Neil and Rachel Hughes have taken over at The Brook pub in Great Cornard.

Great Cornard: Couple aim to buck trend and bring back village local after moving into The Brook Inn

Thursday, February 28, 2013
5.30 PM

WHILE many pubs are closing because they are unable to compete with supermarkets and takeaway outlets, one couple is aiming to buck the trend and bring back the village local.

Neil Hughes, 23, has worked in several hostelries over the years and has always dreamt of having his own pub. So with his wife Rachel, 28, he has just taken the reins at The Brook Inn, Great Cornard, with the hope of recreating the atmosphere of a traditional British pub.

The move is bold given that two similar establishments in the village have closed in recent years – the Queen’s Arms, which is being pulled down to make way for flats, and the Highbury Barn in Canhams Road, the owners of which, Punch Taverns, applied to Babergh District Council to demolish the 18th-Century building and replace it with a supermarket.

But Mr Hughes believes that, despite the recession, there is still a call for places where people can meet, socialise, enjoy a drink and eat good food.

“Since I was 18 and started working in a pub, running my own business is something I have wanted to do,” he said.

“We saw the Brook Inn one day and just recognised that it had potential. We would really love to see it thrive again.”

A new menu has been introduced and Mr Hughes said the aim was to offer good quality beer, good honest food and a place to relax and enjoy the historic building.

He added: “At one time, the village pub was the place to go and we really want to take it back 20 years to when a pub was a proper pub. We intend to revive a lot of the things associated with traditional pubs, such as quiz nights and charity events, which make the community feel like it is theirs.”

Great Cornard Parish Council chairman Mick Cornish said: “I am delighted for the vast majority of the people in Great Cornard who will undoubtedly welcome this couple with open arms. The Queen’s Head, which was the most central pub in the village, closed several years back so we have been in need of a place where people can go and meet up and enjoy a drink.”