'Small but mighty' Arena Tavern proud to celebrate 30th birthday

The Arena Tavern is set to celebrate 30 years of trading

The Arena Tavern is set to celebrate 30 years of trading - Credit: Courtesy of Savannah Joyce

One of our favourite Letchworth pubs is celebrating three decades of welcoming punters through its doors.

The Arena Tavern, in Arena Parade, has been family-run since opening in 1991.

The "small but mighty" boozer stands proud, having weathered the storms of adversity for thirty years, according to landlady Savannah Joyce. 

Letchworth arena

The Arena Tavern in Letchworth first opened its doors in 1991 - Credit: Courtesy of Savannah Joyce

Launched in 1991 with Bob Bickerdike at the helm, it offered "beer and conversation", an oasis in an "historically dry" town.

In the three decades that followed, this family-run pub built its reputation for cask ales, free live music and a warm welcome "to all good hearted people" from staff and customers alike.


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Even with the later arrival of large chain pubs into the town, The Tav - as it is affectionately known to its clientele - stood "like a David among Goliaths" and continued to provide a welcoming haven, finding big screen fame as the King's Head in the dark comedy The World's End.

The Arena Tavern

The Arena Tavern has recently undergone a refurbishment - Credit: Courtesy of Savannah Joyce

The last year has hit the hospitality industry hard - with the coronavirus pandemic causing uncertainty, months of closure, and seemingly endless restrictions on how customers could be served.

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Now, our local pubs and restaurants are able to bounce back, with most restrictions finally lifting in the summer this year. 

Having been recently refurbished during its temporary pandemic closure by the current landlady Savannah, the Arena Tavern has come back proudly offering the additional facility of a garden frontage for al fresco enjoyment.

Savannah told the Comet: "I feel very proud to know that The Tav is about to celebrate 30 successful years.

"It's still being run under the same morals it was opened with back in 1991.

"We can't wait to celebrate with the customers that have supported us over the years and got us here!"

As its 30th anniversary approaches, the Arena Tavern wishes to invite customers old and new to join with the team in celebrating this substantial achievement.

There will be a party on Saturday, September 11 from 8pm. To celebrate, there will be a range of music including ska, motown, reggae, northern soul to mark this landmark birthday. Doors are open to all, no tickets or booking required. 

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