St Albans hotel takes over historic Rose and Crown pub

Rose & Crown

Rose & Crown - Credit: Archant

A top St Albans hotel is ‘expanding’ – to a historic pub around the corner.

St Michael's Manor, St Albans

St Michael's Manor, St Albans - Credit: Archant

Richard Marrett, general manager of St Michael’s Manor Hotel in Fishpool Street, has joined the hotel’s new owners to take over the Rose and Crown.

Until now, Nigel Wild and Gary Hatchman have been running the traditional 16th century public house in St Michael’s Street, where they spent tens of thousands of pounds in refurbishment work.

The pair featured in the Herts Advertiser two years ago, when they successfully campaigned against landlords Punch Taverns’ controversial bid to evict them just four months shy of becoming free of tie and gaining the ability to purchase alcohol from firms other than the pub chain.

Richard said St Michael’s Manor first became interested in taking over the pub while he was recently chatting with Gary.

He explained: “Gary rang me, asking whether I wanted to buy some tablecloths. I asked why, and he said ‘I’m selling this business’.

“I replied, ‘I don’t want the tablecloths, but I could buy the business’ and that is how it started.

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“I love the pub; it has a great history, and Gary and Nigel have done a great job with it. It’s in an ideal location, just around the corner from our hotel.

“It’s great that we can support a local pub, and keep it going, at a time when others are being closed and turned into houses.”

The plan is to offer hospitality at the pub in conjunction with the wide range of services at St Michael’s Manor, a 30-bedroom hotel which dates back over 500 years. It was converted into a hotel in the early 1960s by the Newling Ward family.

Richard explained: “It won’t be an extension of what we do at the hotel, but it gives us the chance to offer people who stay here a more informal place to go, to enjoy traditional English pub food – but it’s not a gastropub.

“It’s more about offering good pub food, good beer and of course a great atmosphere. We look forward to meeting the pub’s regulars, as we have been part of this community for a long time.”

Richard said that accommodation would not be offered at the Rose and Crown.

He and St Michael’s owners were expected to complete yesterday (1), with the pub to close temporarily for further refurbishment ahead of its re-opening in mid-February.