Former customers at a Houghton Regis pub that closed several years ago are raising their glasses to a local entrepreneur.
Shop owner Kishor Patel and his family have stepped in to save the Dog & Duck in Parkside Drive and are giving it a new lease of life.
So with hundreds of pubs closing each year in the UK, Houghton Regis is bucking the national trend.
Building work has started to transform the pub into a family bar and restaurant and this week the Mayor of Houghton Regis, Councillor Peter Williams, joined Mr Patel at the site to see how the project was coming along.
Councillor Williams said: “I think it’s fantastic that Kishor is redeveloping the Dog & Duck to put back into the community of Parkside a pub and restaurant that was closed a few years ago.
“It is an amenity that was truly missed by the locals and I look forward to seeing it being opened before the end of the year.”
Mr Patel said: “There was a general feeling in the area that we didn’t want to lose this pub, so I decided to do something about it. Through our investment, not only are we bringing employment to the area but we’re also creating a pub with an offering that’s relevant to the local community and ensuring its survival for generations to come.
“The support from the community for our Nisa Local stores in Hillborough Crescent and Neptune Square has been tremendous over the years and now we hope to add more value to the community of Houghton Regis.”
Building work has taken a little longer than anticipated to get under way due to project planning and appointing a builder.
The building and refurbishment, which is expected to take about 26 weeks, is being carried out by contractors C Woods and Sons.
Mr Patel said details of the relaunch, menus and job opportunities will be announced later.