This week the Oulton Road venue reopened its doors – more than a year since a pint was last pulled in the pub.
It was bought last summer by Matt Wilcox, who featured as a contestant in Come Dine With Me, and his neighbour in Stone, Alan Appleby, who appeared on Restoration Man, where he overhauled a historic flint mill.
The man the duo have selected to continue the pub’s upturn in fortune is Paul, who has made a name for himself among food lovers at his Uttoxeter venue, Restaurant Gilmore.
But the popular restaurant, which Paul has run successfully for the past 12 years, will be closed for about three months while it undergoes a massive haul.
Now the 57-year-old is ready to serve up his renowned dishes at the freshly christened Gilmore’s at the Wheatsheaf Pub and Restaurant.
He said: “I’d been looking for a suitable business opportunity for quite a while now and I really liked the setup here. I came to drink in this pub when I was younger and seen it change.
“I love the guys that own it and I’m working with them very well at the minute. Matt approached me because he wanted someone to work with the building and confidently operate a good quality pub with such great food and drink potential.”
Matt also runs Unity – a Potteries-based scheme which looks to offer training and education to youngsters who have been excluded or have opted out of mainstream education.
Some of Unity’s pupils use the venue during the day for the organisation’s Recipe For Success programme.
Paul added: “It is wonderful what they are doing and I was ever so impressed by the programme.
“Not every chef is willing to share his kitchen, but it sealed the deal for me and I’m looking to take it one stage further. I would love to be able to say to Matt I’m going to take on one of your students for a full-time position.
“I’m really excited about the Wheatsheaf.”
Matt said: “Getting someone like Paul here is the final piece of the jigsaw – everyone has heard of him.
“We have had some really good feedback so far and I am just delighted Paul is a part of this with us.”
Customer Maureen Manley, of Kibblestone Road, Oulton, said: “I’m delighted to see Paul here.”
The venue’s bar will open from 4.30pm Mondays and Tuesdays where snacks will be served.
The restaurant will open from 5.30pm Wednesday to Friday while it was also serve lunch and dinner on Saturdays. On Sunday food will be served between noon and 6pm. To make a booking call 01785 817580.