New landlords of a pub on the outskirts of Banbury have big plans having taken over from the old owners after 23 years.
Neil Wingfield and Bill Russell hope to revitalise The Bowling Green restaurant and pub on Overthorpe Road as previous owners, Karen and Phil Slater, take their retirement.
Neil said: “We feel like we’ve been handed the baton and we want to take it on to the next step but we’ve got big boots to fill.”
The Slaters have been landlords at the pub since 1995 but Phil said the fact they are leaving still has not struck him.
“Our lives have been dedicated to the customers that we served, we’ve been devoted to what we’ve done, we’ve had some good times,” he said.
The Slaters have been focusing on the restaurant side of the business recently but Neil and Bill hope to attract more drinkers while maintaining the high quality of food on offer.
Trees at the front of the pub have been taken down while the car park and front garden are in line for some work.
Neil said they want to host beer and cider festivals in the summer as well as renovating the six cottages available to stay in or use for conferences.
“We’re quite proud to take it on because everyone I speak to that know of The Bowling Green and the people say what great people run it, so we’re excited to take it to the next level,” he said.