Roadside restaurant aiming to re-open before Christmas
- Credit: Liz Coates
A family have taken the reins at the Horse and Groom hotel and restaurant with a pledge 'to turn it back into the community centre it once was'.
The country hotel on the A149 trading alongside the Jasminum Restaurant at Rollesby shut suddenly in April 2019.
Weeks later a notice appeared in the premises' window stating the tenant, Thanh Van Phung, had a County Court judgement against him for unpaid debts.
In November last year the hotel and Thai restaurant was named and shamed by the Government over unpaid taxes.
Now, having been on the market for over two years, it has new tenants who have big plans for the site .
Sarah and Paul Longley, helped by their four children aged from 12 to 22, from Ormesby, want to fully reopen the pub with a farm-fresh food offer, Farriers tea shop, and Stables gifts sourced from local artists and ceramicists.
Mrs Longley, a former teacher, said all the family enjoyed cooking with son James, 20, at Sheffield University studying hospitality.
She said the idea evolved from their successful Piazza Wheel pizza wagon conceived before the pandemic as a street food offer when there was little else like it, touring villages and growing from one to three units.
Under the revamp the family aim to give it a glamorous Art Deco-style makeover and open the bar before Christmas serving home-made, locally sourced food.
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The first five refurbished rooms are due to welcome their first guests in March if all goes to plan.
Daughter Roberta, 22, an art school graduate, said they were keen to pay a living wage to staff who hopefully would love working there as much as they did.
Having got the keys two weeks ago mother and daughter are rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in with the decorating.
Mrs Longley said that ironically the kitchen they so needed had been stripped out at Rollesby, but otherwise most of the work was "making it look pretty."
They both said the feedback had all been positive with residents pleased it was turning a corner and being put to good use.
"We really think we have a winning formula," Mrs Longley said. "But it is only going to work as long as people support us."
To follow their progress visit their Instagram page.