Couple launch crowdfunding bid to help buy historic Knaresborough pub

Christian Ogley and Alice Bennett
Christian Ogley and Alice Bennett

A couple who set up a successful North Yorkshire cafe-bistro have launched a crowd-funding scheme to buy a historic pub in Knaresborough.

Christian Ogley and fiancée Alice Bennett recently moved Christian’s from Crimple Hall at Pannal to Knaresborough, where they grew up.

They are hoping to buy the pub Blind Jack’s on Market Place, named after Knaresborough-born John Metcalf, the first professional road builder to emerge during the Industrial Revolution.

Their plan is to enhance the pub’s existing offering by building in a food menu featuring sharing plates, and revamping areas such as the toilets.

They have already raised £80,000 and hope to bring in a further £20,000 using the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter.

Mr Ogley said: “The idea is that people pledge money in exchange for things like lunch for two, brewery tours, latte making classes or special evenings – you can even have the Christian’s team cater your private event.

“So people receive a wonderful experience, and we are able to go ahead and create this wonderful community space in our home town.”

He added: “Knaresborough is a town that’s really close to our hearts. We have seen a lot of change in the town over the past few years, but it definitely feels like something exciting is about to happen – there’s a buzz about the place.”

The couple’s current venture has an all-day brunch menu featuring American-style pancakes, pulled-pork hash cakes and North Star coffee.

John Metcalf, known as Blind Jack, lived between 1717 and 1810. Blind from the age of six, He had an eventful life, which was well documented by his own account just before his death.

In the period 1765 to 1792 he built about 180 miles of turnpike road, mainly in the North of England.

To contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, visit www.christianscafe.co.uk before September 30.