Vinnie looks to recruit community behind Duke of York venture

THE original grand old Duke of York reputedly had 10,000 men under his charge.

But Vinnie Caira has recruited a far smaller ‘army’ of staff to march the Heyside pub of the same name back to the top of locals’ places to visit for food and drink.

Daughter Vikki and Verity Crowley – previously landlady of the Bull’s Head – are helping Vinnie to succeed in his latest venture.

Indeed, the current landlord of the Halfway House in Royton hasn’t ruled out taking on other future projects.

For now though he’s keen to maximise the potential of the Oldham Road hostelry.

“With a nice big residential area, the pub should be something for the community to use and enjoy,” explained Vinnie who officially took over on Tuesday, March 26.

“It needs a little TLC but there’s plenty of potential.

“We’ve got a decent beer garden, there’s good pub food, good range of beers, quiz nights and as at the Halfway House, we intend to put in sport to watch. We also intend to introduce entertainment in the near future.

“Also, after the closure of the Bull’s Head, we are the only pub – apart from Heyside Cricket Club – between the lights at Egerton Street in Oldham and the Big Lamp roundabout in Shaw.”

Verity’s return to the licensing trade has also proved a welcome appointment while Vikki was previously general manager of the Morning Star, Shaw.

“Verity is a very popular lady and people have been coming into see her again which is really good,” added Vinnie.

“And Vikki is bringing her talents and experience to help manage the Duke of York, especially to the restaurant side of the business.

“I know, together with some of my ideas, we can make sure the Duke of York appeals to the local community.”

The pub – like the Halfway House which, due to its recent transformation, is scheduled for a major refurbishment – is a JW Lees inn.

“The brewery is very happy with what’s happened at the Halfway and that’s why there have been no issues when I said I was interested in taking over the Duke of York as well,” explained Vinnie.

And for the future? “Let’s put it this way, you never know,” he laughed. “There are possibilities of other things but let’s leave it at that for now.”

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