'Buzz' about town as pub prepares to reopen under new family management
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A pub in Needham Market is set to reopen this week under new owners with an extended garden, outdoor bar and huge seating area to create a family-friendly atmosphere.
The Rampant Horse was bought by friends Kevin Wyartt and David Bates in October 2020, both of whom are completely new to the hospitality industry and keen to develop a space to serve local people.
Mr Wyartt, a mechanic by trade, will be joined by sister Allison as landlady, and his wife and daughter who will be working front of house.
Renowned Suffolk chef Ross Cook, previously of Cult Café, Brewery Tap, Hintlesham Golf Club, Bistro on the Quay and Ravenwood Hall, is re-joining the enterprise as head chef — having worked there twice before.
The last two lockdowns the team have been working incredibly hard to refresh the pub, taking time to speak with residents about what they'd like to see when the venue is finally able to reopen — which will happen on Friday, April 16.
Mr Wyartt said: "We took on the pub because we didn't want to see it stand empty like so many others.
"The response from the locals has been brilliant, Ross is coming back because he has a real passion for the place and so do the people who live in the area — we want our locals at the bar."
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Additional facilities include an extended garden, outdoor bar and seating area, disabled toilet and a children's play room.
Mr Cook, who met his wife Laura while working at the pub in 2012, says he has many fond memories of The Rampant Horse and couldn't resist the opportunity to return as head chef.
"It always draws me back," he admitted. "It's a completely new venture which is really exciting and the new energy is creating a real buzz.
"We will be doing honest food done really well and it's all fresh and handmade by myself — good old fashioned food but slightly elevated from my restaurant experience.
"The new owners are local and that's what we need; a pub run for Needham Market run by Needham Market people."