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Boxer returning Prince of Wales to its former glory

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 19, 2012

  • Caz and Pat

  • Prince of Wales

  • Caz with daughters Amani and Jada

  • FIGHTING FIT: New landlord former Commonwealth boxing champion Pat Lewis

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PACKED to the rafters and with dozens of customers spilling out the front door, it's as if the Prince of Wales was never closed.

Many people might have forgotten about the pub in Portland Street after it was left empty for more than six months.

But now in the hands of former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist boxer Pat Lewis, 50, and his partner Caz Kapesi, 40, the pub has already recaptured some of its old magic after reopening on Thursday night.

Freshly refurbished with plenty of beer on tap, the pub was ready for the hundreds of people looking for a traditional watering hole after a day at The Open at Cheltenham Racecourse this weekend.

Pat said: "The plan was always to open towards the Paddy Power meeting to give us a little bit of a headstart. Because the pub has been closed for six months, I think people have got used to just walking past so we have to change that and get people back in.

"Because of its location, this pub should be a big pub and it always has been. We are bringing back a sleeping giant."

The Prince was a wine bar in its previous incarnation.

Before that it was a popular pub, particularly with Irish race visitors, and with good reason as it was originally run by Irishman Billy Burke.

Caz said: "We opened on Wednesday for a private party and then we opened to the public on Thursday officially.

"We knew a couple of months ago that we would be taking it on. It is now a proper drinkers' pub again. When it was held by Billy Burke it was thriving so really now it is back in the family because I am from the same roots in Galway as Billy and my maiden name is Burke." Pat and Caz have made numerous changes to the pub's décor but said the things that made the pub a success in the past remained.

Pat said: "This has been in the pipeline for a while and so once we had done the work, we needed to refurbish the pub because it had been standing empty for about six months, we were able to open.

"Before we took over, the Prince of Wales was being run as a wine bar and I think that did drive the original customers away, so we have turned it back into a traditional pub.

"It is really the only traditional pub in town where people can finish work and get in."

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  • wotcrap  |  November 23 2012, 3:30AM

    oh so sorry for my grammar,Pifaw ... this couple have a history of running pubs,Yes clean into the grozund, & its well known to, can you name a pub in cheltenham that they have made a success of, In fact I am shocked that he has got another pub, But knowing his track record I most certainly won't be going there, to be drinking larger served out of a can & going home smelling of dogs

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  • Pifaw  |  November 20 2012, 7:46AM

    Wat****; your english and spelling certainly is.

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  • wotcrap  |  November 19 2012, 11:28PM

    The Prince used 2 b a good pub, but not no more ,this man as had at least 6 pubs in chelt & has ruined everyone.Only the local shops will benifit where he goes in there 2buy there drink deals & then sell them at his prices....shame not many pubs left on chelt,it will n anouther 1 gone soon :(

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  • ShorterNews  |  November 19 2012, 11:01PM

    So is he a Commonwealth champion or a Commonwealth bronze medallist? He can't be both TiG.

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  • wotcrap  |  November 19 2012, 10:22PM

    The Prince used 2 b a good pub, but not no more ,this man as had at least 6 pubs in chelt & has ruined everyone.Only the local shops will benifit where he goes in there 2buy there drink deals & then sell them at his prices....shame not many pubs left on chelt,it will n anouther 1 gone soon :(

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  • charlie2times  |  November 19 2012, 8:31PM

    um, i think you'll find there is another 'traditional' pub right next door, the Cotswold, which has had a proper pub atmospere for 150 years!

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  • tishwash  |  November 19 2012, 6:23PM

    It's been open under new management for months according to the signs, it wasn't just opened in time for the races, unless the last owners were only a mere 2 months ago!

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  • Cheltenhaboy  |  November 19 2012, 11:55AM

    Going on Mr Lewis' track record in the public house sector i give it six months!

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