A pub in a York village is set to reopen its doors.

Tom Brown, who is landlord of Lord Nelson in Poppleton, now has his second pub.

Tom has pubs in his blood, with his parents Pete and Nicky Brown, previously running the White Horse in Upper Poppleton.

Tom, will be re-opening the former Red Lion in Kapton on Wednesday at 4pm, which he hopes will lead to his own pub and restaurant group.

The pub, which has been re-branded The Knapton Lion, had been closed for over a year and now is owned by a local businessman, who bought it from one of the major pubcos.


Tom told the Press: “I love reopening neglected local pubs and enjoy the challenge of getting them looking nice, doors open and ready to serve! I like to build my teams from local skilled people who love meeting the community and creating warm, welcoming pubs that locals love to visit!”

Knapton residents had feared the pub might be turned into housing, but Tom saw its potential and now he hopes to build on its former reputation for dining, when it was ran by Annie Prescott, a roux scholar and top class chef.

The pub received an extension in 2007 and in return now houses a large commercial kitchen and a 50 cover restaurant as well as a designated bar area. 

York Press: Tom with his mum Nicky

Tom plans to focus on three things, food, beer and atmosphere, using his previous experiences at the Lord Nelson and the White Horse to help him.

He said: “Previous landlords discouraged the drinking trade at the pub so we've rearranged the layout of the pub to allow for a designated bar area which provides customers an area that they can use without booking.

“We've won a couple of awards for our beer offerings at the Lord Nelson so we are using our local brewery contacts to help us gain a great reputation for top notch ales.”

Head chef Matt Brown Meek, was previous head at the Durham Ox in Crayke, and Castle Howard, other chef Ben has most recently worked at the York Minster Refectory with Andrew Pern.

Front of House, Victoria Giannini, was most recently the landlady/owner of the Dawnay Arms at Shipton by Beninborough.

Tom said: “I'm very confident in my team and very confident we can make The Knapton Lion a busy pub once again!

“We're going to be serving Lunches, Evening A la Carte Menus and Sunday Lunches each week. We're also going to be restarting the much loved Thursday coffee morning!”

York Press: The interior of the Knapton Lion

Tom opened his last pub The Lord Nelson, just as the cost-of-living crisis began, saying freehold status means he can make deals with local breweries and other suppliers to keep costs down.

“We want to be affordable whilst not skimping on quality. We want our customers to receive a warm welcome, good value for money and great service,” he said.

Thanking his staff and family for their support, Tom added: “The Knapton Lion is the new destination for top notch dining, Ales, Spirits and Wines; we'd love for people to come down and try our food and sample our drinks and see what we're all about!”

He is also keen to hear from anyone who might have further pubs for him to tackle!