This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 03/05/2017.
One of Croydon’s most well-known pubs is changing its name
When it reopens on Thursday, May 23 at 8am it will be known as Market Tavern.
The transformation of the pub coincides with the £1.1 million renovation of the 700-year-old Surrey Street Market, which is due to be completed in early June.
Nigel Gamble is the new manager at the pub.
He began just before the closure and will be leading the team under the new name.
Explaining the name change Nigel said: “It’s a nod of regard to the heritage of London’s oldest market emphasising community and localness which is what we’re all about.
“It may sound colloquial but the Market Tavern is a traditional, proper pub with an offer that today’s pub-goer demands. Reverting back to the origins of pub names, we’re re-instilling the principles of a pub name being synonymous with its surroundings.”
Nigel explained why the company has decided to refurbish now.
“No one is going to say it isn’t time,” he said. “Surrey Street is being developed so it was only right we put our hands in our pockets to make sure we fitted the new landscape. It’s just great timing for everything to come together like this.”
Not much is being given away at this stage but Stonegate promises a completely revamped pub with eye-catching features and has released an artist’s impression of what we can expect it to look like from the outside.
Many of the ideas about how the pub will be run are Nigel’s.
It will have new opening hours from 8am to catch early market traders and it will stock craft beers.
For sports fans it will screen Sky and BT Sports across six HD screens and a big screen.
You won’t even have to risk missing that crucial goal at big sporting events either because staff will provide a table service – taking your drinks orders to your table so you don’t have to queue at the bar.
The pub will host a VIP launch party in part of the pub on May 23 from 5pm. There will be craft beer, menu tasters and live entertainment for invited guests. The rest of the pub will still be open to the public.
Stonegate bought the pub in 2010, when the company was formed, from Mitchells & Butlers.
Stonegate now has 692 pubs in the UK including chains such as Slug & Lettuce, Yates’s, Walkabout, Proper Pubs and Classic Inns.
Traders at Surrey Street Market have been temporarily moved to North End while the renovation of the market takes place.