Building work starts on 8 January 2024 on a major £300,000 upgrade of The Woodlands on Wetherby Road, by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Bars. They say they want to transform it into the best family friendly community and sports pub in the area. The Woodlands will reopen at the end of February with a new food and drinks offer.
Funds are being spent on a top to toe redecoration of the interior of The Woodlands to include new hard flooring, carpets and furniture to give the pub a brighter, smarter more contemporary look and feel.
A new sports area will be created with a pool table, traditional darts board and TV showing Sky Sports and TNT Sports. A kitchen upgrade is also taking place to enable the pub to extend its traditional pub favourites and cater for the increased numbers the operators expect to attract.
The pub’s exterior is to be given a complete makeover, repainted in a smart grey-blue and white with new signage, lighting and in warmer months, hanging baskets. To the front there will be a beer garden with new tables and chairs and behind a sheltered beer garden, that’s a real sun trap.
The investment by Star Pubs & Bars has enabled Paul Caunt & Matthew Carr to take on the management of The Woodlands. They had both previously worked for Matthew’s father who had the lease of the pub for many years.
The pub will be dog-friendly.
Matthew’s father decided to retire last year when his lease came to an end. We had thought we would have to leave the pub but were delighted when we found out that it was going to benefit from a major investment and that there was an opportunity to manage it. We were both ready to run our own pub so it’s a dream come true. We make a great team as Matthew is responsible for the kitchen, and I’m front of house.
We were both brought up in Harrogate and both live nearby so know what locals want and the area needs. We get on well with the regulars and there’s a fantastic community spirit.
The partners plans for The Woodland include continuing to host twice weekly pub quizzes and show live sports on TV and if there’s interest will look to host live music. They are also looking for pool and darts teams to put the pub on the map for sports.
The drinks will include a selection of premium wines, spirits, and beers as well as cocktails, cask and craft ales and Heineken 0.0. Beers will include Birra Moretti and Beavertown as well as Theakstons and Timothy Taylor’s.
Andy Moore, Star Pubs & Bars Investment Manager said:
The Woodlands is in a prominent position on a busy crossroads near to the Yorkshire Show show ground and near the newly promoted Harrogate Town Football Club. It’s tired looking at the moment, a bit of an eyesore, but with this major investment it will be somewhere that locals can be proud of.
The immediate area has plenty of top-quality food pubs, but no real top quality community local offering sport. With Matthew and Paul at the helm, a new look and feel and new food and drinks menus, I’m confident it will deliver what is needed locally. People will have the type of pub on their doorstep that previously they had to travel to enjoy. I wish Matthew and Paul many happy years ahead.