An astonishing £750,000 makeover has turned a village local once branded ‘unviable’, into a booming new business that puts many a city centre venue to shame.
Dating back to 1750, ‘Odddy’s’ already has a rich history. The 18th century pub made the news in the 1980s when an extra “D” was accidentally painted onto the sign, with the mistake not being rectified when locals said they wanted the misspelling to remain.
But as the recession took a hold, the future did not look too bright. Sitting on prime building land, the council blocked several plans to knock down the watering hole to make way for housing. Many residents objected, claiming The Odddfellows had been the ‘centrepiece’ of the village for centuries, and could be given ‘a new lease of life.’
Salvation came in the shape of Gavin Smith, a local builder with a lifelong ambition to own his very own pub and restaurant empire. After spending five happy years in Cyprus’s bars and clubs, perfecting the art of being the consummate barman, Gavin returned home to our typical British weather. Quickly growing disillusioned with once again working outdoors in our cold climate, Gavin decided to finally make his dream a reality.
Being local, he was very aware that ‘Odddy’s‘ had a special place in the hearts of many, describing it as: ‘It used to be, hands down, the best pub in the area.’ Having seen the outcry when the pub faced demolition, Gavin took over the business in March 2015. Along with wife Hannah and parents Donald and Lorna, the plan for a family-run business was set in motion.
With a ‘grand re-opening’ date set for November 2, the pressure was on. An intense six months followed. Deciding he was aiming for something modern, with a twist, a budget was set – and quickly bust. But the decision was made to take things to the next level, they were creating a ‘dream’ and the end result had to be perfect.
Completing the work on November 1, and opening the doors on November 2, they were somewhat cutting it fine! The gamble paid off – the clever mixture of strong, quirky branding, melding perfectly with the distinctive, beautifully finished interior creates an exceptionally unique venue. It has a certain ‘manly’ charm, yet the refurb has been so magnificently managed that the result is simply breath taking.
Serving up locally sourced, freshly cooked dishes seven days a week, alongside a large selection of real ales, beers and wine, the reception has been fantastic. The ultimate aim, to offer fine dining plus something that little bit special, has been achieved. Gavin’s dream – to put Odddfellows back where it belongs, as ‘the heart of Carlton’ – has been fulfilled.
Looking to the future, the self-styled ‘Mr Odddfellows’ has set himself another goal. Gavin’s success has been so phenomenal he told Wine & Dine Yorkshire: ‘It’s onwards and upwards! Buying more, and I won’t stop until there’s an Odddfellows chain. ‘It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.’