CHADDLEWORTH’S Ibex Inn has been brought back from the dead.
After a three-and-a-half-year wait to have their once-thriving village pub back, residents chinked their glasses in the inn on Friday night.
The pub is being run by licensee Patrick Hunter alongside his business partner Stuart Woodfall, who had been running the Black Horse in East Hanney.
And when the chance to reopen the Ibex came along, the dynamic duo decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
They plan everything from pensioners’ specials to live music, and Mr Hunter is keen to hear what locals would like to see in their village pub.
The pub had stood empty since 2012, with residents describing the building as an eyesore.
Hope was offered when Ilexanna Ltd proposed to bring the pub back to life, but at the cost of three new homes in an area of outstanding natural beauty to support the refurbishment.
After fighting its way through two West Berkshire planning meetings, where council officers had recommended that the plans be refused, work began in summer last year.
Chaddleworth Parish Council supported the resurrection and carried out a survey of residents, which revealed that a majority were in favour of the plans.
Parish council chairman Grahame Murphy said the Ibex was packed on Friday night and that he had received positive comments from villagers.
He said that Ilexanna had done a tremendous job and that residents had thanked the parish council for their support.
Mr Murphy said one resident had told him they couldn’t live in a village without a pub, while another said they were thinking of moving if the village didn’t get the Ibex back.
Ilexanna developer John Castle said that the Ibex would soon offer two bed-and-breakfast rooms, food using the fresh local ingredients and a village shop.
Local food producers, artists and crafters are invited to get in touch.
“The skilled people involved in the refurbishment are all very proud of what has been achieved and all hope that the new landlords will have a great deal of success with their business,” said Mr Castle.
One property has been sold so far and Mr Castle hopes to sell the others in the spring.
Ilexanna Ltd will remain the owner of the Ibex and lease it to the new landlords.