Horsham couple ‘living the dream’ after taking over their local pub

A young Horsham couple are ‘living the dream’ after taking over the reins of their local pub.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 10:27 am
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 12:12 pm

And Jodie Munday and partner Michael Gates say they ‘can’t wait’ to reopen the doors of the King’s Arms in Horsham’s Bishopric on Monday.

The couple - who are both musicians and well known on the entertainment scene - have lived almost next door to the King’s Arms for the past four years.

“We have been regulars there,” said Jodie.

Michael Gates and Jodie Munday - new landlords at the Kings Arms, Horsham

“It’s been an extension of our living room for the past four years. We’ve eaten there, drunk there and got to know the regulars and staff.

“It’s been our living room for such a long time that we want to extend it to other people and make it a cosy, welcoming and inviting place.”

The couple have never run a pub before but both have experience of working in bars and catering.

Michael comes from a family of renowned chefs and Jodie has run an events company, as well as their music work.

The King's Arms, Horsham

“For the last 10 or so years running a pub has always been a plan for the future,” said Jodie.

“We’re so in love with the pub it’s almost a dream come true.”

Taking over as landlords came about almost by chance when they noticed the previous landlord moving out. They applied to the brewery - North and South Leisure - to take over and are now looking forward to opening next week as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

“It’s so exciting,” said Jodie, who is giving the pub ‘a bit of TLC and a bit of freshening up.’

As well as a range of drinks, the couple also plan to provide traditional pub food. “Sunday roasts will be a big thing,” said Jodie. “It’s my favourite.”

Many people in Horsham have got to know the couple through their music after they formed the duo Small Town Kids.

“Perhaps we’ll have to change our name now to Small Town Publicans,” joked Jodie.

They have played at many local events and venues, including schools and care homes, and still plan to perform.

“The brewery has a really lovely team and they have been so supportive,” said Jodie.

“It’s all so exciting. We are ready for the challenge.”

The historic King’s Arms has been shut since the last lockdown just after Christmas,