A VILLAGE pub that closed suddenly is set to re-open next week after a Hartlepool-born businessman stepped in to save it.
The McOrville, in Elwick, closed around a month ago, much to the surprise of villagers who said it appeared to be doing well.
But the pub is due to re-open its doors again on Tuesday after a Leeds-based company took over the lease.
Town-born businessman Chris Howard, who owns pub company N8 Leisure, took on the pub after reading about its closure on the Hartlepool Mail website.
Chris, 34, who went to English Martyrs School, said: “The McOrville has always had a good reputation for food which is why it was of interest.
“It’s always been a busy pub, so it is a bit of a mystery why it closed.
“The plight of the McOrville was brought to our attention after reading the recent article in the Hartlepool Mail and we were determined that the hub of the village should be saved.”
He will run the pub with business partner Gary Bainbridge after minor refurbishment works.
The takeover will create between eight to 10 new jobs, and Chris said the pub will use local suppliers.
Chris said he is confident the pub will be a success despite an average 16 watering holes closing their doors every week.
He added: “I think there’s always a market for a well-run pub despite reports about all the closures.
“The ones that survive are the ones that have the old-fashioned values, because that never goes out of fashion.”
Chris and wife Louise own and run several bars and restaurants around the country including a Leeds bar popular with Hollyoaks and Emmerdale soap stars, and one in Brentwood seen on The Only Way is Essex.
Chris’s business partner and operations manager Gary Bainbridge has owned and operated several bars and nightclubs in Spain.