Pub-goers look forward to more choice in town

Photo: SM030811-019ow.jpg'Mark 'Yorkie' Bryan and Sarah Lount, the new landlords at the Drum and Monkey pub, Stamford.
Photo: SM030811-019ow.jpg'Mark 'Yorkie' Bryan and Sarah Lount, the new landlords at the Drum and Monkey pub, Stamford.
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LANDLORDS are working hard to attract customers to pubs and restaurants in Stamford.

The new publicans at The Drum and Monkey are creating a restaurant while a major refurbishment project continues at The London Inn to create a thriving town centre pub.

A property investor is also preparing to open a cabaret bar at the former Quayhole Kates building within the next six weeks.

The landlords are all hoping to buck a national trend which sees 25 pubs close their doors each week and 1,300 close last year.

Mark Bryan has taken over The Drum and Monkey in Casterton Road with his partner Sarah Lount.

He said: “We want to keep it as a good social pub with lots of interaction with the customers.”

Sarah, 42, added: “We just want to make it a friendly place for people to come.”

Building work to create a kitchen and restaurant should be finished by the end of the month in time for an official launch night in September.

A spokesman for Enterprise Inns, which owns the pub, said: “The pub is open for business as usual while we work with the publicans to improve the appearance of the pub and provide a quality food offering.

“This will provide consumers with an additional service and not detract from the current facilities which are already enjoyed by the local community.”

Mark, known as Yorkie to his friends, is a keen sportsman and wants to maintain a sporting atmosphere in the pub with its pool and darts teams.

He also wants to enter a team into the pushpenny league and introduce regular quiz nights and events to raise money for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and Help for Heroes.

Mark’s daughter Samantha died in a car accident on the A606 between Oakham and Stamford on Armistice Day in 2007 which is why the cause is close to his heart and as an ex-serviceman in the RAF, he is keen to support service charities.

Building work is also continuing at The London Inn, in St John’s Street, which Enterprise Inns sold to entrepreneur Nick Pistolas last year. His aim is to create a traditional pub with modern twists.

The Riverside restaurant and piano bar in Wharf Road is expected to open within two months. An antiques centre is already open on the ground floor of the building.

The Northfields in Kesteven Road has closed but a spokesman for Trust Inns said it was looking for someone to take on the business.

The Danish Invaider, in Empingham Road, is also undergoing a makeover.

Landlord Chris Needham has already decorated the pub’s function rooms and has now moved onto the bar, where he has added new furniture. Feature portholes in the pub’s walls have been uncovered by removing the previous lowered ceiling in the bar. New double glazing is also being installed.

Earlier this year the children’s outdoor play area was improved and Mr Needham is also looking at the car park and removing some slabs.

Mr Needham said he would also like to quash rumours that the pub may be closing.

He said: “We are definitely not closing.”

“I am pleased with the work especially with the play area.

“The work in the bar is making a big difference.”