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Landlords of The Swan at Long Melford celebrating first year in charge

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 September 2020

Totty Lingard, manager of The Swan in Long Melford, is pleased to welcome customers again Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Totty Lingard, manager of The Swan in Long Melford, is pleased to welcome customers again Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A Suffolk pub which has closed and reopened several times in recent years is welcoming back customers once more after the coronavirus lockdown.

Jon Ohlson manages the Duck Deli at the pub Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJon Ohlson manages the Duck Deli at the pub Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Swan, in Long Melford, was taken over by O&O Inns Ltd last October after it had been through a tumultuous period - having closed twice in quick succession throughout the year.

The gastro-pub shocked punters by announcing a sudden closure in April last year after former management company Stuart Inns Ltd collapsed.

Atalian Servest then took the pub over - but it only stayed open for a few more months before closing for the second time in quick succession in September.

Greene King, who own the property, expressed their “disappointment” at the pub’s second closure and announced plans to immediately begin the search for a new tenant.

The pub is recovering from the coronavirus lockdown picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe pub is recovering from the coronavirus lockdown picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

MORE: Suffolk pub shuts down months after reopening

O&O Inns, fronted by Onur Ozcelik, has been managing the pub for nearly a year - and the team are looking forward to the future after the coronavirus lockdown was lifted.

Totty Lingard, The Swan’s manager, has told how the pub’s staff were forced into a change of working habits amid the uncertainty of the venue’s future.

She said: “It was a shock having to shut down. It was really sad as we have a lot of regulars.

The Duck Deli is the latest addtion to The Swan in Long Melford Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Duck Deli is the latest addtion to The Swan in Long Melford Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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“We feared for people’s jobs and livelihoods. Because of the two companies that shut the pub down before, people were scared of what would happen.

“But we were determined to carry on.”

During the lockdown, The Swan served a reduced menu of takeaway food and installed a new deli.

The deli, which serves a range of cheeses, spirits and more than 100 wines, has proved a hit with customers, Miss Lingard said.

After being given the go-ahead from the government, the pub welcomed its first post-lockdown punters on July 4 - but it was the Eat Out to Help Out half-price meals scheme on August that helped The Swan generate a consistent income.

Mrs Lingard said: “It went crazy. We ended up having everyone in the garden during the days it was on.

“It helped us hugely and encouraged people to eat out.”

The Swan’s new managers are about to celebrate their first year in charge and are looking to the future after an eventful 12 months.

Miss Lingard added: “We just enjoy being open - we’re glad to have people back.”

MORE: Former pub could be turned into a home


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