Former landlady returns to new-look Imperial
A FORMER landlady of an enduring Weston venue returned to the watering hole to reveal its brand new look.
Joyce Allen, aged 88, ran the Imperial shortly after World War Two, but it had been owned by her family since the 1910s.
She returned to the South Parade venue this week as guest of honour at its unveiling as the Imperial Brasserie. Brothers Chris and Mike Sanders have invested ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’ in revamping its d�cor, flooring, furnishings and services.
Chris said: “Going forward, we want to make sure people know that The Imperial is no longer a pub and that it has changed.
“Its future is all about excellent food at excellent prices, great customer service and an ambience you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the area.”
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And Joyce expressed her delight at the new look, while also enjoying a slice of nostalgia during her return.
She recalled the venue’s popularity for its piano performances by Madame Tovell and cribbage contests - and revealed how it had a lucky escape at the hands of the German Luftwaffe in World War Two.
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Joyce said: “An incendiary bomb landed on the roof and went through to the bathroom.
“Our young man who looked after the boiler ran upstairs and put the device out, and there was very little damage.”
That lucky escape enabled the pub to go on to become one of Weston’s best-loved venues under Joyce’s stewardship.
She added: “I was absolutely delighted the new owners invited me to the launch event for The Imperial Brasserie.
“It was lovely to be able to go inside once again and see all the improvements they have made.
“Three of my four children were born in the hotel and we lived there until late 1949. The Imperial had been my home for many years and I am still very fond of it.”
n Pictured: Chris, Mike and Joyce.