Village pub reopens to buck the trend
VILLAGERS are celebrating the reopening of a pub which closed two years ago amid fears it would be lost forever.The De La Pole Arms at Wingfield, near Eye, bucks a trend which has seen many rural pubs close their doors for good during the past few decades.
By David Green
VILLAGERS are celebrating the reopening of a pub which closed two years ago amid fears it would be lost forever.
The De La Pole Arms at Wingfield, near Eye, bucks a trend which has seen many rural pubs close their doors for good during the past few decades.
It was put on the market in 2004 by St Peter's Brewery with a £400,000 price tag.
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However, following failure to find a buyer, the brewery applied for planning permission for the premises to be turned into a home.
However, the bid was blocked by Mid Suffolk District Council planners and, more than 12 months later, a buyer was found - a new company called Gastro Pubs, run by entrepreneur Steve Hutton.
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Yesterday the pub and its restaurant reopened to the public following a private reception on Wednesday night for 150 guests, including the new vicar of Wingfield, Rev Fiona Newton. Also among the guests were local residents and suppliers.
Kevan Winter and his wife, Katie, will be running the pub. Mrs Winter is a qualified chef and will be supervising the preparation of lunches and dinners.
The couple, who are both members of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, were previously at the River Garden pub in Thorpe, Norwich.
Mr Winter said the restaurant would be “going back to basics” by using meat and other foodstuffs produced locally.
Mr Hutton said: “Everyone I meet locally is over the moon that we have opened and Katie and Kevan guarantee that every customer will receive a warm welcome and leave wanting to come back.”