November 30, 2021 12.30 pm

Manager enjoying life at historic Lincoln pub as new owners take over

The takeover was completed last month

The manager of a historic pub in Lincoln has told The Lincolnite how the team are enjoying life under new ownership and looking forward to a refurbishment in the new year.

Valerie Hope and her husband Michael first opened the Wig & Mitre on Lincoln’s Steep Hill on December 14, 1977, where the Bishop of Lincoln at the time, Simon Phipps, pulled the first pint. The pub later moved a few doors on to 30-32 Steep Hill where it has been ever since.

Michael sadly died of cancer in 2012 before Valerie decided to retire earlier this year. Licensed and leisure property specialists Everard Cole marketed the two-storey Grade II Listed building for freehold offers in the region of £1.5 million.

The pub was taken over by RedCat Pub Company on October 20 this year and manager Emily North is one of two staff to have stayed on. Most of the staff team is new as others decided to leave over the last year, with new kitchen and front of house staff coming in.

Emily, who has worked at the pub for eight years, told The Lincolnite there have been some customers worried about whether ‘The Wig’ will now lose a bit of its quirk after the refurbishment in January 2022, but she has assured that its essence will remain.

She said: “It shouldn’t change too much. There is still a sense of community and they (the new owners) are letting us decide about food and drink, and to have a say on the refurb. I think some people are worried about it (the refurb) as ‘The Wig’ has a bit of a quirk, but they shouldn’t worry as the essence of the pub will remain the same.

“It has been really busy getting ready for Christmas and with the Christmas Market panic setting us, but they (RedCat) have been really good with anything we have needed.

“It was stressful at first but we are finding our feet now and RedCat have been really supportive.”

Inside the Wig & Mitre on Lincoln’s Steep Hill. | Photo: Everard Cole

She added that they were given a lot of notice when the pub went up for sale and that previous owner Valerie Hope kept her and the staff up-to-date throughout the process.

The Wig & Mitre has previously been described as a “local institution” and occupies buildings dating back to the 14th century.

It was reported by the Morning Advertiser earlier this month that RedCat Pub Company had acquired the Turks Head in Hasketon in Suffolk, taking the estate to 77 sites ( a combination of managed and tenanted) . They reported that former Greene King boss Rooney Anand had raised £200 million to invest in Britain’s pub sector, who is the executive chairman of RedCat Pub Company.

The first acquisition of 42 former Stonegate sites for an undisclosed sum was made in March this year, comprising of 30 freehold and 12 leasehold sites, according to The Caterer.

RedCat own two other pubs in Lincolnshire, both in Bourne – The Jubilee Garage, and Smiths of Bourne.

Spotted an error? Please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.