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Surrey licensees take on second Star Pubs & Bars site

Steve Orme and James Thomson from the Red Lion in Shepperton, Surrey, have taken on The Golden Grove on St Ann’s Hill, Chertsey which opened this week following a £70k upgrade.

Previously run as an Italian restaurant and bar, the duo have refocused the business, turning it back into a traditional family and dog-friendly country pub serving great fresh home cooked food, and have created 20 new jobs in the process.

As part of the refurbishment, they extended the bar to create more space for customers to sit on barstools and enjoy a drink. There’s also room for relaxed drinking and ad-hoc eating for 40 and a separate dining area seating 60 with table service.

The pub has been redecorated to give it the eclectic look and feel of the Red Lion. They’ve reinstated the log fires to create a warm and welcoming ambience and scoured the country for antique sofas, armchairs, tables and chairs and nostalgic memorabilia, such as a 1950s Coca Cola icebox and a reconditioned workman’s road light.

Outside, extra parking has been created and the seating for 150, with a spruced up outdoor bar with jumbo umbrelllas.

Future plans include enhancing the children’s play area with a new large wendy house full of blackboards and chalk to encourage children to use their imagination and a new vegetable and herb garden which will supply the pub kitchen. During the summer the outdoor kitchen 'Bap Shack' will produce something exciting each week from rotisserie chickens to smoked bbq brisket.

The food is modern British fare, all done to an exceptional standard, using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. Food will be served all day including some of Red Lion favourites, such as their famous scotch eggs and pork scratchings. Even the dog snacks are homemade.

Drinks include popular local real ales and Heineken Served Extra Cold, Beavertown craft ale, Birra Moretti and Symonds cider as well as an extensive wine list encompassing everything from great value favourites to premier cru French wines. There is also a cocktail menu and a new barista coffee machine with fait trade coffee beans from the Guatemalan rain forest, supplied by The Borough coffee company.

Orme said, “The Golden Grove is gorgeous looking and in a great location in St Ann’s. It already benefited from a major investment a few years ago. What it needed was the heart and soul being put back into it to create a pub which people in the area would love.

“Our plan is to build a pub group of 10 pubs in 10 years. We already have another one lined up with Star for later in year as our experience has been that they are genuinely a good bunch to work with and they want us to succeed.”

Star Pubs & Bars regional operations director, Dugald Macer said, “We’re delighted that James and Steve have taken on The Golden Grove. They are experienced operators who have been hugely successful at The Red Lion where the food, drinks and service they offer are all done to an exceptionally high standard.

“The Golden Grove is in a great location at the bottom of St Ann’s Hill Park and Nature Trail making it a perfect destination for dog walkers, walkers and cyclists on top of the many residents I feel sure will be beating a path to its door now James and Steve have repositioned it. We wish them the best of luck with this new venture.”