New landlady of a south Warwickshire pub has the business in her blood - The Leamington Observer

New landlady of a south Warwickshire pub has the business in her blood

THE NEW landlady of a soon to be revamped Leamington pub has the business in her blood.

Jacqui Evans grew up in Warwickshire pubs run by her parents and now, in her first venture of running her own public house, is set to take the reigns at The Woodland Tavern on Regent Street.

The grade II listed building is currently undergoing a £150,000 refurbishment to specialise in sports and activities, which follows an £52,000 renovation of the building’s exterior in autumn 2023. The Woodland Tavern will reopen in mid-April.

The project is being undertaken by Heineken-owned Star Pubs and will see Jacqui take over from Leamington’s longest-serving landlady, Josie James, who has retired after clocking up 25 years at the much-loved pub.

The makeover will upgrade the Woodland Tavern’s decor throughout.

The pub’s courtyard garden – which has a 25-seater cabin known as the Woodshed – will have a mini-facelift too, ready for the summer.

With the upcoming Euros in mind, Sky and TNT Sports will be installed and multiple screens will be positioned around the pub and in the outside cabin for easy viewing.

A dedicated darts area will also be created, complete with halo lighting. Jacqui – a darts enthusiasts who plays in the Midlands’ second division – is keen to start up teams for all levels, from beginners to pros, and to hear from anyone interested in joining.

The pub will also host a myriad of activities from quiz nights, board games and bingo to regular live entertainment and fundraisers for good causes.

Multiple generations of Jacqui’s family have run pubs, and Jacqui spent her childhood in Warwickshire pubs run by her parents including The Queen and Castle in Warwick and The Flight Tavern in Coventry.

But following many years working in pubs, the Woodland Tavern is Jacqui’s first of her own.

She said: “Running pubs is in my blood. I’ve always dreamed of having one. I’ve hit the jackpot with the Woodland Tavern. It’s a beautiful old pub with an excellent reputation in a great location. I’ve always loved Leamington – even as a child – it’s brilliant to have a pub here. The town has a fantastic pub scene, and I’d like the Woodland Tavern to add to that. The plans for the pub are really exciting. I can’t wait to open the doors.”

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