Why A 1200-Year-Old British Pub Is Officially Reopening

You might have a favorite bar in the city or a local neighborhood watering hole where you like to grab a beer, but it probably hasn't been around for over a thousand years. On the other hand, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, a pub in St. Albans, England, has been around for 1,200 years. It claims to be the oldest bar in England, according to NPR. Despite its long history, the storied establishment wasn't immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and announced that the pub was saying goodbye earlier this year.

But now the pub is reopening. Food and Wine explained that the former pub manager, head chef, and another investor is taking over Ye Olde Fighting Cocks' lease and the bar will be opening again on April 4. This only means that the pub will continue its long history, but management will be putting some new changes in place, like specials and a kids' menu. People reported that the pub has also been repainted and there have been other restorations, so if you visited Ye Olde Fighting Cocks before, you can expect some fresh twists.

The history of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks

According to the pub's website, the original name of the bar wasn't Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. The pub was first called The Round House and was located by St. Albans Cathedral, which at the time was called St. Albans Abbey. After the abbey was destroyed, the pub moved to its current location and was renamed Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. The name changed another time after cock fighting was banned, and the pub was known as The Fisherman until 1872. Then, the pub returned to the name Ye Olde Fighting Cocks.

NPR reports that the pub has also been an inn and a pigeon house. Supposedly, Oliver Cromwell stayed at the inn for a night, and since the bar has been around since the 8th century, it's not surprising that there's a long list of trivia and fun facts. Although we know the pub has been around for ages, NPR writes that the Guinness Book of World Records couldn't officially verify it as the oldest bar.

Looking for more historical food sites to visit? The title of oldest restaurant in the world may go to Restaurante Botín in Madrid, and if you want to enjoy a beer, check out the oldest tavern in the United States, the White House Tavern in Rhode Island.