AN award-winning publican is taking over a town centre pub.

Barry Young, of the Adam & Eve in Prudhoe, is the new landlord of the Dr Syntax, owned by Star Pubs & Bars, on the town's Front Street.

Former long-term licensees Keith and Olga Stokoe, who ran the pub for 21 years, retired in 2020, moving to Spain.

The couple spent more than two decades behind the bar of the popular pub - neither with any hospitality experience but a passion to drive it forward and safeguard one of the oldest buildings in the town.

Claire and Dean Hepple Brooks took over, running it until 2022 before another tenant took up post.

"It's a challenge, but I like a challenge", said Barry. "It's a very different pub to the one I've got, but it's a good pub and a good spot. 

"Drinking wise, we (The Adam & Eve) get the trade through the day and that trade moves up to the Front Street, so the idea is that we can hopefully capture the market in both ways."

Barry plans to introduce a small, simple food menu and drink offers when the pub is under his leadership from April 28.

He added: "We're just going to have to get in there, find out what the people want and try and give it to them.

"There's no such thing as a bad pub, you've just got to find out what a pub wants and give it what it needs.

"Hospitality wise, it's not an ideal time to take a pub on, but you've got to find opportunity in the face of adversity.

"The people in Prudhoe are very happy to support their local businesses, they want to see people succeed.

"As towns get bigger, they get less of a community, but this one doesn't seem to be that way."

The Adam & Eve, on Station Road, has been named North East Pub of the Year at the Corporate Livewire's Prestige Awards for the second year running.

Barry took over the Low Prudhoe pub four years ago, having entered the trade at 21. His family managed the Wheatsheaf Corbridge while he was growing up.

A spokeswoman for Star Pubs & Bars said: " The Dr Syntax is a landmark of Prudhoe with great facilities and lots of untapped potential.

"We’re delighted that Barry is taking it on. He is an excellent licensee with a great knowledge of the town and understands just what local residents want. His plans for the Dr Syntax are just what it needs to thrive. We wish him all the best."