A historic Ramsey pub has re-opened as a freehouse after being closed for three and a half years.

Paulette and Emma Bevan-Kelly, formerly of The Royal George, are the new landladies at The Central free house with Heron and Brearley offering them the tenancy.

The pub, which is in Parliament Square and was built in 1797, has been closed since March 2020 when the brewery made the decision to shut its doors in the midst of the pandemic.

Since re-opening on August 18 the pub has seen many former locals return to the historic pub, which originally opened as a public house on May 13 1889 and has been a registered building since 1998.

Heron and Brearley, which runs 32 pubs across the island, was managing the pub before the pandemic but decided to offer Paulette and Emma the option of taking over the tenancy.

Paulette said although they did give it some thought, it was an offer the pair couldn’t refuse.

She said: ‘I was the manager at the Royal George, and they [Heron and Brearley] asked me if I wanted to take on the tenancy at The Central and I thought why not?

‘If you don’t try these things you’ll never know, so we kind of jumped in feet first.’

She added that it’s been emotional for some people to see their favourite pub re-open, something that the people of Ramsey didn’t think they’d see again.

She said: ‘We’ve had lots of people, young and old from different generations coming in and they’re glad it’s back open again.

‘We’ve had the older people who never thought they’d have a pint in here again, so it’s been quite nice listening to their stories and people have been getting emotional.

‘We’ve had quite a few tears!’

When asked what drew the two of them to take The Central on, she said: ‘It’s a smaller pub than the Royal George, and before Covid I was the landlady at the Stanley Hotel on the quay in Ramsey, but a smaller pub to me is more homely.

‘People don’t drink like they used to so if you’re in a smaller pub it is always going to feel like people are in and you can do more with that.’

They have made changes to the pub to make it more appealing to a wider audience.

Paulette said: ‘We’ve kept it very TT orientated on one side, which is quieter and perhaps more for older people, and will be quieter than the other side, which is energetic and fun.

‘One side is more of a pub feel, and the other is more of a bar feel. That’s what we wanted. ‘We can do our own thing and put our stamp on it.

‘All the feedback we’ve had has been good, everyone seems to like the space and say when they walk in that it does make them want to smile.’