A popular Wearside restaurant has had a slick new makeover - and bosses have dedicated the change in memory of a much-missed employee.
Oak Tree Farm, on Doxford International Business Park, which is a Farmhouse Inns pub, has received a significant investment to improve the interior design of the pub, as well as develop the external garden with refurbished seating and tables, a new built-in cinema and offer a wider range of toys and games for youngsters.
The pub was officially reopened by fundraisers from Grace House, a Southwick respite centre for children, and Karen Maclennan, mother of Jamie Maclennan who was a team player at the pub when he tragically died aged 27 in December 2014.
Karen, who also fundraises for the charity, was asked by Suzanne Conner, general manager of Oaktree Farm, to join the pub team in marking the occasion in memory of Jamie.
Karen said: “It was wonderful to be able to see the newly refurbished areas and to launch Grace House as their chosen charity.
“From a parent of a young person with epilepsy Suzanne and her team were fantastic with Jamie managing his epilepsy at work and this meant a great deal to Jamie and us.”
The pub will now support the charity with fundraising events throughout the year, helping the charity support children and young people who are suffering with life limiting disabilities.
Suzanne said: “The team and I discussed how best we could mark the occasion of the new era for the Oaktree Farm and all felt we should do something in memory of Jamie, he was a fantastic person and is still deeply missed.
“We’re thrilled Karen and Grace House were happy to officially relaunch the pub and we cannot wait to welcome back our guests and show off our new look and features.”
As part of their support for Grace House, the pub is organising a Family Fun Day on Saturday, August 27, between 10am and 6pm.
Suzanne added: “We hope to see our guests, existing or new, throughout the summer, whether it’s to enjoy an Americano, glass of wine or chilled beer whilst their children play safely in our brand new play area we aim to provide the best dining and drinking experience to all our customers, whatever their age.”
Oaktree Farm is open from 8am every morning serving breakfasts until 11.30pm every evening, 10.30pm on Sundays.