Your winner! First time publicans get vote of the whole community

Advertiser news editor Hayley O'Keefe presents the award to landlords, left, Kieran O'Brien and right, Matt Kaprockyj and staff.
Advertiser news editor Hayley O'Keefe presents the award to landlords, left, Kieran O'Brien and right, Matt Kaprockyj and staff.
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The landlord of our Pub Of The Year says he is ‘still in shock’ at winning the accolade.

Kiaran O’Brien and Matt Kaprockyj only took over The Nightingale in Langford Village in June.

But since then they’ve won the hearts of the locals – winning the most votes in our Pub Of The Year competition.

Their success is all the more surprising because this is the first pub the pair have taken on.

Kiaran, aged 37, had been working abroad since 1999, beginning as a Club 18-30 rep.

In 2004 he started running a nightclub in Malia, in Crete, taking on a second one a year later.

But it was helping a friend to run a pub in Germany last winter that gave the couple the idea of having their own pub.

Kiaran said: “That was our first taste of running a pub. Everyone thought it was our pub, but it wasn’t.”

The pair decided it was time to come back to the UK and settle down and began looking for their own pub to run.

Kiaran said: “We had a look at seven or eight different pubs but when we saw this one, it was perfect.”

The new landlords immediately set about introducing entertainment into the venue.

Kiaran said: “Running nightclubs and running that pub in Germany helped so much because we put so much emphasis on entertainment.”

And he added: “We came at just the right time because the World Cup was on. Our first weekend was the first England game.”

They have now introduced a programme of entertainment, including bingo, supporting local charities and live music most Saturday nights securing a warm reception from all parts of the community.

“It’s been amazing,” said Kiaran. “They’ve been so supportive. We said to everybody, ‘Tell us what you want and we’ll do it.’ The location is perfect.”