New Rose to rise from the Rouge
A PUB that has been in existence since the early 17th century is to be revived following the closure of a Wokingham town centre restaurant.
Oakman Inns has taken over the site of the former Cafe Rouge in Market Place and said that it will soon be submitted its plans for the refurbishment of the inn that was once known as The Rose.
The company said that there had been a Rose Inn on the site from at least 1634 – when King Charles was still in possession of his head – and it was a famous resting place and stopover for the Wokingham coaches that visited the thriving town.
It is hoped that the restored inn will be renamed The Rose Revived and its new owners are already looking into some of the issues associated with the restoration of some of the lost and possibly hidden architectural charms.
Oakman Inns CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, said: “Oakman Inns has had a longheld ambition to have a presence in Wokingham which we see as a progressive and vibrant town. We are very aware that the major infrastructure works of the past two years have had its challenges and we look forward to The Rose Revived playing a big part in the wider Wokingham resurgence. The building itself presents us with an enormously exciting opportunity and behind each layer of modern additions you can still feel the history of this wonderful building.”
That history includes a local report which detailed one historic occasion at The Rose, during a journey interrupted by bad weather. With the roads impassable, some of Britain’s’ greatest minds and close friends passed some hours eating and drinking.
They were John Gay, the poet (who wrote the Beggars Banquet), together with his great friends, Dr John Arbuthnot, (the satirist and polymath who created that most British of characters, John Bull), together with Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope. Together they whiled away the time by commemorating in verse the charms of the landlord’s daughter.
With a firmly established reputation for being “kind” to their buildings, the growing pub group has a collection of over 25 inns, pubs, bars and restaurants, many of them Listed coaching inns or significant landmarks in market towns.
Oakman Inns, although still regarded as an SME, has been ranked for two consecutive years as one of the UK’s top 20 employers by The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For. It said that The Rose Revived will be offering almost 50 employment opportunities, including Apprenticeships.