Revamped Northampton pub aims to be at the 'hart' of community

John Harrison is set to welcome punters to the new-look Hart of Duston on Friday.

John Harrison is set to welcome punters to the new-look Hart of Duston on Friday.

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A once tired-looking pub in Northampton is set to reopen on Friday as a modern-looking family-friendly drinking and dining venue following a £350,000 refurbishment.

A team of workers have been on site at the Hart of Duston pub in Harlestone Road, ripping out the dated pattern carpet interior once owned by the Spirit pub group and replacing it with a bright new dining and bar area.

The Hart of Duston has undergone a three-week revamp, costing 350,000.

The Hart of Duston has undergone a three-week revamp, costing 350,000.

Owner Michael Thomas, who has three other pubs with a mixed food and drink offer, and new landlord John Harrison, have gone in on a joint investment they hope will make the revamped venue a hit in Duston.

Dad-of-one Mr Harrison, who is originally from Wellingborough, said: "I think it's going to be a good pub for the community, we want to offer something for everyone. From coffee and cakes in the morning to a really good homemade lunch menu, through to table service in the evening and a carvery on a Sunday."

Though the refitted pub will feature an extensive menu, featuring steaks, pizzas and burgers alongside pub classics, Mr Harrison, 26, expects trade to be split between diners and drinkers.

"We're not moving away from the pub side of things, either.

John Harrison, from Wellingborough, says the Hart of Duston will cater for drinkers and diners.

John Harrison, from Wellingborough, says the Hart of Duston will cater for drinkers and diners.

"There’s still going to be a bar with rotating cask ales and premium beers."

The new pub, which will be tied to the Greene King brewery, is set to feature a regular roster of real ales alongside a lengthy wine list and premium lagers. Popular Dutch lager Heineken will be served extra cold, with glasses stocked in a freezer.

While Mr Thomas says the venue will not be trying to compete with the higher end of the dining scale offered by nearby food-led pubs such as the Fox and Hounds, it will appeal to the middle market, with main courses averaging around the £12 mark.

"It's a good old-fashioned pub where people can chat and socialise.

"There has been a lot of positive reaction to it already. The Facebook crowd has gone crazy for it."

The new-look Hart of Duston is set to open on Friday, though the food offer will not start until the carvery launches on Sunday.

Those attending opening night can claim their first drink free.

For more information head to the website: www.hartduston.co.uk.