A historic hill top pub is being brought back to life by a former owner who’s bringing back crocodile and more to the menu.
Lord Trevor Davis left The Copt Hill in Houghton six years ago and went on to have great success with his Durham City ventures, Tin of Sardines, Old Tom’s and The Court Inn.
But he said when he was approached to return to The Copt Hill and take over the reins once more it was an opportunity too good to miss.
“I’ve been approached a few times over the years, but the Durham bars are well established now and my sons are grown up and are part of the business so I felt the time was right to take on The Copt Hill again too,” he explained.
The landmark pub has changed hands a number of times over the years to mixed reviews, but Lord Trevor believes he can bring it back to its former glory.
He said: “I took over after Bobby Kerr (captain of the 1973 FA Cup winning team) and I have a lot of nice memories, it was a really busy pub in its heyday. It’s a pub that’s full of history and has so much potential. You can’t get views like this anywhere else.”
As well as a regularly-changing selection of real ales, the pub will bring back a focus on food. While the bar will serve classics such as scampi, home-made pies and cheeseboards, the restaurant, which is now called The Greenhouse, will have a set menu offer and exotic meats such as squirrel, frogs’ legs, wildebeest and crocodile, as well as more traditional dishes. Meanwhile, a carvery will be held on Sundays in the function room.
Trevor said: “We became well-known for our exotic meats previously and it was something a bit different to other places. I’ll be getting back behind the stove myself and we’ll have a firm focus on local produce and suppliers such as Sunderland Fish Quay and local butchers. You’ve got to get the balance right with quality produce and good-sized portions.”
The pub will also be introducing party bingo nights, as well as running regular party nights and functions.
Money has been ploughed into decorating the pub ahead of tonight’s opening for friends and family as part of ongoing renovations for the site.
It will open to the public from 11.30am on Thursday.