A new manager has taken over the running of a village pub near Oxford.

It's a decade since families from Marsh Baldon and surrounding villages formed the Baldons and Nuneham Community Society (BNCS), enabling them to buy shares in the 350-year-old Seven Stars and own it themselves.

New manager Namit Julka, who started working at the pub on Friday, said he was delighted to be appointed.

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He said: "The pub is still community-owned.

"We will be serving modern English food, with real ale and lagers."

Mr Julka has taken the tenancy of the pub with Sunit Bansode.

He has run The Tree Hotel bar and restaurant in Iffley village for the last 13 years and has built up a strong and loyal following both within the village and from outside.

This is due in part to him running various events that bring the community together.

Oxford Mail: The Seven Stars has new management

After the pub was taken over by the BNCS committee, its barn was converted into a spacious restaurant.

And the hard work of the community group was rewarded in 2016 when the Seven Stars won CAMRA pub of the year.

The landlord and the committee did their best to ensure it was a genuine community pub – offering coffee, cake and a place to meet in the mornings and a focal point for village events.

The Barn continues to be a popular feature - it can accommodate up to 36 seated guests, or 60 standing, with a bar area, main restaurant and patio stretch tent available too.

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The pub will initially open six days a week, closing on Monday, but is looking to return to a seven-day opening after a few weeks.

Mr Julka added: "We plan to serve Modern British food with pub favourites.

Oxford Mail: The Barn at The Seven Stars

"Our chefs will use seasonal ingredients. To keep things fresh and lively we plan to host live music events, beer festivals, and themed dinner nights.

"Expect locally brewed ales to sit alongside trendy cocktails, and a menu packed with seasonally inspired dishes and a curated wine list to match."

There will be an official opening night on Friday and food will be served from Saturday.

There are pubs across Oxfordshire owned by community interest groups.

Communities can step in to try to save a pub threatened with closure.

A bid has been launched to save The Red Lion in Yarnton.

The pub, which is owned by Admiral Taverns, shut in August after the number of customers fell by half.

The pub has been put up for sale for £425,000 and villagers have decided to try to buy it themselves.

They are being led by Leanne Charlett, whose parents once ran the pub for almost a decade.

She has launched a steering group for the bid to save the pub for the community and get it listed as an asset of community value.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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