Boost for Glemham village as Crown pub reopens

Cheryl and Richard Andrews who have re-opened the The Crown in Great Glemham

Cheryl and Richard Andrews who have re-opened the The Crown in Great Glemham

First it was open, then it was closed, then it reopened...and closed again a year later.

But the new owners of the Glemham Crown pub are hoping to keep its doors firmly ajar for customers under their tenancy.

Richard Andrews is the second new proprietor of the Great Glemham pub, between Framlingham and Saxmundham, in recent years.

The Crown was under threat from redevelopment into holiday cottages after it closed in 2011 but villagers managed to find a buyer two years later.

Sadly, the pub then closed again in August 2014, prompting fresh speculation over the future of the 18th century local.

But Mr Andrews stepped in with his wife, Cheryl, to take over the freehold tenancy of the pub, where the couple also live with their two children.

Mr Andrews, who spent four-and-a-half years at Middleton’s Bell Inn, has also worked in kitchens and bars in Cumbria and France.

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The 36-year-old said: “We know a good friend of the previous owner who told us the pub was on the market.

“We took over the freehold tenancy in March and that set the ball rolling.

“We got the keys in May and have spent time redecorating and sprucing the place up.”

The pub enjoyed a successful ‘soft opening’ last Friday, when the new owners expected to serve about 20 people but found themselves welcoming some 150 customers.

The following days have seen the pub full of diners trying the new a la carte and bar menu, which is available six days a week, except for Tuesdays, when the pub is open for drinks in the evening.

The Crown employs one full time member of staff, as well as local part-timers, who Mr Andrews hopes to train to help out in the refitted kitchen, which now includes a pastry section.

The pub also has a new coffee and cake lounge inside the rear entrance, and has refurbished antique furniture in the garden.

Mr Andrews said: “The village has been so supportive since we told the parish council of our plans to move in.

“So many people have come in to support us, so we’d like to thank all the locals for the welcome.

“We’ve been doing a lot to promote the opening on social media and it seems to have worked well.”