Licensees celebrate 20 years behind the bar at award-winning pub

Licensees celebrate 20 years behind the bar at award-winning pub

September 2019 is a major milestone for licensees Joe and Irene Moran who are celebrating 20 years behind the bar at the multi-award winning The Ings Hotel in Guiseley.

Yorkshire born and bred, Joe and Irene had no experience of running pubs prior to taking on the lease of The Ings Hotel in 1999, though Irene had long dreamt of running a traditional pub.  It didn’t hamper them at all, far from it.  They turned the pub around and established it as a highly regarded old-fashioned local with the two of them behind the bar.  Unlike other pubs in the area, they opted not to become a food pub, but to focus on the drinks and providing a fantastic environment for customers to socialise in.  They have built a strong reputation for cask ale and high levels of customer service, maintaining The Ings popularity over the years. 

Among the pubs many awards are Great British Pub Award for Cellarman of the Year; Best Leased & Tenanted pub for Yorkshire, North East & Scotland and The Leeds in Bloom Best Pub Display Gold Award, which the pub has won for 12 years running.

Joe said of their approach “If you get the beer right and offer decent wine, excellent service and a warm and welcoming ambience everyone is happy. We’ve survived two recessions by providing good beer, real ales, real fires and by helping to keep the community spirit alive. We don’t have music or amusement machines as we want people to relax and enjoy adult banter, talking to each other.”

During their time at the pub, Joe and Irene have helped raise £40,000 for local charities, such as most recently Candle Lighters which supports families facing children's cancer in Yorkshire, as well as various other cancer charities through pub quizzes and regular charity fundraisers and events.  Joe explained: “When we support a charity, we really go for it.  Customers get involved, such as donating to the Christmas hampers, which alone helps raise around £700 annually.”

Over the years, the couple has undertaken a £40,000 refurbishment of the pub, invested £5000 creating a secure area in the garden for kids to play in and bought a marquee which residents use for birthday parties, christenings and other community events such as the Film Club’s recent 60-year anniversary.  

Joe said of their anniversary: “Thank you to our regulars for all their support over the years.  We have met some wonderful people who’ve been there for us in good and bad times.  We put the effort into making the environment great, but it’s the customers who ultimately create the ambience.  It’s been and is brilliant – thank you!”

Star Pubs & Bars, Business Development Manager, Jon Kelly said: “Joe and Irene’s attention to detail is unremitting and plain for all to see. The flowers are fantastic, and it doesn’t stop there.  You go inside and the wow factor continues.  It’s a gorgeous traditional pub.  The brass is polished daily, and everything is gleaming. 

“Humour and self-deprecation are very much part of what Joe and Irene offer, and those who have witnessed on quiz nights, Joe, the quizmaster, struggling with the quiz questions, never mind the answers, will know what a great laugh these nights are.

“A recent article in The Guardian newspaper on what makes a great pub, concluded ‘All we long for is somewhere to have a relaxing drink in a convivial atmosphere and to meet others with a similar aim’.  Joe and Irene certainly provide that and more at The Ings Hotel.  Congratulations on this landmark occasion and wishing you many more happy days behind the bar.”