Country pub reopens thanks to Weston-super-Mare couple
- Credit: Eleanor Young
A Cheddar pub has been re-opened by a couple who hope to create a ‘home away from home’ for visitors.
Becky Rowlands and John Beeke, who live in Weston, moved into The Gardeners Arms Pub in Silver Street and opened for business a couple of weeks ago.
The couple have since received a warm welcome from locals for re-opening one of the ‘Cheddar Seven’ after the original owners shut up shop almost three months ago.
Other pubs in the Cheddar Seven include The Bath Arms, The White Hart and The Riverside Inn.
They hope to ‘breathe new life’ into the country-style pub and help raise it to its full potential.
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The pair, who have been together for four years, have cleaned out the pub and fitted new kitchen equipment with plans to change some of the front of house furniture in time.
Becky told the Mercury: “We wanted to be closer to home and wanted to run our own pub.
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“When we first walked in it was really strange, like they had upped and disappeared. It was like a ghost town.
“It was dark, cold and there were dust sheets over the furniture and cobwebs.
“We thought we had made a mistake but then saw it as a challenge and we wanted to make a difference.
“This pub has so much character and we want people to feel comfortable and create a home away from home.
“We don’t have customers, we have guests. We want them to feel like they are coming into our front room to enjoy locally sourced, home-cooked food.”
Becky will head up the front of house team while John will lead in the kitchen, dishing up wholesome pub grub.
They are making it their mission to use locally sourced and grown produce and are working with Somerset venders.
At the moment it is just the pair of them but they plan to start recruiting soon, with support from their family in the meantime.
Becky added: “Cheddar is popular with tourists and we want our pub to be a reason people come to the village.”
The family-run pub is part of CAMRA and the British Institute of Innkeeping and Becky and John, who describe themselves as ‘real ale people’, also hope to join Caskmaster in the near future.
The pair are managers from Elite Pub Estate Company, run by Frank and Paul Sprackman, who specialise in community pubs.