A couple who were credited with saving a run-down pub in their village have ended up losing the business after they were “wiped out” by building costs.
Mike Gale and Laura Goodman say they spent more than £400,000 on re-developing and saving the village’s only pub, achieving widespread recognition for pub grub at the Pinkuah Arms, Pentlow, during the time they ran it.
But it closed on Sunday with the couple moving into bed and breakfast accommodation in Clare.
Last orders at the pub, known affectionately as The Pinkers, were called with regulars, friends and neighbours saying farewell to the couple who put on a final Sunday pub dinner for those who wanted to join them to say goodbye.
Guitarist Robbie Gladwell of Cockney Rebel fame agreed to play a farewell two-hour set to wish the couple all the best for the future.
The couple blame the closure of the pub they spent years building up and improving on problems with pub building works.
Then they say they were faced with losing their home and livelihood because of a lack of support from their bank, as a result of the banking crisis.
Mike said: “All of our cash reserves were wiped out.” He added the situation was made worse when the bank failed to deliver a re-mortgage.”
He said the couple had worked hard to put the Pinkuah Arms on the map.
In their nearly six years of ownership they achieved widespread recognition for the quality of Laura’s cooking and the international flavour of the menu, especially her famed Italian dishes.
In addition, it had been featured in the CAMRA Real Ale pub guide for the past four years because the couple had improved the quality and range of beers and wines.
Added Mike: “The Pinkers has also been a first rung on the employment ladder for many of Pentlow and Foxearth’s youngsters.
“Often starting as a pot wash, some 20-plus local kids went on to learn so much more about food and customer service under Laura’s wing.”
“I really want to thank all of our staff for their hard work and support over the years”, said Laura.
“We couldn’t have achieved what we did without them.
“Also, both of us would like to say a big thank you and farewell to the loyal customers and friends that have made this journey so much fun, despite the heartache of losing our home and livelihood.”
Pentlow parish council clerk June Turner said the whole village was very saddened by the couple’s departure and the loss of the only pub.
“I know the village would like to see it stay as a pub rather than become a residential property but we will have to wait and see.
“It’s a great shame and everyone is going to miss it.
“Laura is Italian and she is a wonderful chef. The village has definitely lost a very good amenity.”
A neighbour in Pinkuah Lane who lives near the pub but asked not to be named, said the couple were going to be missed as the pub had been the only place for entertainment.
“It was great being able to walk to the pub and not have to worry. Now we have to go into Sudbury if we want any kind of entertainment, or a drink, and there is always the problem of drinking and driving.
“I think a lot of people here will miss having the pub on their doorsteps.”