Long Melford Swan eyes bright future under new management after turbulent 2019
After a turbulent 2019, a Long Melford pub is confident there are bright times ahead, after a positive start under its new tenancy.
The Swan in Hall Street has reopened under the management of Ozur Ozcelik, who reported strong trade over the Christmas period, and confirmed plans for investment to help ensure the pub’s future.
Mr Ozcelik, who originally hails from Turkey, started his tenure at the Greene King-owned business in October, after it was shut when Bury St Edmunds-based firm Atalian Servest suddenly pulled out of running the pub – just four months into its tenancy.
This was the pub’s second closure last year, following the collapse of Stuart Inns in early 2019.
Mr Ozcelik told the Free Press: “I contacted Greene King looking for a gastro pub to run and thought this was a great opportunity.
“This kind of hospitality business needs time and investment. I need to be here for at least a year to be able to show off to my customers the service and the food, which is important for a business.”
A UK resident for the last 14 years, Mr Ozcelik previously trained in law and accounting, and operated an e-commerce company, which he eventually sold.
He subsequently made the transition into the hospitality industry, which he described as a “dream job”, training at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in London, before relocating to Suffolk.
Discussing his ambitions for the Long Melford Swan over the next year, he said he aims to continue improving the menu, and plans to invest in the accommodation aspect of the business, and install a play area in the rear garden.
“In my mind, a pub is a family place. People often bring their children along and we have a really nice garden,” Mr Ozcelik added.
“I have spoken to Greene King and, before the summer, we are planning to make some investments.
“I have had perfect support from the village. People just want to see the pub alive and I can feel this, so I want to say thank you to everyone for their support.”
The pub is open Tuesdays to Friday, between 11am and 11pm, Saturday from 11am to midnight, and Sunday from 11am to 7pm.
More by this authorThomas Malina