Bad news, good news for Rugby pubs

Jamie and Anya Slater are looking to recreate the Griffin spirit in their new venture.
Jamie and Anya Slater are looking to recreate the Griffin spirit in their new venture.

The couple who turned The Griffin from a no-go area for many people into one of Rugby’s most popular pubs will be leaving in early June.

Jamie and Anya Slater are gutted to be going but the silver lining is that this Sunday they are bringing a town centre venue back to life.

The Courthouse, the old Saracen’s Head, had a makeover ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2015, reopened, created a stir and then closed again.

The Slaters’ plan was to make the Courthouse their second pub but with their original five-year lease on The Griffin due to end in May, they were offered a new deal they couldn’t accept

They believe they would have lost control, for example, of what was on the menu and would have had to source food from big commercial set-ups.

So they have decided to say goodbye to the Kingsway pub and the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May is set to mark the end of their time there.

Jamie said: “It’s very sad, we don’t want to leave.

“Anya and I always use local suppliers. We believe we need to help our local suppliers.

“We’re looking for a 20-year lease at The Courthouse so we’ve got a bit more security.

“We’ve got a great staff working for us and they are all going to come with us.”

People can see The Courthouse this Sunday, March 19, at 7pm when it will be opened by them for the first time.

“We’ll be offering canapes and sandwiches and letting people have a look round to see what a nice pub it is,” Jamie added.

And he stressed they would taking the same approach as they have at The Griffin.

One difference is that if anybody is worried about paying for car parking in the town centre, they will reimburse people up to £1.

The couple will divide their time between the two until June supported by new staff and then will expand the offer at The Courthouse, to include, for example, breakfast.