New landlords want to make pub ‘great for the town’

The Crown pub in Manningtree has new owners. Picture: THE CROWN

The Crown pub in Manningtree has new owners. Picture: THE CROWN - Credit: THE CROWN

A family from Colchester says it is their ‘dream come true’ to be the new landlords of The Crown pub in Manningtree – adding it was an opportunity they couldn’t miss.

The Crown pub in Manningtree boasts beautiful views over the estuary. Picture: THE CROWN

The Crown pub in Manningtree boasts beautiful views over the estuary. Picture: THE CROWN - Credit: THE CROWN

The Allum family has taken on the pub in the town’s High Street in addition to running The Cricketers in Colchester, which they have successfully managed for almost 15 years.

Matthew Allum, 36, said they were approached by Greene King in January, who asked the family business to take on a second pub.

The Allum family jumped at the chance when they found out it was The Crown in Manningtree, which Mr Allum described as a “beautiful pub”. “I visited the pub two years ago for lunch and thought ‘wow what a nice pub’, it’s definitely one I would want to own,” said Mr Allum, who runs the family business with his dad Derek, mum Julie, younger sister Claire and girlfriend Lucy.

“I drive past it every day and it overlooks the estuary, has stunning views, a huge space and great potential, so it was a dream come true. I couldn’t wait to get the keys.”

The Allum family, who moved to Colchester from Southend to take on the Colchester pub, have installed a £10,000 kitchen in The Crown and will be focussing on locally-sourced food.

There will be everything from haddock monte carlo, to lasagne and scampi and chips.

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The chefs are being given free rein to produce dishes which are fresh and home-cooked, which people wouldn’t necessarily make at home.

The Allum family also plan on making the terrace to the rear of the pub larger and hope to convert the store room into an al fresco dining area.

The interior will be completely gutted and refurbished and the staff numbers are being doubled from 10 to 20 members.

Mr Allum said he feels “positive” about taking on the business at this time, adding it is about keeping people confident and comfortable about venturing out in the current climate.

“It’s what you make of it,” he said. “We are a family unit and we are not afraid of hard work.”

Mr Allum said they have been welcomed with open arms by the town, adding the response has been amazing.

He said: “We are not a family of greed, we want to give back to the community and make this pub great for the town.

“It really is a beautiful pub.”

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