Publican Jen opens community cafe in Yelvertoft to help create social hub for residents

Yelvertoft publican Jen Rees has opened a community cafe to help create a social hub for residents.

Jen Rees.

She took over the Knightley Arms in October 2020, which was closed, with the aim to re-establish it as the heart of the village.

The Knightley Arms had previously focused on a drinking clientele and Jen was keen to encourage more women, families and elderly customers to come into the premises to socialise.

As the village has no other services Jen also sees the pub as an important place for people to get together and overcome issues of isolation and loneliness.

Jen hopes to make the Knightley Arms the heart of the community.

As part of this approach to make the pub more accessible the new community café, which serves a range of Lavazza premium coffees, cakes and pastries, has been opened with the expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services.

The pub is now busy serving local families, cyclists, ramblers, passing boaters and loves to welcome dog visitors.

It serves food between midday to 8pm every day offering a range of pub favourites such as beer battered cod and chips and Sunday roasts.

Jen said: “The pub is now the centre of the village and is open to everyone. There has been a real buzz about the services we now offer and it has really helped to build morale in these challenging times.

The new community café serves a range of Lavazza premium coffees.

“The community café has really helped to make the Knightley Arms the place for everyone to come and connect. It is so nice to see a range of different people including families and the elderly from the village using the pub.”

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Dave Allan said: “Jen has really transformed the Knightley Arms into the hub of this village in only a short time.

“The community café will offer those living locally the chance to meet and socialise following a time when many of them have been isolated due to lockdowns."

Service and a smile at the village venue.