Revamped Winchburgh pub ready for first orders

The only pub in Winchburgh reopens tomorrow, as part of a wider £4 million investment by Star Pubs & Bars in its Scottish sites.

The Tally Hos new licensees are locals Trevor and Yvonne Spence. Picture: Phil Wilkinson.
The Tally Hos new licensees are locals Trevor and Yvonne Spence. Picture: Phil Wilkinson.

The £400,000 upgrade of The Tally Ho creates 18 jobs – and sees it become a family-friendly pub and introduce food. The investment was undertaken by the Heineken-owned group, and the pub’s new licensees, Winchburgh residents Trevor and Yvonne Spence. The couple are joined in the venture by son Aidan, a trained chef.

The Tally Ho is the Spences’ first pub, and Yvonne, who is currently the British number one Olympic weightlifter for her age group, is forgoing participation in this year’s world championships in Canada to ensure the pub gets off to the best possible start.

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She said: “It has been our dream to have our own pub and, when our local became available, we felt it was ‘now or never’. We want The Tally Ho to appeal to all and cater for families. We’ve overhauled the pub from top to bottom. Though I’ve been doing a lot of heavy lifting to get it ready, I want The Tally Ho to be perfect, so I’ve not got time for the training required for the world championships this year.”

The revamp has opened up the pub to “make it more contemporary and comfortable whilst retaining its traditional country feel”. The terrace now has a retractable roof and sides so that customers can enjoy al fresco eating and drinking year-round, and there has also been a kitchen refit and extension.

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Amid a perceived lack of places to eat out in or around Winchburgh, the pub will serve freshly prepared, locally sourced food all day.

The menu will include breakfast and brunch, barista-quality coffee and cakes, traditional pub favourites and specials. The drinks range features craft ales, premium spirits, cocktails and prosecco, plus a selection of wines.

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Dogs will have a dedicated play area in the garden, dog treats and even their own drinks, including “Pawsecco”.

The Spences want The Tally Ho to be a focal point of village life. The pub has a children’s play area and many games for families; a host of activities such as quiz nights and acoustic music will be held and the Spences are keen to support local groups and good causes.

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Yvonne Spence said: “The Tally Ho has been part of Winchburgh life for over 100 years (albeit with different names), and we want to keep it thriving for future generations to enjoy. Winchburgh is due to receive a lot of investment and redevelopment, and we’re extremely pleased to be able to add to it.”

Star Pubs & Bars area manager Tom Reilly welcomed the upgrade the pub “needs”, adding: “The changes will give people many more reasons to visit and provide local residents with a great quality pub on their doorsteps. With all the Spences’ plans, The Tally Ho is set become a destination in its own right and attract people from other areas to Winchburgh.”

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Other Scottish Star Pubs & Bars in Scotland to have been earmarked for a refit include the Wemyss Hotel in Port Seton, East Lothian, and The Cartvale in Busby, East Renfrewshire.

The group also said recently that it was this year pumping £555,000 into revamping the outside of its Scottish pubs, with 21 sites to benefit.