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Historic High Wycombe pub The Antelope to reopen
BEER will flow in The Antelope once again as the historic High Wycombe pub is set to reopen next week.
Enterprise Inns confirmed the doors to the pub in the Grade II Listed building in Church Square will open once again on Monday.
Jim Anderson has been installed as the publican for the ‘medium-term’ with Enterprise vowing to invest once a long-term tenant has been found.
It marks a turnaround in fortunes for both the pub and Mr Anderson, who was “gutted” when Enterprise ordered him to close The Downley Donkey on Sunday.
He had only been at the helm of The Donkey, which is to be converted into a Morrisons Local M store, for a matter of weeks when he was ordered out.
The 49-year-old, who has 12 years experience in the pub industry, said: “I’m looking forward to it.
"I’ve been down to have a look and there’s currently no real ale in there, so that will be one of my first steps.
“We will still have music but it’s a little too early to say what changes or alterations we will make until we’ve got in there – we’re just looking forward to getting the doors open and getting people back in the pub.”
Time was called on The Antelope on January 20 by then publican Dave Burr, who cited high rates and the lack of a nightclub in the town as the main reason for its demise.
Punters have frequented the pub since at least the eighteenth century.
Enterprise spokesman Will Smith said: “We are delighted The Antelope is to reopen and we now have in place an experienced publican to run it.
“We are confident The Antelope can now resume its position at the heart of the community, and once we have secured a long-term tenant we are committed to investing further in the property.”
The High Wycombe Business Improvement District Company welcomed the pub's return.
Oliver O’Dell, the BIDCo’s Chief Executive, said: “The Antelope has an emotive connection with many people and so any future offer must contribute positively to our night-time economy.
“We welcome its re-opening and we will look to work with the interim tenants and speak to Enterprise about the long term future of the venue.”
Mr O’Dell said Wycombe’s Purple Flag, which is awarded to towns that offer a safe and quality night out, “holds the key” to developing the night-time offer and attracting a new nightclub operator to town.
He added: “We must be strong enough to give clear guidance to interested parties about the type of operation that would befit the town.
“In this way, we hope to influence the quality of offer and not just automatically accept at face-value the first opportunity that comes knocking.”
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