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The village of Pirton near Hitchin in Hertfordshire has received an early Christmas present in the form of the return of a historic pub.

The Fox, a local pub dating back to the 1700s is set to reopen following a £170,000 refurbishment.

Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars invested the money with a Hertfordshire resident named Steve Birch to transform the pub into a traditional village venue once again.

Read More: Read the latest Hitchin news

The pub will be reopening on Tuesday, December 21 at 3pm.

The original fittings have had restoration work
The original fittings have had restoration work

The Fox was originally a private home in the 16th century and is thought to have become a beerhouse in the 1830s.

The revamp has carefully renovated the exterior of the Grade II listed building, enhancing the centre of the village.

The interior has received an upgrade too with more comfortable seating, a welcoming atmosphere and restored original features such as the inglenook fireplaces, old bar and original beams.

A new kitchen has been built enabling The Fox to introduce food in the new year, with a heavy focus on traditional pub favourites such as Sunday roasts.

Steve is aiming to put the pub on the map for its quality beer and food and has invested in a cellar overhaul to dispense consistently perfect pints.

The Fox in Pirton

As well as draft ales, The Fox will also stock up to five cask ales as well as wines from a local independent supplier.

To bring the community together again the pub will also be hosting regular activities such as quiz nights for local groups and organisations.

Steve said: “The Fox is a beautiful old pub but had lost its way in recent years. The village has been excited and supportive of our plans to restore it to its former glory.

“We can’t thank them enough for their backing. The Fox will be the quintessential traditional pub with real ales, open fires and a warm welcome, whether customers want to drink and socialise or have some great pub food.

“Last Christmas was tough with lockdowns in place.

“We hope that having a new-look local will help spread some good cheer at what is proving to be another challenging festive season for many.

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“We’ve got strong health and safety procedures in place so that customers can safely enjoy the pub.”

Star Pubs & Bars area manager Dan Hayward said: “We’re delighted to have invested in The Fox so that it thrives for the long term. It brings together all that is best about the Great British pub.

“It will be a fantastic local for the community and a destination for those from further afield looking for an archetypal village pub.”

The second phase of work will start in 2022 to overhaul the pub’s large garden ready for the spring.

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