‘Pub hub’ celebrates top CAMRA award
Oakes Barn in Bury St Edmunds is toasting its success after winning CAMRA’s West Suffolk Pub of the Year Award.
The pub, in St Andrew’s Street South, celebrated winning the coveted award with St Edmundsbury’s new mayor Julia Wakelam and a glass of bubbly at the weekend.
Susan Wilde and Heather Warren, who run Oakes Barn, said they were thrilled to be recognised by the Campaign for Real Ale.
“We found out we had won the West Suffolk Town Pub of the Year earlier on and then that we won the overall best pub award, too,” said Susan.
“It is very exciting as we’ve only been open two and a half years.
“Helen and I were just thrilled.
“It’s the sort of thing you say would be amazing to win when you are doing the planning but we had no idea we would win it.”
Susan said the pair wanted to create a community atmosphere at the pub and somewhere for groups to meet.
“We have a regular client base that come back to pub and feel at home here.
“We have six real ales which are always great quality, have a range of ciders and wine and are proud of the general ambience of the pub and what it evokes from people.
“I think people feel like that have a ‘local’ again.”
Susan said she thought CAMRA had liked the community aspect of the pub.
“When we were first brainstorming what sort of pub it would be we decided we wanted it to be a safe place for like-minded people to meet and community groups to feel welcome.
“We wanted to go back to when the pub is a hub.”