Newtown Pippin named one of Britain’s ‘most improved pubs’ after major refurbishment

The owners of a once ‘mediocre’ Bracknell pub celebrate after transforming the forgotten building into a thriving community centre.

Simon and Vicki Powell have decided to take over The Newtown Pippin during the lockdown after many years of running other establishments in the area.

The pub’s successful transformation and growth within the local community has led to them being listed as one of the best pubs in the UK in the 2023 campaign for the Real Ale Good Beer guide.

CAMRA has also awarded the Bracknell Pub the title of ‘Most Improved Pub’ in the South East Berkshire Branch.

Simon Powell said: “We are absolutely delighted. It took a lot of effort, but we managed to turn a run-down estate pub into a fantastic community centre.

“Whenever we first bought it, we slept on the phone for three weeks while everything was gutted and refurbished.

“It was a huge challenge, but we are so proud that the community supported us.”

The couple took the flat-roofed building in March 2021 when restaurants and bars were closed. After weeks of hard work, they opened in April with outdoor dining and social distancing.

Simon said many doubted the couple when they decided to take on the challenge, but they were determined to change the reputation and welcome local families back to the area.

The owners have had a rough road over the past 18 months. From tackling anti-social behavior to tackling on-site drug use, the end result has been a breath of fresh air for the community.

Simon added: ‘This is the first time we have owned a pub after many years of running it over the years. We’re building a pretty nice independent and people appreciate that.

The Newtown Pippin received both the ‘Most Improved Pub’ award and inclusion in the CAMRA list on Thursday 27 October, where they were presented with a certificate.

Anthony Springall, the local CAMRA branch secretary, said: “Newton Pippin has been transformed into an amazing family pub with a fantastic community vibe.

“Vicky and Simon have transformed a mediocre estate pub into a community haven where you would be more than happy to invite your family over for dinner.

“Inclusion in the 2023 CAMRA Best Pubs list and ‘Most Improved Pub’ award reflects the hard work of licensees Simon and Vicki.

We recognize the efforts made to create a true community center which began with the pub taking over during lockdown and the progress seen has been phenomenal in creating a truly welcoming place which can be enjoyed by all the family.

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