The Wokingham Paper

The Rose will rise – chance for public to see plans for historic Wokingham pub

The Rose
The former Café Rouge site will become The Rose if plans get the green light. Members of the public can see them next Wednesday

PLANS to restore a 17th century coaching inn will go on show next week.

The new owners of the former Café Rouge in Wokingham’s town centre are proposing to take it back to its pub roots as The Rose.

And Oakman Inns is planning a public exhibition from Wednesday through to Saturday, March 9, so residents can see what they’re cooking up.

A spokesperson for the company said that when they acquired the site, they had considered calling it The Rose Revived but, after consulting with real ale campaigners Camra and listening to local voices, they’ve decided to give it its historic name back – The Rose.

Last week, a planning application was submitted to Wokingham Borough Council. The proposals include renovating parts of the main building such as reinstating fireplaces in the pub area, unveiling the historic aspects of the building and creating a new café and restaurant with an open theatre-style kitchen and pizza oven that will overlook the courtyard area.

Malcolm Schooling, Oakman Inns’ Property Director, said: “As everyone who has an interest knows, it can be very frustrating to try and make sense of planning drawings and designs, especially on a home computer screen, so we always try to ensure that as many interested local people have an opportunity to see the plans close-up, and to ask questions of those involved in the process.

He added: “We always thrive on the opportunity to restore a building’s heritage while balancing it carefully with new elements of high-quality modern architecture, comfortable interior design and maintaining the charm and special historical character of the building.”

And Oakman Inns founder and CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, is smitten with the building.

He said: “I absolutely love this property and believe our plans will re-establish The Rose at the centre of Wokingham’s community.

“We encourage everyone who visits to leave comments and observations on the design as these are often insightful and helpful and can provide a useful focus for the management team when it comes to meeting their future customers’ expectations.

“Those comments have helped to guide us and to drive our standards ever-higher.”

The exhibition will take place at 30 Market Place, Wokingham from Wednesday through to Saturday, March 9. On the opening day, directors and senior managers from Oakman Inns and their architect team will be on hand to answer any questions. It is open from 4.30pm to 7pm on the Wednesday and from 10am to 2pm from Thursday to Saturday.

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