OUR STORY - THE BEGINNING
In 2009, The Star was a closed up, run down ruin with a very bleak future. Plans were being made for demolition or modification into residential use when we bought it.
It was clear from the start that it was going to be a very big job.
The refurbishment was practically a rebuild, whilst at the same time almost doubling the size of the pub. The layout was changed almost beyond recognition with the addition of a new restaurant, kitchen, cellar, toilet block and outbuildings.
Permission was granted in December 2009, and work commenced soon after.
The amount of work meant that it took some time, and progress was severely hindered in 2010 by the coldest winter in years which saw the site covered in deep snow for almost three months.
Work recommenced in spring 2011, and was finally completed for opening in November 2011.
The ethos for the pub was to create a thriving heart for the village, along side a successful restaurant. The pub was set up with a central bar, serving both the restaurant and the community side. It has a pool table, darts board, and dominoes, with teams meeting on a regular basis throughout the year.
The restaurant serves simple quality food, for a fair price, the kind of place that you could just pop out to for your dinner, rather than a place that is chasing the Michelin stars and costing a small fortune for a meal for two. We deal with local suppliers, helping the local economy and have as small a carbon footprint as possible.
In order to help with the sustainability, the building was fitted with energy efficient systems such as heat pumps to produce the hot water and low energy lighting throughout.
The modified building was designed from the start with accessibility in mind. The whole interior was levelled out to remove steps and a wheelchair accessible toilet was fitted. All the furniture was selected so that it could be easily configured to suit people of all abilities.
During the building work, the village was kept up to date with the progress through a series of hand delivered newsletters. In one of these we asked for suggestions as to the name of the pub once completed. The only real limitation was that we wanted something with a literary connection. This is to keep a theme with our sister pub in York city centre, The Artful Dodger.
We did receive quite a number of very good suggestions, the most popular of which was The Maypole, as in years gone by, the village maypole was erected in front of the pub, however this did not meet the literary stipulation.
The name that was finally chosen was The Mended Drum. This comes from the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels, and seemed very apt for the transformation of the building as in the series; the pub once called The Broken Drum was an establishment with a poor reputation. In the Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, it was burned to the ground, and when it was rebuilt under new management, it was renamed The Mended Drum. A similar, if not quite exact storyline for The Star.
In order to legitimize the use of the name, permission was sought and granted by the author Terry Pratchett himself. Coincidentally almost as if it were fate, and unknown to us at the time, Terry’s next novel was his take on the old Charles Dickens novel, Oliver Twist, which he called Dodger! We think that this showed that it was meant to be.
From being a derelict building, closed down for years not far from falling down on its own having had a reputation of an old style village boozer, the Star became The Mended Drum. Over the few years since its rebirth, the Mended Drum has gone from strength to strength with the current managers Ricki and Lisa doing a fantastic job, and shifting the focus to the craft cask and keg ales, building up strong relationships with local brewers and becoming a firm favourite with the local branch of CAMRA, leading to them recently being given the prestigious title of pub of the season.
Along with the existing ethos, Ricki and Lisa have also added a more adventurous arm to the business with the inclusion of our experimental kitchen to supplement the regular menu.
Here they use unusual ingredients to come up with new and ingenious menu items such as our popular hop ice cream, made with real American Summit hops.
So watch this space for new and exciting developments. You never know where we will take the Mended Drum from here!
Ricki & Lisa
We came to the Mended drum in november 2014. This was the result of a drunken conversation (as great ideas often are) at The York Beer Festival in September. We brought little experience with us, apart from a love of ale. We had both ran different businesses for years mainly in the retail sector, so had a knowledge of how to run a business and we were very excited to be making money for ourselves for the first time.
It is hard to talk about our story as we don't feel we have really got started yet but i let you know the whys and hows of where we have got to now. Myself and Ricki have had a somewhat unhealthy obsession with the weird and wonderful when it comes to ale. So that's where the journey began. Ricki has always worked on the premise that it hard enough to get people to come out to the pub nowadays, so he swiftly barred anything from our cellar that could be bought in a supermarket. People should come out and try something diferent and something you'd never get at the supermarket. We have even been lucky enough to have 2 beers on our pumps that never made behind another British Bar.
We have had a lot of help along the way; Ricki spent his days researching and networking with breweries to find exactly what was about. Here we found some amazing people and a much needed helping hand along the way. Special mention to Brass Castle, ATOM and CAMRA.
Ricki grew up in village pubs, where he told me that where he found out about his family and the trouble his dad used to get to get into. The landlord and lady more than happy to recall these stories. It was the centre of community and all parts of his life, whether it was a saturday match day and going back for chilli, or a meeting point, or any other excuse he or his mates could think of.
My love of pubs and ale came a lot later in life, i moved to York from the Midlands after university for a Job. a job incidentally where I met Ricki, i was (and i am still) his boss. I didn't know anyone so where else but the amazing york pub scene to met people. So i found my ‘local’ in a city but i loved the community spirit, the sort of messed up ‘Cheers’ sitcom atmosphere. Then came my love of gin! As i try and tell people there's gin and then there's GIN. (plus my love of ale put some serious timber of my thighs so a low calorie alternative was needed on a school night). So the real feel for community, gin and ale had got under my skin.
We have an amazing community around us in Huby and an amazing level of support from our regulars. We have been honoured with the friendships and warmness we have received with into the community. We love the afternoons with families running round and guys just finished work coming for a pint or bite to eat in their work clothes, the late night pints as farmers finish their epic shifts during harvest (even if the muddy boots have killed 3 hoovers already)
It easy to talk about our Story and if you were interested I hope you've enjoyed my ramblings but the truth is we just love what we do, no matter how many (or few) hours sleep we've got. 2015 was such an exciting year for us, moved house, married, went self employed, i tapped my first barrell, opened our kitchen, the list goes on. We have raised over £2000 for local groups and charities, have regular live music nights, beer festivals, family weekends, brewery trips….all in the name of ‘Fun at the drum’.
We are very lucky to have the opportunity to run the Mended Drum, So if all else fails we’ll be there to raise a glass with you for more fun at the Drum. We look forward to seeing you soon