Former Geronimo Inns director opens first of planned regional pubs

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Former Geronimo Inns director opens first of planned regional pubs

Related tags: Public house, Types of restaurants, Hampshire, Geronimo inns

Former Geronimo Inns managing director Ed Turner, and his wife Buffy, have re-opened The Old Ale & Coffee House pub near Salisbury Cathedral, with plans for more across the UK under the Buff and Bear Saloons brand.

The duo has re-opened the 140-cover pub (70 seats inside, 70 outside), after receiving a joint investment of £300,000 from Star Pubs & Bars.

The couple is also in talks with Star Pubs & Bars about opening more pubs, with a view to building a portfolio across provincial UK towns and cities with a focus on Hampshire and Wiltshire.  

The Old Ale & Coffee House menu will typically feature produce from across the two counties, with small plates such as pork rillettes, Dorset crab, avocado and rye, or Godminster Welsh rarebit.

Larger plates will be along the lines of Chalk Stream trout with crème fraiche, linguini, clams, chilli, parsley and lemon; and Hampshire pig chop with duck egg, and black pudding; and fish and chips. There will also be all-day brunches on Saturdays, with coffee supplied by Southampton-based roasters, Mozzo.

Drinks will be varied, with wines sourced through Ellis of Richmond, with some specialist Italian varieties from Botter Wines, and the house Claret and rosé from Southern Wines. There will also be a wide range of bottled craft beers, plus draught brands such as Lagunitas, Freedom, Old Peculiar, Wild Beer, and Bibble. 

Cocktails will include a wide selection of gin, rum, and other classic spirits, such as Espresso Martinis, Sipsmith Sloe Gin Fizz, and Bloody Marys with homemade tomato juice.

The new venue has been completely redecorated in the aim to provide a more contemporary environment, including new signage, lighting, and a courtyard garden. The interior has retained the building’s historical features, but now also includes artwork from local artists, as well as landscape photography of the surrounding area – including Wiltshire, and Stonehenge.

Explaining the new venture, Turner said: “Regional towns are overrun by casual dining brands and [are] all starting to have a standard offer, like the high street.  I believe it is time for change and time to protect individuality and local provenance in line with London street food trends. People want something unique.

“The Old Ale & Coffee House is a good looking historic pub in a great location dating back to 1411, and offered loads of potential.  We look forward to taking on more projects with Star in the months to come.”

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