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Fresh start for The Halfway Inn, near Newbury

A country pub is due to reopen soon under new management.

The Halfway Inn, located on the A4 in the hamlet of Halfway near Newbury, shut its doors in October due to rising utility costs and staffing demands.

The Halfway Inn
The Halfway Inn

But new management has taken over and is working to reopen the 18th-century pub, built on the site of a former toll house, by early March.

Rachel Cook, from Thatcham, has worked in the hospitality trade since she left school.

She has teamed up with Richard Popplewell, who has worked in hospitality for more than 20 years, including as a general manager at the Mercure Newbury West Grange Hotel in Midgham.

She said: “It’s been a long process with a lot of meetings, but it’s definitely been worth it.

“I think The Halfway Inn is such a beautiful and historic country pub, both inside and out.

“There’s not been much we have needed to do it to be honest.

“This is a good opportunity to put my stamp on something.”

And speaking about the financial uncertainty currently facing the hospitality trade, she added:

“Obviously, we are a bit on edge, but we will believe it will work.

“We’ve had good feedback and loads of people have been popping in whilst we’ve been decorating and have been asking when we’re opening.

“We just hope everyone can pop in and support us.

“It’ll be good to get the community back in the local again.”

Works to the pub have included a new coat of paint and kitchen maintenance.

The pub promises to return with a new local chef and plenty of hearty food.

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