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Baroosh in Bishop's Stortford to close then reopen as The Dogs Head

By Paul Winspear

Baroosh, the bar and restaurant in the centre of Bishop's Stortford, is to close on Sunday (July 14) after almost eight years.

The 16th-century Market Square venue – which was formally opened on November 2, 2011 after a £1m redevelopment – is to be rebranded by Hertford-based owner McMullen & Sons Retail Ltd as The Dogs Head, opening in August.

Until the early 1900s, Market Square was dominated by ale houses. McMullen says: "We're bringing some of this history into the 21st century and giving a second life to one of Stortford's oldest watering holes."

The Dogs Head will offer "traditional with a twist" in the form of craft beers, cocktails and barista coffee along with a food menu featuring gourmet burgers.

There will be televised live sport, DJs and even a shuffleboard, the pub game played by pushing discs over a marked surface. The Dogs Head will welcome four-legged friends.

McMullen also operates Baroosh bars and restaurants in Cambridge and in Marlow, Bucks.

Stortford's Baroosh, which occupies No 18 Market Square, forms part of what was previously Clement Joscelyne, the fourth-generation, family-run furniture and furnishings store which went into administration and then closed in 2012 after 133 years of trading.

According to Paul Ailey's local history website www.stortfordhistory.co.uk, Clement Joscelyne bought No 16 Market Square, 16th-century premises occupied by butcher and slaughterer George Sapsford, for £1,100 and opened his furniture store on November 13, 1879.

Its only entrance was a door between ornate bay windows. Not until the 1960s was a second entrance formed, when Joscelyne’s bought the adjoining former Plume of Feathers pub, which was first mentioned in church records in 1679 and traded until 1959.

In May 1997 the building in which Clement Joscelyne began was badly damaged in a fire. It was decided to demolish what remained and replace it with a replica. Skilled workers recreated the gabled exterior of the 16th-century building to look exactly as it did before the blaze. The new store reopened for business in December 1998.

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