The Birth of The Old Cock
Several years ago whilst talking to some friends at the Otley Beer Festival, it was suggested to us that Otley was in need of an ‘Independent Real Ale Freehouse’. I had often wondered why there was not a ‘Fanny’s’, a ‘Fighting Cock’ or a ‘One eyed Rat’ in Otley. Linda (my partner) got the idea stuck firmly in her mind and the search began.
In 2008, after a couple of failed attempts at Auction, we finally purchased a lovely old building within our budget right in the heart of Otley. The building was in a very poor state of repair but, with a passion for both Real Ale and old property renovation, it seemed the perfect project.
The next eighteen months were taken up with the various Planning and Listed Building Consents which were eventually granted at Appeal. The work then started in earnest with my ‘supposedly retired’ Father (David) and I spending the next eighteen months lovingly restoring the building back to its original beauty under the watchful eye and with the help of Linda. The building has been made structurally sound and has been restored exposing many original features ; stone flag floors, original fireplaces, stone mullioned windows, datestone etc. As well as being transformed into a working pub.
The building was born in 1755 as stated on the datestone. It started life as two small cottages but, in the middle of the twentieth century the building was condemned for residential use and soon became taken up for Commercial purposes. It was used as an Antiques shop and a Pottery before becoming the Curlew Cafe and then the Sugar Street Bistro. The building then fell empty for over three years until the restoration work began.
In September 2010 the Building started a new and hopefully long term chapter in its history, opening as The Old Cock Public House, an independent real ale freehouse. We have served over 500 Real Ales in our first Year alone championing local micro-breweries which struggle to get bar space due to the recent beer tie monopoly and these sit proudly on our bar alongside some of the larger better known breweries. We also stock Real Ciders, Belgian Abbey & Trappist Beers, Wheat Beers and various other continental and world beers.
Here are some before and after photographs of the development. It was a pleasure working on such a lovely old building and I hope that you enjoy the Old Cock as much as we do.
Lee Pullan (Proprietor).