New management at Village pub in Walthamstow

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Ben Williams and Matthew Todd have taken over the Village pub in Walthamstow. Ben Williams and Matthew Todd have taken over the Village pub in Walthamstow.

The new manager of an historic pub in the heart of Walthamstow Village says he is relishing the challenge of turning around its fortunes.


Ben Williams, 29, took over at The Village in Orford Road last month as part of a shake-up by owners Foundation Inns.
 

Mr Williams said the small chain felt it was time for new management following concerns about the pub's performance.
 

It has also hired his long-time friend and colleague Matthew Todd as new head chef.


Mr Williams said: "We didn't want to make too many changes straight away, but it has already gone really well.


"We're about 10 to 15 per cent up on our takings compared to this time last year, which is great. The customers seem very positive about what we're doing.
 

"Our main objective when we started was to improve the food, which was pretty woeful.
 

"If you look online there were some pretty bad reviews. Before it was brought in frozen but now it's all freshly made.
 

"We've just changed the menu and will be changing it again in a couple of weeks. We want it to remain a traditional pub but just with a lot better food.”
 

Mr Williams has been in the pub management trade since he bought one in York at the tender age of 21.


With the help of his friend Matthew the pub soon gained a number of awards including a Michelin Bib Gourmand, which is one below the Michelin star rating for "good food at moderate prices".


Mr Williams sold the pub six years later after his plans to turn it into a hotel were thwarted by the local council, and he then moved to a Foundation Inns pub in Oxford before coming to Walthamstow.


He said: "When I told people I was going to Walthamstow some people said it was awful, but I really like the village.
 

"It doesn't seem like London and everyone really does seem to know everyone else."
 

Mr Williams said he was confident that The Village pub would survive the competition.

He added: "The Nags Head is a bit quirky and mad, while the Queens is all about things like football and karaoke, so I think we have our niche.


"I'm making subtle changes and just want it to be a bit more relaxed.
 

"We're keeping the quiz and poker nights but I'm also planning on having live acoustic music on Sundays and outdoor film screenings in the summer."

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:58pm Fri 1 Feb 13

RichieA70 says...

The pub has only been there since the 1980s, so maybe 'historic pub in the heart of Walthamstow village' should be changed to 'pub in the heart of historic Walthamstow village'.

One request if the new management is reading this - can you dim the lighting a bit please? Many people say it's too bright and brash even late into the evenings!
The pub has only been there since the 1980s, so maybe 'historic pub in the heart of Walthamstow village' should be changed to 'pub in the heart of historic Walthamstow village'. One request if the new management is reading this - can you dim the lighting a bit please? Many people say it's too bright and brash even late into the evenings! RichieA70

1:30pm Fri 1 Feb 13

ogeoid says...

I wish them well. The refurb a few years back really killed the atmosphere, the fixtures look like they came from Matalan. And yes the lighting's too bright. The beer garden, a great asset, really needs to be spruced-up also - maybe get rid of the ugly concrete paving slabs and the re-cycled plastic benches. Get some decent Cider in! Westons Wyld wood in Bottles.
I wish them well. The refurb a few years back really killed the atmosphere, the fixtures look like they came from Matalan. And yes the lighting's too bright. The beer garden, a great asset, really needs to be spruced-up also - maybe get rid of the ugly concrete paving slabs and the re-cycled plastic benches. Get some decent Cider in! Westons Wyld wood in Bottles. ogeoid

2:44pm Fri 1 Feb 13

malpasc says...

I quite like The Village although I do agree the food was a bit mediocre under the previous tenants and the lighting in the bar area is still far too bright!

The garden could be a real asset if it was given a bit of a makeover. Pubs with decent gardens are a rarity in Walthamstow. I think they should consider laying turf down instead of paving slabs on perhaps, the 'upper' half of the garden and definitely replace the plastic furniture with proper wood.
I quite like The Village although I do agree the food was a bit mediocre under the previous tenants and the lighting in the bar area is still far too bright! The garden could be a real asset if it was given a bit of a makeover. Pubs with decent gardens are a rarity in Walthamstow. I think they should consider laying turf down instead of paving slabs on perhaps, the 'upper' half of the garden and definitely replace the plastic furniture with proper wood. malpasc

2:51pm Fri 1 Feb 13

TTMAN says...

The Nags Head is a bit quirky and mad.

Never a truer word spoken about this pub.
The Nags Head is a bit quirky and mad. Never a truer word spoken about this pub. TTMAN

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree