New era for The Royal George a Shotton pub is taken over and gets £500k refit

Staff members Kate Freeman and Andrew Carroll outside of The Royal George, Old Shotton.
Staff members Kate Freeman and Andrew Carroll outside of The Royal George, Old Shotton.

A pub is starting a new era after being taken over by new management and undergoing a half-a-million-pound refit.

The Royal George, at Old Shotton, has been bought by the Leamside Ale Company.

The new landlords Peter Martin and Daryl Frankland have years of experience of running pubs and restaurants.

Leamside, which also runs The Three Horseshoes, in Leamside, near Durham City, The Courtyard at Biddick in Washington and The Kings Arms in Deptford, Sunderland, bought the pub last summer but shut it down to give it an overhaul, including extending the kitchen.

It employs 15 staff, and has scope for around five more.

Peter, 35, of Durham, who has run Bistro 21 in Durham and other pubs and hotels, said: “It was more of a drinking pub before, but now it’s much more food-orientated.

“As part of group we have a microbrewery so we want to try and serve some real cask ales.

“It was just one of those pubs that screamed out for somebody to come along and do something with it.”

He added that the pub, which opened last week, is much more family-orientated.

Before opening, staff knocked on doors of residents of Old Shotton and invited them for a free drink as a thank you for putting up with the renovations.

Peter said: “It’s been absolutely chocka-block. Everybody’s been looking forward to it opening, it’s been the talk of the town.”

The pub had at one point been up for sale for conversion into two houses.

But Peter said his company look to have made the right choice of continuing as a pub, saying: “So far so good. We have literally been non-stop. It has far out-weighed our expectations.”