Two new landlords at a Steyning pub vowed to ‘refresh the food and restaurant’ at their new business as they completed the first few days in charge.
Charlie Catchpole, originally from Pulborough, and her partner Gary Bacon, who grew up in Steyning, took on The Chequer Inn, in Steyning High Street, from Aaron Comber who had ran the pub for 12 years.
The pub was closed temporarily last week for some repainting before it was reopened under Charlie and Gary’s ownership on Friday (June 1).
Charlie said: “We have now taken over the pub and our intention is to refresh the food side of things with locally produced foods, meats and groceries.
“We are trying to reestablish the kitchen. Gary has experience working in kitchens so he will be in charge of that.”
Charlie, who previously ran the Oddfellows Arms, in Lower Street, Pulborough, said she was looking forward to running her business in Steyning.
She ran the 17th-century pub alongside Gary – whose links to Steyning go back to his school and football days – but the couple was forced to close on January 28 due to ‘ongoing battles and the ever changing nature of pubs’.
Speaking after they reopened The Chequer Inn, Charlie added: “I have been in the industry for many years now and the Oddfellows Arms was doing really well in Pulborough. Unfortunately the village has been struggling for a while and a number of the businesses in the high street are closing.
“Steyning is a great place and we were given a really warm reception when we opened on Friday.”
Charlie and Gary are now hoping to keep hold of the customers brought in under Mr Comber’s leadership.
Charlie added: “I want people to be assured that we aren’t making massive changes. We have given the walls a fresh lick of paint and we want to develop the restaurant side of the business. We don’t want to stop people coming here. “I want people to have confidence that the food here is good really.
“We will also still be focusing on the good drinks trade which has been built up here.
“We have even kept hold of the same members of staff who were here before.
“Our message to customers is that we are not looking to upset the apple cart and start again. We just want to continue developing it.”