Locals in Fittleworth, Steyning and Ashurst are in shock this week after the sudden closure of three leading pub / restaurants.
The popular South Downs venues, run by family business Whites, are displaying signs saying they are closed until further notice.
The business, owned by David White and his four sons, won awards for Whites Bar and Kitchen in Steyning, a converted barn which recently rebranded as Whites Italian.
After the success of that venture they also took over The Swan Inn at Fittleworth, a coaching inn at the heart of the village popular for its roaring log fires and home-cooked food as well as its accommodation.
The Fountain at Ashurst says on its website that it was the family’s most recent addition following on from the success of the other two. It goes on to say that the pub is a ’shining example of the great traditional English pub complete with wonky floorboards, inglenook fireplaces and the heart-warming smell of home cooked food wafting from the kitchen’.