The New Baron is a name that is all too recognisable to Hinckley residents even though the town has only been home to the pub since October 2019.
In this article, we thought we’d showcase the modern boozer in all its glory and show you how well the pub has been doing since it opened its doors.
A note from the editor to our readers: The New Baron of Hinckley will reopen after the pandemic and the Hinckley Free Press would like to reassure its readers of this.
We just wanted to cover a local history piece showcasing how far the pub done since they opened their doors.
Nirad Solanki, Owner and Director of local independent brewery, Elmesthorpe Brewery, announced to the Leicester Mercury that he was in the process of securing the 4,500 square foot site of the former J.D. Wetherspoons pub, The Baron of Hinckley.
Nirad vowed that the ‘Wetherspoons legacy shall live on’ with the ownership of the public house to swap hands in the summer.
On 22 September, The Baron of Hinckley under the ownership of Tim Martin’s British pub empire, J.D. Wetherspoons, pulled its last few pints of the night before closing their doors.
The next day on 23 September, contractors were sent into the space to take down The Baron of Hinckley and Wetherspoons signage from the property.
Our very own Hinckley and Nuneaton Reporter, Mason Moore, snapped these exclusive photographs which even made their way into the weekly copy of The Hinckley Times in print.
On 15 October 2019, Nirad Solanki agreed to speak to Mason Moore about his new venture with setting up a pub in Hinckley for the first time.
Solanki said: “We’re looking at opening 4 – 5 days from now. We’re looking at October 21st, but it could be as soon as Saturday night.
“We try to attract different clientele rather than just Ex-Wetherspoons customers. We’re a broader community.
Solanki also mentioned how he loved the Wetherspoons concept of ‘high turnover with low prices’.
It was even mentioned that the New Baron could potentially sponsor different sport teams. Nirad said: “We’re looking at sponsoring rugby and football teams. After games, we’d serve them both food and drinks.”
Discussing properties locally, Nirad mentioned that the former Oddfellow Arms pub space in Higham on the Hill piqued his interest, but Elmesthorpe Brewery were unsuccessful in seeing The Oddies through to the end.
In late January, the Hinckley Free Press teamed up with the New Baron of Hinckley to break the news that their first ever live entertainment show should take place at the venue.
The first live entertainment show to emanate from The New Baron was a live drag show hosted by Leicester’s very own ‘local celebrity’, drag queen extraordinaire, Fanny Burns which taken place on 23 January 2020.
Burns made history by hosting the first ever live event at the venue and later announced that as well as drag shows, ‘drag bingo’, a game of bingo hosted by drag queen Fanny Burns would also take place inside the venue.
On 6 February 2020, Fanny Burns hosted the first ever drag bingo event from the venue. Burns said: “I’m blown away by the turn out of the bingo at the New Baron.
“The place was buzzing, and everyone looked to be having a great time. I can’t thank the people of Hinckley enough for the support they have shown.”
The drag bingo events continued throughout the month of February and into the month of March on 5 March.
The New Baron of Hinckley continued to serve residents until the end of March, where they had to temporarily close the venue and remain closed until the current ongoing pandemic blows over.
Sadly, pubs will be amongst the last group of establishments to reopen after the pandemic.
A site exclusive
When we asked Nirad if we could ever see the Hinckley’s neighbouring town of Nuneaton would ever be home to an Elmesthorpe Brewery establishment, he explained that he had been in the process of trying to secure a deal on a currently disused pub.
Solanki said: “We were in lengthy negotiations when it came to The Crown Inn, but we couldn’t get the right deal for the freehold and we had to walk away.
“The building had been broken into three times and it had the majority of copper and electrics that were inside of the building stripped out.
“The state of disrepair and dilapidation was huge. All the windows would’ve had to be changed.
“Furthermore, the whole first floor of the venue needed redoing completely as the support of the whole floor was not structurally sound.
“To be able to invest in it and buying the bricks and mortar would’ve been the right decision if the right deal had stacked up, however, it didn’t.”