Dom and Jo Morris have been at the helm since the revived pub's inception. They'd arrived in Cambridge a couple of years earlier as part of the team which took over the Elm Tree. Before that, they'd been at the renowned Hobgoblin in Reading with current Elm guv'nor Rob Wain and this in fact is where they met.
Dom and Jo put the pub's success down to a number of factors. The real ale is a big one of course and serving consistently high quality beer is the top priority. The friendly, welcoming atmosphere is the other major attribute; it's the sort of pub where, if you go in and don't know anyone, you'll soon find yourself in conversation if you want to. Dom is proud of the fact that the crowd in the front bar often comprises a mix of punks, Councillors, families, guys from the nearby tattoo parlour, businessmen and real ale fans, all getting along famously.
Dom and Jo also regard Mill Road as a fantastic area to be located in. From a CAMRA perspective it's notable of course for the astonishing number of top class real ale pubs within a short distance of each other. It's also a vibrant, diverse community with loads of interesting independent shops, a huge variety of restaurants and a great mix of people.
The Dev offers high quality, good value food most sessions, though Dom made it clear from the off that food has to know its place in such a shrine to great beer. A food-related event which he and Jo did initiate though is the Chilli Sauce competition. Customers and staff were invited to create their own tongue-tingling concoctions and over thirty entries were gingerly sampled (the winner being someone who'd never made the stuff before). Over £300 was raised for Great Ormond Street Hospital's Hotel Project. The contest will be held again in August.
As part of Community Pubs Month in April, the Dev will be hosting the Turnip Prize, which involves creating a work of art as cheaply as possible and with a title that plays on words. Again, the entry fees will raise money for charity.
So, well done the Dev, and we wish it well in the next round of the competition (to choose the Cambridgeshire POTY). Commiserations to the Kingston Arms which was a close runner up and to the other four finalists – the Geldart Cambridge, Green Man Grantchester, Six Bells Fulbourn and White Horse Swavesey.