The Last Drop Inn in Colliergate closed suddenly last summer after its previous owner, the Black Sheep Brewery, went into administration.
Then, in the autumn, it was taken over by Yorkshireman Paul Kemp, who has pubs in Bristol but plan to return ‘home’ and have a chain of pubs in God’s Own County.
Paul says the re-opening in mid-December was ‘fantastic’ though it was risky with no advertising, yet the pub still filled up within 20 minutes.
The re-opening had been delayed as a ‘few issues’ were found with the old building, but they have been fixed with recent renovations done to “the highest standard to truly show off what a gem of a venue we have here.”
Work still continues, with a mural being painted by local artist Ric Liptrot to show the best bits of York and emphasise the pub’s use of local products.
Paul said: “We have also ethically and sustainably sourced all of our furniture, either from donations or auctions to keep little pieces of history from Yorkshire present in the building.
“Our long term plans include opening the upper floors to the public, so this will allow us to completely transform the building into something new and never seen before.”
The pub’s general manager is Emily Tuscarny, who has worked in hospitality for 8 years, with previous roles at Pivovar and JD Wetherspoon.
Paul said: “She has her own brewing experience so there was nobody better to get in as the General Manager. She has a fresh perspective on the industry which allows us to target different audiences.”
There are also six others in the team, including Aaron, a brewer at Ainsty Ales.
Paul said: “Our staff are all beer geeks and love picking out fantastic beers from their favourite breweries nationwide. We also are constantly asking for customer opinions on what they would like to see and try to order in those beers.
“We are focused on showcasing the best of local beers including Ainsty and Rudgate. You’ll see our permanent beer “The Last Blonde” which is a beautiful beer our friends at Ainsty have done for us.”
There is also a focus on local spirits, including Dutch Barn vodka and Hooting Owl Gin.
Hand curated top-quality scotch whiskies are also promised by Burns Night, when the pub promises an event with live music, food and quizzes.
Paul said: “We are trying to create a unique customer experience by stocking products you wouldn’t see every day to give our amazing customers a drinking experience they wouldn’t get anywhere else.”
There are also regular promotions, with “very exciting things” promised in the coming months as “we continue to make this venue into the truly great pub it deserves to be.”
When the Press called, drinkers were enjoying a great drop at the Last Drop.
Among them, David Lord of York who was very, very pleased the pub was open.
He said: “It’s a lifeline to me. I have difficulty walking. I come and do a bit of shopping and it’s so handy.”
Greg North of York: “I’m glad it’s back open. The pub has more space than before. It serves great beer. You can sit and chat.”
Ian Clark from Guisborough said: “We come shopping. I like the peace and quiet here and you get a decent pint. This pub delivers. There’s no frills and no loud music.”