Havelock to open under new management

New landlord Jamie Butler
New landlord Jamie Butler

A FORMER removals firm boss is making a move to reopen a town centre pub with a £100,000 revamp and six new jobs.

Self-made entrepreneur Jamie Butler is busy putting the finishing touches to his plan for the former Havelock pub in Havelock Road.

The 40-year-old hopes to reopen the pub next month less than a year after it closed down.

Former landlord Stephen Goodfellow was stripped of his licence last April after a catalogue of incidents recorded by the police.

Mr Butler is currently the landlord of the North Star in Clarence Road.

He spent 10 years running his own furniture removal firm called Andersons before selling up in 2006 as he saw the housing market about to crash in a fast approaching recession.

After three years as an electrician’s mate he decided to try his hand at working in a pub and fell in love with the trade.

Jamie took a job behind the bar at the Dolphin in Rock-a-Nore Road and after four months felt confident enough to swap pulling pints for pulling the strings of his own business again.

He signed a deal with Enterprise Inns to become the manager of the North Star and after ploughing £25,000 of his own money into the venture he never looked back.

He says the company is now investing £100,000 refurbishing the Havelock with a new kitchen, bar area and flooring.

Jamie hopes to rename the pub the General Havelock and also re-invent the premises as a haven for real ale and real coffee.

There will be no late night licence, no children allowed and no music.

“It will be a new dawn for the Havelock,” said Mr Butler.

He added: “We’re really excited about the re-opening the pub as it is in the heart of the town centre and a great venue for shoppers and revellers to relax and unwind.

“We are aiming to re-invent the premises as a place for real ale enthusiasts and will have some local ales available.

“There is a market for local real ale and it is attracting a younger customer.

“When I came to the North Star it was 10 per cent real ale consumption and 90 per cent lager. Now they’re on par with each other.

“I fell into the trade really but I know how to run a business and know how to look after the customer.

“I am confident that we can attract the right clientele and give a new lease of life to a prime high street location.”