A POPULAR pub in South Oxfordshire is making a royal return today.

The Unusual Suspects will play at an opening party for the Royal Standard in Wallingford tonight.

Previously the Partridge, the pub will return as a sports bar after a troubled few years.

Also marketing itself as a gastropub, it will be serving real ale from Amwell Springs, and 'great food' from chef Matt Procter.

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Director David Haines, from Punch Monkey Ltd – who have taken over from Greene King – said: "The pub itself has got a very nice split between the bar area, with sports, (and) on the other side we will eventually be turning it a carvery - Wallingford's first, which is causing quite a buzz."

A coffee shop is also planned for the pub's 'phenomenal' garden, with a children's play area, light lunches and cake on offer during the day.

The Oxford Times:

Mr Haines, who also works behind the scenes at the Coachmakers Arms opposite, on the same St Mary’s Street, continued: “The history of the pub and its relationship with Wallingford is quite important.

“People are very, very happy about it reopening.”

The garden has been renovated and the pub repainted, with new signage put in place and 'a couple' of jobs created.

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Ales 'Easy Geez' and 'Chairman Dave' will be available, with plans to put Mad Gaz on tap shortly. Andrew Gibbons, the organisation's brewer, explained: "We are just a small brewery in Cholsey. It's been going great guns (since it started six months ago) - have got four wonderful beers, all named after 'local celebrities' from South Oxfordshire and Wallingford."

Lauding the Standard and its support for their brewery, he added: "It's a lovely old pub and I have had many a night in here. Its great to have it back.

"With being a brewer and living in the area all my life, its great its got such a great garden - its a great venue.

“Hopefully it will help regenerate this end of the town - there is no reason for anyone at this end to carry on walking into town.”

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Mr Haines added that the pub would have Sky and BT Sports and that there was talk of a man who used to run discos at the pub a decade ago holding a 'regulars reunion' this summer. He said there had also been suggestions that members of the old pool, darts and Aunt Sally teams were talking about relaunching.