The Telford pub with one of the UK's youngest landlords who is proving doubters wrong

As pubs continue to battle the cost of living crisis, the Shropshire Star continues its Love Your Local series which celebrates our local inns.

Love your Local feature: The Lion Inn, Telford. Pictured: Jack Partridge, Landlord.
Love your Local feature: The Lion Inn, Telford. Pictured: Jack Partridge, Landlord.

The Lion Inn is a pub that takes pride in being a place for the community to come together and enjoy not only their drinks, but regular events that are held at the venue.

The pub is found in Shifnal Road, Telford, and is the home to an amazing range of drinks from world lagers to craft beers, spirits to cocktails, ciders and wines - the business provides a drink for all kinds of taste buds.

Along with the drinks, the pub also serves food with a menu full of British classics with a special bistro twist. From burgers and wings to pizzas, to special roasts on Sundays, they serve a variety of items for everyone.

The Lion Inn, Telford.

Owner Jack Partridge, who at 25 years old, is one of the youngest pub landlords in the UK, but despite his young age, he relished the chance to take over the pub in March 2022 and has done a great job in doing so, so far, after facing difficulty at first with the pub not having a great reputation.

However, after some hard work and committing everything to turning it around, the Lion Inn is a popular venue with locals and the surrounding community, with regular events held there.

Speaking about what it was like when he took her, Jack says: "I was working in a pub in Devon working the bar, but me and my friend had an opportunity to take over a pub in Bewdley. After that fell through, operators showed us this one and after initially saying no, we had a conversation and came to the agreement to taking over.

"Since taking over it has certainly been difficult and it required a lot of work as with all jobs. But running a pub is more of a lifestyle than a job, and so it can get quite testing but it is rewarding too.

"It can almost be like being a bit of social worker kind of job sometimes, speaking with people but we enjoy it. You have to give it your all and that is what I have done, making it a lifestyle choice."

The Lion Inn Telford. Landlord: Jack Partridge, and with him is staff: Jan Hickinbottom. Jan has been involved in the pub for many many years. Playing one of the many games they have for punters to choose..

The pub faced a tough period before Jack took over, with several changes to management since 2012. But one staff member, Jan Hickinbottom, who has helped Jack, used to be the landlady of the pub in the 1980s with her husband, and ran it for over 30 years.

One comment Jack received from a customer when he initially took over was that they would give him two weeks before he left, but almost a year later, Jack is still here and enjoying the responsibility of running the establishment and hopes to continue to do so.

He adds: "When I was told by a customer they'd give me two weeks, I thought 'no, I'm sticking it out and going to try to find the right formula', and so far it has been a success.

"We have brought a family-feel to the pub, with lots of events, food we serve, having a play area for children, running events for kids too, and remaining consistent with our delivery.

"We serve a wide variety of drinks too, so all these little things combine together to make feel people welcome, and we want to give them the feeling that they'll want to come back here too."

The Lion Inn, Telford.

The pub runs quiz nights every month, hosts live bands, has themed food menus on set nights such as Mexican mondays, curry nights, and a favourite with locals is the Sunday roasts, which Jack cooks, with everything being homemade, they are a popular menu item.

Speaking about the support he has received from the community Jack says it has been vital, "The residents around here are a close-knit community and we support them, and then in turn have helped promote us and someone I work closely with in the community engagement team helped us to install a defibrillator which we put in at the beginning of January.

The Lion inn, Telford.

"We were receiving feedback that the play area needed to be replaced when we took over and it was always in the plans, but we took the feedback on board and did so, and now it's popular with children.

"We run themed events for children, for example in Halloween we had a costume themed event, and around Christmas we had a breakfast meet and greet with Santa which was popular.

"The main thing is that we want people, families and regular to get value for money each time they visit here, and we feel that are doing that.

The Lion inn, Telford. Pub in the 1950's..

"It is tough for businesses in the current climate but we are doing good for sales in January, and doing things like adapting our menu helps that too.

"We ensure that it is not an expensive place to come and have a meal but not just a cheap place, but instead good quality and good value for money.

The Lion Inn, Telford.

"Families appreciate that, and as we are a family group, it is what the whole place is oriented on - having a family-feel."

The Lion Inn will be holding a festival on April 15 where they will have six live bands, a barbecue, with lots of food and desserts on offer, along with activities for children, making it a fun day out for all, and it will also coincide with Jack's birthday.

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