The pub in Sticklepath has reopened following its recent closure.
Barnstaple’s Wrey Arms has reopened again – and there are a couple of familiar faces behind the bar.
Barry Pilarz and his wife Emma are the new landlords of the pub in Sticklepath – 17 years after they met while working behind the same bar.
“This is actually where we met in 1999, when we both worked for Mark Rogers,” said Barry.
“We drove past and saw it empty and we thought it was a shame, because it’s a good pub in a good location and it used to be thriving.”
Since the couple worked at the pub, it has changed hands several times, but Barry is keen to bring the pub back to its best.
He said: “It’s had a lot of bad press, so we’re looking to turn things around and pick it back up to how it used to be.”
As part of the process, Barry and Emma are refurbishing the guest rooms, and have recently started serving traditional pub food.
The Wrey Arms, which is owned by Enterprise Inns, closed at the turn of the year, and a spokesman for the chain said they were ‘delighted’ with the reopening.
They said: “We hope that members of the local community will enjoy the home-cooked food and show support for their local pub.”
That sentiment has been echoed by Barnstaple’s Longbridge town councillor, Alan Rennles.
He said: “We’ve been short of a pub for quite a while, and now we’ve got new landlords in who can see the Wrey Arms’ heritage and culture and enable it to reach its potential.
“It has a huge catchment and is a real asset to Sticklepath – we’ve got to use it and make the most of it.”