THE Black Bull, one of Brighouse’s best-known pubs, has re-opened after being closed since the beginning of January.
Eddie Geater, landlord of the Red Rooster at Brookfoot, is hoping to give the historic pub overlooking Thornton Square a new lease of life and bring back the customers who had drifted away.
“The Bull is a great pub and is part of the heritage of Brighouse. It has been heartbreaking to see it shut up and I am confident the support is there for it to reopen.
“I’m not going to change things too much. I want it to be the traditional town centre pub that it has always been.”
Eddie is taking over the lease from Enterprise Inns and installing an experienced manager to run the pub.
He has also been in negotiation with Punch Taverns to take over the Barge and Barrel at Elland in March and bring back the pub’s brewing operation. Eddie’s wife Claire will be closely involved with running the Barge and Barrel.
“I understand the business and I know how tough it can be,” said Eddie who runs Licensed Partnerships Ltd, a business dedicated to taking over pubs that have run into trouble and turning them around.
Eddie said he would be keeping most of the Black Bull’s staff and working with them to restore the pub’s reputation. “We will open from 8 in the morning and will concentrate on serving up good traditional food as well as fine house and guest beers. People have been telling me how pleased they are that it is opening its doors again. It’s a well-loved and respected pub and I am looking forward to being involved.”
Eddie suffered a heart attack last month but said he was coping well with the extra work. “It made me change my lifestyle. I gave up smoking and completely changed my diet. Though I am busy at the moment, I am learning how to delegate and pass on jobs to other people.”
Eddie said that though the bad winter and the recession had affected the pub trade, there were ways round the difficulties.
“Even in the ice and snow people were getting wrapped up and coming out for a walk and a drink at the Rooster,” he said.