The Ship lnn is afloat again. After months of being boarded up, she’s ready to take on passengers. The man behind the transformation is 48-year-old businessman Tony Farrow, who has sunk thousands into the venture. He said: “I’d rather not think about the cost. It’s an awful lot. But Herne Bay needs a venue like this.”
He is steering the 285-year old seafront pub upmarket in a bid to win back custom from mums and dads. Mr Farrow who also runs Kings Caterers and is the main booker of acts at the Kings Hall, said:
“Herne Bay has a number of good pubs but not many for mums and dads. I want it to be reassuringly expensive. Our beers will be £3.20 a pint but we will provide complementary nibbles and olives at the bar. Herne Bay is screaming out for a pub like this. I want it to be like the way pubs were, rather than the way they are. We have put in beers like Bass, Flowers, Stella, Becks, draught cider and Guinness and taken out Sky TV, the pool table and the jukebox.”
Town manager Chris West has seen it and is chuffed to bits.
“I am hoping we are out of the worst of the recession and 2010 will be a good year: I’d like this to be an asset for the town and help it grow again.“
He has retained the old world atmosphere of the ancient timber beams, but decked the inside with refurbished furniture from the posh Hilton hotel chain. He has also taken on former Wine Bar boss Trevor Knight and newcomer Simon Wildon as managers. Simon has been head-hunted from Anchor Catering which supplies Kings Caterers. Mr Farrow said:
“He is new to the pub trade but really good with customers. All the bar staff are people who have helped me at Kings Caterers.”
There has been a building on the Central Parade site since 1383 and an ale house since 1725. The new venture, backed by Enterprise Inns, has created eight full-time jobs including three in the new-look kitchen. Mr Farrow who started his career selling food to pubs, took over the building on December 21. It reopens on Thursday February 11th.
HB Times 2010-02-04