New landlord at well-known village pub near Northampton reveals opening date and exciting plans for the site

An opening date has been revealed
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The new landlord at a well-known village pub near Northampton has revealed his exciting plans for the site and an official opening date.

The Olde Red Lion in Kislingbury sadly closed down on New Year’s Day, leaving the cosy cottage pub and restaurant empty on the village’s High Street for months. However, 11 months since its closure, a new landlord has been found and the pub will reopen.

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The new boss has been revealed as 29-year-old Luke Bavester, who also runs the successful gastropub The Sheaf Inn in West Haddon, which was recently awarded the title of the second best gastropub in the county.

Luke Bavester at his new pub in Kislingbury.Luke Bavester at his new pub in Kislingbury.
Luke Bavester at his new pub in Kislingbury.

Luke, who has worked in the hospitality industry since his early teens, says his role at The Sheaf Inn is ‘chef-director’.

So, what can Kislingbury expect from the new boss?

Speaking to Chronicle & Echo, Luke said: “I was made aware of The Red Lion by one of my locals at The Sheaf and I came and had a look and just thought it was a great place with great potential.

"I’m feeling good. Everything’s come good at the final hour. We’ve got a great team. We’re close to being ready. The opening to the general public is going to be Thursday next week (November 23).”

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Revealing his plans for the pub, Luke said customers can expect similar to award-winning The Sheaf.

He said: “The Sheaf has recently won second best gastropub in the county, so the public can expect that kind of thing: a nice blend of food and drink, we want people to recognise this is a pub first and foremost, but it’s a pub with a great restaurant. We really spent money on our chefs and the kitchen setup so we can guarantee the food is great. We’re also championing local products and making sure we’re contributing to the local area.”

Asked about his personality and what he will bring to the pub, Luke said: “I have a genuine love for what I do. I’m not doing this solely for the money. I really love getting people in, feeding them nice food, great drinks and looking after them. It’s what I’m about. I cook all day at work then go home and cook for my wife. It’s what I love to do. Hopefully that passion comes through and people see that and that we genuinely care.”

Asked how he will juggle two successful pubs at the same time, Luke said: “It’s all about finding the right staff and making sure you look after them and they love working with you, so you have people who are dedicated and love what they do and in return want to work hard for you.

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"I’ll have to split my time between the two and make sure that both places don’t go without and they are both loved and cared for.”

Asked for his secret to success, Luke said: “I think you have to keep a level of self belief that what you are doing is along the right path and then just keep going. It can be easy to listen to outside influence and keep up with what’s ‘trendy’. But if you don’t believe in it, then you’re not passionate about it. Making sure you’re serving great quality stuff that you believe in, really.”

The Red Lion will be the third pub in Kislingbury open for business, which Luke says he hopes will be “healthy competition”.

He said: “In West Haddon I really like to talk to other publicans in the village and I want to do the same here. Working together. Competitions always good, providing it’s healthy competition, it will push us all to get better and better.”

Luke gave a shout out to local brands he uses including Joseph Morris Butchers, Purity beer brand, Timmy Taylor and Phipps IPA.

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