York pub reopens with ambitious plans to become one of the best in Britain

Chris Sherratt behind the bar at the Woolpack. Photographs: Sam Preece
8 Dec 2016 @ 7.18 pm
| Food & drink

The Woolpack has been a live music venue, and then a beer and conversation pub. Now, after a brief closure, it re-opens as a ‘no gimmicks’ pub tonight (December 8).

The Woolpack Inn, 6 Fawcett Street, York

Re-opens Thu Dec 8 @ 8pm

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The opening – which starts at 8pm – will give beer lovers plenty of local brews to try, as sourced by Chris and Sharon Sherratt who are now running the pub.

Chris and Sharon, who were teachers before becoming publicans, describe the new Woolpack as “an education in beer”.

Sharon said: “Chris was a science teacher, and I was an English and history teacher, but we’ve always really been into real ale and it was something we’d both thought about for quite a long time.

“Obviously it’s a massive jump going from that to running a pub but eventually we thought we’d take the leap. We’re much happier doing this.”

Unususal beers

‘Chris knows everything there is to know about beer’

Having transformed the reputation of rundown Birmingham pub The Craven, Chris and Sharon are confident they can achieve success with Fawcett Street landmark The Woolpack.

Chris said: “Birmingham had smaller, less imaginative competition than York, but The Craven was a back-street boozer that we built into one of the best pubs in the country.

“So, it’d be nice to think we could do a similar thing here.

“We’re going to do what we normally do, just stock loads of interesting well kept beers. It’ll be stuff that’s not so regular in York.”

Sharon added: “Chris keeps the cellar really well and he knows everything there is to know about beer. He has the knowledge of the casks and when people come in he can chat to them about it.”

There will be no mainstream brands on offer as they prefer to support smaller companies and independent producers.

Chris explained: “It’s going to be Yorkshire-only sourced beer with a permanent Magic Rock tap, which is from Huddersfield and is one of the best breweries in the country.”

So how much is it going to be for a pint? “Our prices will be relatively reasonable, round about the £3 mark.”

Music and art

Ready to meet and greet: the Woolpack

The pub has hosted many gigs in the past, and they are considering hosting live music again.

“We may look into it. With the size of the pub, we’re realistically talking about acoustic performances.”

The couple are also looking to fill the walls of the pub with pieces from local artists to encourage people to support them.

“The Wakefield beer exchange promotes a lot of local art so there are is a lot of local art displayed on the wall for sale,” said Chris.

“Hopefully we can tap into that here and we can sort some local artist’s work on the walls and sell it for them.”

Formerly a Punch Taverns pub, The Woolpack is owned by Paul Crossman and business partner Jon Farrow, who also own The Slip Inn and The Volunteer Arms.

It was well known as a live music pub but was relaunched as a ‘beer and conversation pub’ in 2014 before the landlord Steve Bradley quit to pursue new projects.