A POPULAR pub has reopened after receiving a "fresh" new makeover and staff are "excited" to welcome customers back.

The Ox Row Inn, located on Ox Row, reopened today, Thursday, February 22, after temporarily closing for redecoration on January 29.

The refresh brings an exciting modern twist on the traditional Salisbury pub, complete with a new colour scheme, vibrant paintings on the wall, and over ten different lagers, beers and ciders on draught plus an updated seasonal menu.

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Among the many notable changes include a redesign of the upstairs dining area.

Salisbury Journal: UpstairsUpstairs (Image: Spencer Mulholland)

General manager, Emil Szoma, told the Journal: "I'm excited to welcome everyone back to the Ox Row Inn after our makeover, looking forward to see everyone enjoy their favourite drinks, to indulge in our delicious food and create great memories."

"The upstairs space, for me, captures the essence of a great dining experience. Our function room, the Market Room, has been merged with the upstairs restaurant but has a distinct 'cigar room' or 'whiskey lounge' feel to it, which is perfect for anyone who wants to entertain guests, whether at a family get-together or a celebration event."

Downstairs, changes have been made to allow staff to provide a better service experience.

Salisbury Journal: General manager, Emil SzomaGeneral manager, Emil Szoma (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Szoma said: "Operational adjustments have been made to the bar from an operational point of view that allows us to be more efficient. Certain elements have been added to better suit our service style."

He continued: "The designer was tasked with adding a fresh look and also retaining the character of The Ox Row Inn.

"Changes were made to catch up with how we've changed and how we work in the building.

"I would describe it as fresh and uplifting, but still traditional, but it should really be for people to make up their own minds, come in and explore all areas of our pub."

Emil said he yearned to get back behind the bar: "I have missed seeing everyone. I've missed seeing people and interacting with our guests.

"During the makeover it felt very gloomy, but when you turn the music on, lights are shining and the place is looking fresh, combined with laughter and that particular sound of service - it just becomes very vibrant and alive. And that's what I love."

"It feels quite special."

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Salisbury Journal: DownstairsDownstairs (Image: Spencer Mulholland)

Bringing a spot of light to an otherwise wet and dismal day, the new-look Ox Row Inn welcomed its first customers at 10.30am, who were greeted by the Journal's food critic Peter Hine.

Peter was granted the opportunity to pull his own pint, speaking about his involvement with the reopening, he said: "This is a little bit of fun and quirkiness and is a recognition of the achievements of the management here at the Ox Row Inn.

"Well done everyone, and long may it continue."

One of the first customers through the door, Nigel, was impressed with the refresh. He said: "It all looks very good, I really like the colour scheme and I've missed all the friendly staff here."