New owner of The Bird in Hand at Saltford near Bristol reveals plans for the ‘locals’ local’

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A silver Airstream trailer situated at the bottom of the garden will serve wood-fired pizzas

A village inn near Bristol run by the same family for more than 30 years has been sold to the owner of a nearby pub.

The Bird in Hand in Saltford dates back to the 1850s when it was formed from two cottages in the old village.

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Close to the River Avon, the pub is popular with locals from the village but also cyclists, walkers and boat-dwellers.

The pub was put on the market earlier this year when the family who run it decided to retire from the hospitality trade after 36 years.

It has been bought by Carl Say, who also runs The Crown pub on the main Bath Road in Saltford, a short walk from The Bird in Hand.

Mr Say told Bristol World that he had always wanted to take over The Bird in Hand if it ever came up for sale so he jumped at the opportunity.

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“As far as I can remember, The Bird In Hand has been the Saltford locals’ local, the hub of the community which has been owned by the same family since 1987.

“It’s such a successful pub with a great reputation and a fiercely loyal following so when it was advertised on the market, it was an absolute must for me.”

Mr Say plans to give the pub a ‘major refurbishment’ in the autumn but he says he’s fully aware that the regulars are worried about too many changes to their local.

“I am bombarded on a daily basis with the same question about what changes am I going to make! The locals are incredibly protective of their pub and change isn’t seen as a positive around here. They like things just the way they are.

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“Truth be told, I don’t think I will need to make any immediate changes. The chef has been there 14 years and has a wonderfully loyal following. So, too, have the bar staff who have been serving the same loyal customers for many years.

“One big addition will be the introduction of The Birds Nest, my new silver Airstream trailer, which will be situated at the bottom of the garden, an oasis for weary cyclists and dog walkers.

“Fitted out with a wood burning oven, it will have stunning pizzas and pastas on offer and will open from early morning until sunset.

“There will also be a repair station and tools for cyclists and a place to wash muddy paws. I think The Birds Nest will be a popular destination along the Bristol to Bath cycle path this summer!”

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