr Miller said: “I am delighted to be taking on the George and Dragon again after a 16 month break.
“I think we must adapt to the times and will be running the pub slightly differently. With so many pub closures, particularly in rural areas, I think we need a new more sustainable model.
“We will build on our previous success with cask ale and supplement this with a more modern craft beer offering as well as quality wines and spirits.
“We are looking to operate more flexible opening hours, reflecting the different seasons but concentrating on the busiest times, providing a varied offering of food.
“This will give us time to organise more events, plus support local clubs and community social gatherings. I am also looking forward to holding a number of beer festivals through the year.”
Board member Ian Whinray added: “Having run the pub ourselves for over two months we are acutely aware of how difficult it is and now, having gained that understanding, we are looking forward to working closely with Stuart as he takes the George and Dragon forward into a new era for our famous village pub.”
Fellow director Tim Swettenham said: “I am hugely impressed by the way the community and the board rallied together in response to the Herculean challenge of re-equipping, refurbishing, keeping the pub open and selecting a new tenant from such strong candidates.
“We are a relatively small community that punches well above its weight by displaying vision and commitment to ensuring the continuing success of an important local institution.
“We are currently looking for new members to join HCP and help us to build a new future for the George and Dragon.”
- Anyone who wants to join and invest £500 or more in the Community Benefit Society, should email membership@georgeanddragonhudswell