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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Award-winning pub man Antony proves a pint with new establishment

All hands to the pump ... Antony
 at his new watering hole.
Antony Pratt's decision to take over the running of his local four years ago is paying off with the launch of his fourth pub, the Duke of York Inn, in Ryedale, following a £165,000 refurbishment project.

Antony teamed up with pub company Punch in 2012 when he decided to take on The Chequers at Bilton-in-Ainsty between York and Wetherby.

Despite having no prior experience of the licensed trade, he was sure the pub was not achieving its potential and decided to have a go at running it himself.

He said: “My background is in luxury car sales and I spent seven years with Lexus, which taught me a huge amount about customer service.

“Although I knew nothing about running pubs, I was convinced that if I could apply the same customer service principles I’d learnt in the car trade then the pub would be successful.”

Antony’s hunch proved to be right. So much so that last year The Chequers was crowned the country’s best wine pub in the Morning Advertiser magazine’s Great British Pub Awards.

Buoyed by his early success, he set up his own pub company, Ainsty Inns, and acquired two more pubs, The Beehive at Thorner and the Swan & Talbot at Wetherby.

Now he's launched the new-look Duke of York Inn at Gate Helmsley following the month-long renovation, which has given the popular village pub improved facilities and a stylish and contemporary new look. The investment has also created 15 new jobs, including that of manager, Ellie Corbett.

Antony said: “Ellie has come up through the ranks at Ainsty Inns and she will ensure the Duke of York continues our theme of providing great, locally sourced, food and quality drink in a relaxed and welcoming environment.

“Wine is a particular speciality of ours and we pride ourselves on the wide choice available as well as the extensive knowledge of our staff. I’m sure that customers old and new will be very impressed with what we have to offer.”

New business development manager for Punch, Caroline Edwards, said: “The Duke of York has a great location, not far from York and on a busy route to the coast. I am delighted that we now have a great team in place to run it and I am very much looking forward to working with Antony and his colleagues to help grow the business.”

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