A YORK pub which lay empty and boarded up for many months after shutting last summer has reopened its doors.

The Brown Cow, a community pub in Hope Street, off Walmgate, closed down in August last year.

It was one of several Samuel Smith’s Brewery pubs in the York area to shut in 2019, with no indications as to whether they would reopen.

But now the Brown Cow is serving customers again after new landlady Fern Murrell took over the pub -to the delight of regulars, some of whom have been going to the pub for decades.

The pub is opening seven days a week under different hours, from 3pm to 10pm, with a range of social distancing and safety arrangements in place because of the pandemic.

A sign on the door reads: "Welcome. House rules apply. To enter you must comply. Service is at our discretion so make the right impression."

The pub's reopening is in contrast to a number of other pubs across the city, which have taken the decision not to reopen straight away from the lockdown, despite permission to do so from the Government.

Samuel Smith's Brewery does not comment to the media, but its website states that it operates in the region of 200 pubs, most small pubs situated in the 'former mill, mine and steel areas of the north of England.'

It says: "Many pubs in such neighbourhoods are closing but we keep ours open and well maintained serving the local community and offering value for money."

It goes on to say that George Orwell described his perfect pub in a 1945 essay entitled “The Moon under Water," and Samuel Smith’s pubs "accord with his ideal in several ways:

"The architecture and fittings must be uncompromisingly Victorian. Games, such as darts, are only played in the public bar so that in other bars you can walk about without the worry of flying darts.

"The pub is quiet enough to talk, with the house possessing neither a radio nor a piano. The barmaids know the customers by name and take an interest in everyone.

"A creamy sort of draught stout is served. In winter there is generally a good fire burning in at least two of the bars."