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Relaunch of The Ship

Centuries of Herne Bay heritage will continue when the Ship Inn opens its doors once more. The seafront pub has been closed since last summer but has a new man at the helm is Kings Caterers boss Tony Farrow. The dad-of-two, 46, has taken the keys to the 14th century building and is eagerly awaiting its grand reopening next Thursday, 11th February. With no TVs, no sport and only background music, he says he wants the place to befit the motto: The way pubs were, not the way they are. He said:

“There’s a good local pub and great sports bar around the corner, and a cheap place for the youngsters along the seafront. But that’s not what we’re after. We want this to be a place for the mums and dads of Herne Bay - for couples looking for a relaxing drink and a nice meal. We want the older clientele. We want ladies to be able to come out for a drink and not feel intimidated by a bunch of men at the bar. I can openly say we will be the most expensive pub in the town, but reassuringly expensive with complimentary nuts and olives.”

Tony was handed the keys in December and has spent three months and thousands of pounds refurbishing the pub. He said:

“The upstairs has been redone, we’ve had a complete redecoration and have a brand new kitchen, new furniture and new CCTV. I’m really pleased with how it looks. It’s taken a lot of hard work but we’re finally there. We wanted it to look fresher, but have maintained a lot of the pub’s original features. The place is steeped in history and we want it to stay that way.”

With Tony taking a back seat in the day-to-day running of the pub, he’s bought in Simon Wildon and former Wine Bar owner Tony Knight to manage the place. With opening day approaching, Tony says he’s confident his first stint in the pub game will be a success:

“Reopening the pub has created eight full-time jobs, and they’ve all gone to local people with experience. They’re a great bunch and I’m sure they’re going to do I very well. I really do think it’s going to work out well. We’re all very excited. It was a great opportunity for me and one I hope to I expand on in the future. We’ve always had a good  relationship with the town and I hope it continues.”

HB Gazette 2010-02-04

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