05:10PM, Thursday 04 August 2022
L-R Eleonora Giuffrida, Ellen Romeo, Peter Gray and Massimo Valenti at The Hinds Head, Bray
Regulars are flocking back to a popular Michelin-starred pub after it held a soft reopening of its ground floor bar last month.
The Hind’s Head, which boasts one Michelin star and is located in Bray High Street, says that punters are delighted that they can simply pop into the pub for a drink.
Manager Ellen Romeo, with the help of head chef Peter Gray, ensured the bar could reopen after many years of being avoided by locals due to a general feeling that a reservation would be needed.
“When I came [to the pub] my first question was, ‘who are the regulars?’ and they told me ‘we do not have any’ and I did not understand at all,” she said.
“At one point they just stopped coming in to drink because there was a refurbishment and they closed the bar and it broke some drinkers’ hearts.
“They have built a beautiful cocktail bar upstairs but it is not what everyone wants all the time.
“The locals just want to sit or stand at the bar. They were really sad that they lost that.”
Ellen added: “I said that I wanted the locals to come back because you need the regulars to be the soul of the pub, so we organised a locals welcome back party in July and it was fantastic.
“They were all so happy, and we have regulars again.
“It is just amazing, the atmosphere is so nice and they are grateful. To me it was normal, but for them it was huge.
“In the past you had to have a reservation for dinner but we are supposed to be a pub so people are welcome to pop in for a pint.”
The Hind’s Head has also introduced a new snack menu, including dishes such as mushrooms on toast, to coincide with the reopening of the bar.
Ellen, who says she has ‘always been around pubs’ since an early age, added: “Hospitality has really struggled but everyone I work with enjoys coming to work.
“It is amazing because Bray is such a tiny village and it’s great to see how many people actually live here.”
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