The Juniper Berry pub was shut for eight months until married couple John and Tracey Horrocks took over.
Discovering ‘a derelict building’, weeks of hard work ensued for the pair after signing for the Castle Square watering hole in July.
John, 68, and Tracey, 60, previously ran The Hinkler pub in Thornhill and Sarisbury Green Social Club.
But this historic pub is their biggest challenge yet.
“When we took it over, the kitchen especially was derelict,” John said.
He added: “We’re still having leaks, drain issues, and have scaffolding going up.
“We had to hoover the carpet about five times.
“Every single letting room upstairs has been refurbished – seven rooms and the owner’s flat.
“It’s the most challenging pub we have ever had to deal with.”
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Tracey added: “It took me three weeks to clean this bar, through to the next one.
“We had to start from scratch with the letting rooms – give them all a decent clean and buy new everything.
“It has certainly been a challenge.”
Eight weeks after signing for the pub, the pair reopened its doors to the public at the start of September.
Both John and Tracey are keen to draw in the cruise ship passengers next year.
Tracey said: “When the cruise ships arrive in the morning, we get about 20 to 30 people walk past.
“We want to capture that audience next year.
“A lot of people say to us it’s their pub and they’re glad to see it open again.
“Because of all the issues we have had so far, we haven’t pushed the pub out too much.
“It’s a work in progress.”
The Juniper Berry stands on the site of the former home of author Jane Austen, making it a popular historic landmark.
John said: “We were drawn to the location, the building, and the letting rooms upstairs.
“We know all about the history with Jane Austen, so we are hoping to open a Jane Austen gift shop too.
“There’s an awful lot of tourism around this area.
“The reaction to opening has been good, but we know some people don’t even know we are open.”