AN historic pub with a dark past is looking forward to a bright future.
The Quiet Woman in St Edward Street, Leek, has being completely redecorated and refurnished throughout with new seating areas, furniture, curtains, carpets and lighting, all of which has taken three weeks to complete.
The Grade II listed freehouse is one of 11 pubs and two hotels across the country from Newark to Stockton-On-Tees owned by hospitality firm Here For You; a portfolio which includes Georgia Brownes in Stoke and Sporting Lodge in Leigh.
Chloe Skilton, sales and marketing manager, said: "We have refurbished the pub and changed the branding and image.
"The main thing for us was to create a fresher image so when people are considering eating here they are in a more pleasant environment.
"We didn't want it to be dark and dingy any more, but more bright and fresh.
"We were conscious that we couldn't just give it a lick of paint; we wanted to change the whole concept of the pub.
"A lot of pubs are quiet during the day and we wanted to turn it into a place for people to come to for lunch in the daytime, as well as evening meals.
"The new menu is made up of entirely locally sourced food using local suppliers.
"We wanted to have a good rapor with other local businesses from the outset; everyone is finding things difficult at the moment and we wanted to show our support to local suppliers."
Rob Jesperson, manager and head chef, could not divulge the full cost of the refurbishment, but said that the company had made a "substantial investment".
He has employed five new staff members, but said they may be looking more as business grows.
He has also hand-picked the options for the new menu and put everything together.
The pub is offering breakfast and brunch menu, which is available until 3pm every day with a vegetarian full English option.
Miss Skilton added: "We have tried to offer a competitive, different menu offering options not particularly on any other menu around the town.
"We've had a look at other pubs and eating places in the town and intentionally steered away from what others are doing.
"This menu is a good quality menu, not over priced, but reflecting the fact that it's good food, home-made with fresh, local ingredients, rather than a quickly produced meal.
"We have also introduced special offers for Sunday lunches and we have introduced more beers on draught, more wines and spirits, and our own Quiet Woman Infusions, which are vodka, rum and fresh real fruit juice. We will also be offering home-made cocktails."
The pub's official launch took place on Tuesday, July 30, but held an unofficial opening on Saturday, July 27, to iron out any snagging problems and try out the new menu; and feedback so far has been positive with most people liking the pub's new look and menu.
Miss Skilton added: "People think it's good and a nice change, it has freshened it up.
"They're very happy with the new drink and food options, we've had a really good response."
The pub is also available for functions, for more information contact 01538 398073.
*THE Quiet Woman has a distinctive sign of a headless woman carrying her head in one hand and a candelabrum in the other.
The story goes that she was a treacherous barmaid who was punished for spreading her customers’ secrets.
The pub was mentioned in a list of the more venerable Leek hostelries in 1900.
Such pub signs were a 19th century rustic joke on chatterboxes – the only way in which you could shut a woman up was to chop her head off.