WADWORTH’S flagship hostelry The Bear in Devizes may not re-open for months, after the family who managed the hotel left before lockdown began.

The Devizes brewery announced late last week that only 12 of its managed houses were on the list for its first phase of re-openings on July 22 and The Bear was not among them.

But it has now emerged that The Bear may be closed for a number of months to both drinkers and hotel guests.

Wadworth CEO Chris Welham confirmed that Adrian and Jacqui Bartels have left. He said: “We are very sorry to see them go. The Bear should be our flagship and we aim to get it back open with a new manager by September.

“We need to see what sort of offering will be right in a bigger space like The Bear.” He said staff remained on furlough and there would be discussions with the team about future employment.”

The brewery’s other hotel in the Market Place, The Black Swan, does not yet have a set date for re-opening.

Adrian and Jacqui took over as managers of The Bear in June, 2018 amid great excitement and pledges from Wadworth that money would be spent inside and outside the hotel.

Mrs Bartels said at the time: “We are extremely excited. It is going to be fantastic. We have been talking to regulars and want to make sure we give the people of Devizes the sort of place they want and deserve.”

They said they were working with the brewery on a three phased plan to revamp all parts of the building.

The pub was given an external facelift and work was carried out to bedrooms but not much was done to the public areas.

It was also planned to re-open the fine dining Lambtons Restaurant but this did not happen regularly.

Some tenanted pubs have decided not to open this Saturday after initially being keen.

Last week Lauren Steve Jones, who are tenants of The Cavalier in Eastleigh Road, Devizes, said they were ready to open on Saturday.

But by the weekend they had decided to postpone until June 16. Mrs Jones said: “The new restrictions on people not being able to stand at the bar make life difficult for us.

“We have decided to wait until we can have the sort of atmosphere that people expect here.”

A similar decision has been taken by tenants of The Bell by the Green in Devizes.

Mr Welham carried out a tour of tenanted pubs in the Devizes area last Wednesday and was full of praise for work carried out during lockdown.

He said: “The work they have done at the Cav during lockdown is simply amazing.

“I have also visited a number of other of our tenanted pubs locally and have been simply inspired with the way that our business partners have invested in decorating and refurbishing.”