The new landlords of Buckingham pub hope to buck a national trend by giving the venue a new lease of life.
Landlord Dave Whiting, aged 52, said the New Inn was “at death’s door” when he and his partner Anna Rees, aged 48, took it over in August.
Added to that, he said: “This is the worst recession I’ve ever known in my lifetime. There’s very little disposable income.”
Now, with the help of bar manager Natalie Perez, aged 20, they believe they are beginning to turn things around.
Mr Whiting said: “We came here and we spent 13 days stripping and cleaning.
“It was in a pretty dire state.
“In terms of decor, we’ve pretty well gutted it.”
This includes opening up the formerly neglected courtyard area, which is now furnished with picnic tables.
Mr Whiting said his aim is to get the pub back to enjoying the great reputation it once had under landlords Michael and Deirdre Hall.
The new team have brought in former chef at Akeley’s Bull And Butcher, Trevor Armstrong, to provide pub food in the evenings and all day at weekends, and a Sunday roast.
They have also introduced freelive music on Saturday nights and quiz nights on alternate Mondays.
Mr Whiting said: “I was as confident as one can be that I was capable of turning it round. I think where we are now shows I was right.
“Our initial aim was to get the New Inn back on the town circuit. People weren’t even considering it as an option, and that’s changed now.
“We’ve just had our best week in trade terms. It’s an indication we’re moving in the right direction.”
The New Inn is hosting a fun day for Macmillan Cancer Support on Saturday, June 1.