Family get Kite ready to soar again

The Oxford Times: Simon De Donato and his mother Liz behind the bar at The Kite Inn Simon De Donato and his mother Liz behind the bar at The Kite Inn

THEY’VE travelled more than 10,000 miles from Melbourne to Cambridgeshire and now to Oxford.

And the De Donato family are planning to breathe new life into The Kite Inn, in Mill Street.

They have taken over the tenancy of the pub and will close it next month to carry out a £160,000 refurbishment.

The work will include putting in a new kitchen and bathrooms, taking out walls to create a new layout for the pub and restoring the original hardwood floor.

The family moved from Melbourne to Cambridgeshire three years ago and have been looking for the right pub to run ever since.

Liz De Donato, 57, is running the pub with daughters Amanda, 32, and Jasmin, 26, and sons Simon, 24, and Jason, 20.

She said: “It’s very exciting. I can’t wait for the refurbishment to happen.

“It’s a big upgrade – we’re securing the future of the site as a pub.

“It looks tired, so this will bring new life into it for everyone to enjoy – without making too many changes.”

The Australian-Italian family moved to Oxford the day they took over the pub, which also offers bed and breakfast.

The £160,000 revamp is being paid for by Suffolk brewer Greene King, which owns the building.

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While new signs will be put up outside the pub, their predecessors will be used as decorations inside.

New decking will also be built at the back of the pub, but the pool room is set to stay.

Simon De Donato said: “We’re going back to an old traditional English pub. It will be a bit art-deco style.

“It’s our first pub, we haven’t done this before, but it’s definitely going to feel a lot better.”

He said he had never been to Oxford before the family moved into the pub.

He added: “I just haven’t had the time to look around. It has been so busy getting the pub up and running.

“I’m looking forward to being able to go and have a look at Oxford when I can.”

Once the facelift is finished, a celebratory relaunch will be held.

The family has taken over from manager Paul Wakefield, who ran the pub on behalf of its former tenants who decided to end their contract to focus on their other businesses.

It is believed there has been a pub on the site for about 200 years, and the building itself dates back to the late 1800s.

Comments (1)

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3:10pm Mon 17 Mar 14

thomashenry says...

Fingers crossed that the ban on dogs will be lifted!
Fingers crossed that the ban on dogs will be lifted! thomashenry
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