New business owners Marc and Jonathan opened the doors to their new Everards pub just two weeks before they, along with every other pub in the country, were instructed by the Government to close. This is a difficult time for all independent businesses but this pair remain positive and can’t wait to throw a great big opening party, once again!
Eager and excited to open their doors and welcome the community to their new pub, on Friday 13th March 2020, Marc and Jonathan threw a ‘Great Big Pub Warming’ to remember. They had arranged for Kenilworth’s Mayor to cut the ribbon and pour their first pint as they took over the reins at The Famous Virgins & Castle. It was a weekend of delicious food, great drink, live music and a whole lot of cheer. But only two weeks later they very quickly had to close again under Government guidance to keep people safe and at home from COVID-19.
This is a difficult time for all businesses and was not the start Marc and Jonathan had in mind when they took on the oldest pub in Kenilworth. For weeks into the lead up of opening, they had been training the team, working on their brand and social media and creating new food and drink menus. But this lockdown has not disheartened them, they remain postive and can’t wait to get back behind the bar and bring the place back to life!
“It is disappointing, all of the hard work the team put in to getting us ready to open and the plans we had in place are now on hold, but our primary aim is to get through this period of uncertainty and come out the other side, all together and pick up where we left off with our fantastic opening weekend.” shares Marc.
The 16th century pub on Kenilworth’s old High Street quickly switched on a delivery service for people who had to cancel their Mother’s Day bookings, so that Mum’s in Kenilworth could still enjoy their Sunday roast. Now the latest idea from the pub is to keep its customers and community together in the virtual world by entertaining them as they would if they stepped inside the pub!
Every Tuesday from 7.30pm you can join The Virgin’s & Castle for Kenilworth’s ‘Oldest Pub’ Quiz from the comfort (and safety) of your home, simply by visiting the Virgins & Castle Facebook page, where Quiz Master and Pub Manager, Andy Lock will be ready and waiting to bring a night at the pub to your home.
It has already proved very popular with the people of Kenilworth as well as having people playing the quiz in countries as far away as Spain, Mexico and Australia!
“It really has been a bit of a roller-coaster’ says Jonathan. “With the highs of opening our doors, meeting the great people of our community and seeing happy smiling faces in our new pub, to quickly having to close the doors again and now we stand here in our empty pub today. It certainly wasn’t in our plan!”
“We have only been working with Everards for a short time, but from the start we put a lot of work into making sure both of our company’s values were aligned. We knew that Everards would be a great brewery to partner with and they have proven to be the right partner for us. From our first meeting with the team, to the day we opened and even today, they have been welcoming and supportive. Our partnership with this long serving family business has really helped take the pressure and worry out of this uncertain time and has allowed us to continue to focus on the future.” shares Marc
“We have been overwhelmed by the fantastic messages of support we have received from guests, residents of Kenilworth, visitors, friends and family, which has helped us to stay positive.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how long this will last, but we will come through it. We’re all in this together. The Virgins & Castle has been a pub for 457 years and we’d like to keep that going for a few years more…!” said Jonathan.
“We just want to thank everyone for their support, and we look forward to another re-opening in the not too distant future…and our customers know, we throw a great opening party!!”
You can join The Virgins & Castle for Kenilworth’s ‘Oldest Pub’ Quiz tonight at www.facebook.com/virginsandcastle/
We find ourselves in exceptional times and our independent business owners are showing their exceptional qualities, like Marc and Jonathan who are keeping the pub spirit alive with their popular pub quiz. Do you think you could be at the hub of your community and adapt in challenging times like Marc and Jonathan?
If you would like to find out more about owning a pub business give the Everards team a call on 0116 201 4260 or you can check out what current pub business opportunities are available at everards.co.uk
Many Everards pubs are supporting their communities during this challenging time, follow Everards on social media to find out how pubs are remaining at the heart of their community.
Notes to editor:
Contact: Zoe Alonso, Communications Co-ordinator
Tel: 07850 941 426
Twitter and Instagram @everards 1849