New landlords ‘in it for the long haul’

NEW tenants of a village pub which closed for eight months have raised a glass to a more vibrant era for the business.

Kevin Abbey, 50, and partner Jackie Stanley have vowed to restore the once thriving Highbury Barn pub and restaurant in Canhams Road, Great Cornard, to its former glory and bring back a “friendly atmosphere” and “traditional values”.

The couple, who together have extensive experience of the pub trade, have already invested �20,000 in redeveloping the kitchens, buying new furniture and introducing a state-of-the-art till system which can be taken directly to a customer’s table.

Mr Abbey said: “We understand the recent history of this pub has been a bit difficult with landlords coming and going, but we want to assure everyone that this is a long term project for us, and how ever long it takes we will get it right.

“Our aim is to turn this into a respectable, family oriented pub with traditional values where people can come and relax with a pint and enjoy good food at fair prices.”

For the past three years the couple has been successfully running a pub in Cambridgeshire, and now aim to enjoy similar success at the Highbury Barn. At the end of the month the couple will be launching a food menu which will include an extensive range of traditional pub food, including a special of two main courses for just �10.

The pair also plan to put on entertainment such as karaoke nights, quiz nights and live music. They will also be introducing football, darts, pool and crib teams to the pub.

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In line with their family concept for the pub, the couple has also invested �8,000 on outdoor play equipment for children, which they hope to have installed by the spring.

“As soon as we saw this pub we knew it had great potential and that is why we decided to come here. We are determined to make this a wonderful local, family pub with a warm and friendly atmosphere.

“We have only just opened and customers are returning in their numbers and the response has been very positive. We have a good range of both draft and bottled beers, wines and spirits, which of course is very important. We would just like to say to people to pop in and see what they think as we feel they will be pleasantly surprised,” said Mr Abbey.