Popular town pub set to re-open under new ownership
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
Real ale, sharing plates and fine wine are all the menu at a new pub opening in Bury St Edmunds this month.
Caterers and restaurateurs Paul Bailey and Ashley Stock of Stock & Bailey, who operate an eponymous restaurant in Colchester, The Greyhound in Lavenham and The Shoulder of Mutton in Assington, have so far spent nearly £200,000 transforming what was The Station on Out Northgate Street, back into The Linden Tree.
They’re hoping to open mid-February, having brought the pub back to its former glory after extensive refurbishment, with work ongoing through spring to also revamp the garden – according to Paul, one of the largest in the town.
It might seem counterintuitive to take on another venture in Covid times, especially against a backdrop of industry staff shortages, and rising bills for food and energy, but the duo, whose combined expertise in food and drink stretches back over more than three decades, say they couldn’t let this opportunity pass them by.
“When I first moved to Bury about 25 years ago The Linden Tree was the place to be,” says Paul. “It was a cracking restaurant and pub and it was always busy.”
After striking a deal with Greene King, the pair took on the pub last year, embarking on a massive programme of work to “take it back to how it used to be”.
“The pub closed at the beginning of lockdown one and the whole place needed work really,” adds Paul. “We’ve put in brand new ceilings, flooring, carpet, furniture. The kitchen is huge. Massive. It’s six times the size of the kitchen at The Greyhound. That’s been redone. And the pub’s been repainted.
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“The garden will be done soon too. We want to make it one of the best pub gardens in Bury. It’s not been used for the last 10 to 15 years and it could be such a lovely place. We want to try and finish that as soon as we possibly can.”
There’s room for 70 covers inside, 140 or so including the garden space, where diners should be able to sit out in the westerly sun this summer.
As well as Greene King and guest ales, and wines sourced via Hallgarten, guests will be able to sample a range of European-style small plates, and large sharing dishes, from huge pots of mussels to chateaubriand. “We want it to be relaxed,” says Ashley. “And the menu will be similar in style to The Greyhound, but with a few points of difference.”
Tapas includes lamb meatballs in tomato and rosemary sauce, goats’ cheese and beetroot bon bons, garlic butter poached lobster fondant with shellfish mayonnaise, and cod cheeks with smoked vichyssoise and paprika oil.
There are charcuterie, cheese, seafood and vegetarian boards.
And hot sharing plates and grills range from lamb kleftico with citrus and oregano new potatoes, feta and tomato salad, and garlic, herb and chilli chicken skewer with triple cooked chips, smoked chilli relish, flat bread and salad.
Would-be customers are already stopping by to get a glimpse of the new Linden Tree. “They knocking on the door and calling us,” says Ashley. “I think people are genuinely excited it’s coming back as The Linden Tree.”
“We’re really excited about it too,” adds Paul. “Since we came out of lockdown the pubs and restaurants we do have have been booming. We can’t wait to get up and running here, to open the doors and welcome the people of Bury in.”
FInd out more at linden-tree.co.uk
Stock & Bailey took on The Shoulder of Mutton in Assington during lockdown. “We’ve done a full refurb,” says Ashley, “which hadn’t been done in a long time. And we’ve tried to go with the same style of food we have at The Greyhound. It’s a proper village pub, and it’s going really well.”
“It’s really well supported by the locals,” adds Paul.
The menu includes traditional roasts on a Sunday, serrano ham croquettes, lamb meatballs in a tomato and rosemary sauce, crab cake with tomato and red onion salsa, Greek lentil salad with feta and olives, and charcuterie, seafood, cheeses and vegetarian boards.