Great Britain

PUB PROFILE: Michael to give Bradford's Winston Churchill a new lease of life

LIKE its illustrious namesake, the Winston Churchill pub has gone into battle on many occasions over the years.

If not quite fighting them on the beaches, its staff and regulars have never surrendered.

Most famously, it survived an attempt in 2011 to knock it down and replace it with a car park.

It has outlasted many of the other pubs along Bradford’s Wakefield Road and now has a new chef/manager behind the bar as it enters a new chapter.

Michael Burley, 53, said: “It’s the last man standing, a bit like Winston Churchill. He never gave up.”

He’s from a pub-owning family and has run locals in Barnsley, Scunthorpe, Selby and Lincoln among others and said he had seen it all over the years.

“I’ve always done well. This is for the long term.”

He doesn’t know the area but is keen to get to know it better - particularly the history of the pub and why it is called the Winston Churchill.

He has come to the pub from the New Inn in Appletreewick where he was lauded for his creations in the kitchen, particularly his pies.

So why would he move from an idyllic Dales village to Bradford’s city centre?

“The New Inn’s owner sold up and I needed something a little bit more challenging,” said Michael.

“It was a bit quiet in the winter there, I wanted something more taxing. It’s totally different, a new challenge.”

He said he had been welcomed warmly in the two weeks he had been at the pub.

“Everyone was very welcoming. It’s a great community pub, you don’t have to be a regular to come in.”

He said it had been busy so far and did wonder where everyone came from as it is on such a busy road.

“It’s a beautiful little pub inside with friendly locals.”

He plans lots of traditional activities at the pub with a Sunday fun day featuring rock and roll bingo and Play Your Cards Right among others, a midweek quiz and karaoke/discos on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

He is also planning to improve the kitchen but in the meantime has started with free food at tea times like pies, salads and fish and chips.

Drinkers have already been treated to his fidget pie and homemade chips to give them a taste of what he can do.

The warm welcome also extends to dogs - Michael has two Oscar and Gabby - and he has been busy putting in plants to improve the beer garden.

Carling and Coors are the big sellers with cider also doing well during the warm weather.

The pub has three large screens which can show different sporting events and proved a big attraction last weekend for the cricket World Cup final.

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