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Oswestry's oldest pub closes during search for new management

By Jonny Drury | Oswestry | Business | Published:

The doors of Oswestry's oldest established pub have closed while a brewery searches for new occupants.

The Bell Inn, Oswestry

The Bell Inn, on Church Street, is the town's oldest inn, and a hotspot for drinkers in the town, however its doors are currently bolted shut as owners Punch Taverns such for a new landlord or landlady.

The current landlady stepped down from her role last week, with locals wondering what the future holds for the popular pub.

It is still not clear why the long running public house has closed its doors, but a spokeswoman for Punch Taverns said they were working to get the doors open again as soon as possible.

She said: "We can confirm that the Bell Inn is currently closed and the previous landlady has left the site.

"We are currently recruiting for a new publican and hope to have the pub open and trading at the earliest opportunity.

"We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to the local community."

The pub has had a host of occupants down the years, and was run for many years by former Shrewsbury Town football Carleton Leonard, who also runs Gibson's Nightclub.

A major refurbishment of the pub took place and it was reopened in April 2016, with the establishment under new management and serving food.

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The refurbishment, costing £160,000, was thanks to a joint investment between Punch and then publican Ian Leuty.

It included a full redecoration, new furniture, toilet upgrades, and the installation of a kitchen, as a pub usually associated with just serving alcohol began to serve food.

However the management moved on and the pub no longer served food over the last year, with a new landlady put in charge.

It comes after Heineken were given the green light to take over part of the Punch Taverns portfolio last year, but it is unknown if The Bell Inn was part of the multi-million pound takeover.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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