First time landlords of Colindale pub scoop national award
- Credit: Archant
A couple who gave up their jobs to bring a run down pub in Colindale back into popular use have won a national licensee award.
First time pub landlords Emily and Are Kolltveit, licensees of the Chandos Arms on Colindale Avenue, have beaten off stiff competition from around the country to win the prestigious Newcomer of the Year Award in national awards run by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Bars.
Mrs Kolltveit, a former church administrator, and her husband a sound engineer and record producer from Norway, took over the pub in March last year.
The pair, who shared a love of pubs, completed a £50,000 refurbishment of the premises, upgrading the kitchen and replacing the toilets.
They have quadrupled customers by introducing quality home-made food, providing the pub as a welcoming venue for community meetings, organising activities ranging from quiz nights to family fun days and putting the Chandos Arms on the map as a live music venue.
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Mrs Kollveit said: “Other people told us we were mad to take on the Chandos Arms but we’ve no regrets. It has been a challenging but amazing experience. We’re great believers that pubs can and should have a positive influence on their local areas. We wanted to build something from scratch that we and the community could be proud of, so it’s really nice to have our work recognised.”
They received the award at a gala celebration night in Liverpool from celebrity chef, Simon Rimmer.
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Chris Jowsey, trading director for Star Pubs & Bars, said: “Behind every great pub are great licensees and Emily and Are put the ‘great’ into great British pub; they have a natural flair as licensees and a huge amount of passion for the job. The Chandos Arms needed a lot of TLC and a new direction when they took it over. Their achievements would be remarkable for experienced licensees, they are amazing for newcomers to the trade.”