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New landlords hope to restore troubled Pentlow pub into heart of community


By Priya Kingsley-Adam


Pinkuah Arms pub, Pinkuah Lane, SudburyPinkuah Arms pub has reopened in Pentlow after being shut for months.Rebecca Gowing is the new landlord who has taken it over after moving from Kent.Rebecca Gowing with chefs Thomas Reeve and Anthony Johns outside the pub. Picture Mark Westley (2281831)
Pinkuah Arms pub, Pinkuah Lane, SudburyPinkuah Arms pub has reopened in Pentlow after being shut for months.Rebecca Gowing is the new landlord who has taken it over after moving from Kent.Rebecca Gowing with chefs Thomas Reeve and Anthony Johns outside the pub. Picture Mark Westley (2281831)

The new landlord of a turbulent pub is determined to reinstate it at the heart of the community.

The Pinkuah Arms in Pentlow has changed hands frequently over the past five years after previous tenants failed to make it a viable business.

The pub, which is listed as an asset of community value (ACV), stopped trading in December, prompting owner Billy Bird to request its status be removed to allow for another business to operate on the site.

Mr Bird raised concerns over the ACV, which means the property must be rented as a pub, but his appeal was rejected.

Rebecca Gowing became the new landlady when the pub reopened this month.

“I fell in love with it and I believe in fate,” said Mrs Gowing, who previously worked as a manager of a pub in Kent.

“It was fate that I stumbled on it.”

The business serves lunch and dinner seven days a week – a service which had previously been criticised by villagers for its lack of consistency.

“We want to be at the heart of the community, while being very much food-led,” explained Mrs Gowing, whose chefs Thomas Reeve and Antony Johns are previous colleagues.

“We have had a full menu since we opened.”

After working at a pub in Kent for four years, the move to the village has been a big transition for Mrs Gowing.

“It’s quite scary,” she said. “I know I have taken on a challenge. It’s very rural, but I think it can work.”

Pinkuah Arms pub, Pinkuah Lane, SudburyPinkuah Arms pub has reopened in Pentlow after being shut for months.Rebecca Gowing is the new landlord who has taken it over after moving from Kent.Rebecca Gowing with chefs Thomas Reeve and Anthony Johns outside the pub. Picture Mark Westley (2281828)
Pinkuah Arms pub, Pinkuah Lane, SudburyPinkuah Arms pub has reopened in Pentlow after being shut for months.Rebecca Gowing is the new landlord who has taken it over after moving from Kent.Rebecca Gowing with chefs Thomas Reeve and Anthony Johns outside the pub. Picture Mark Westley (2281828)

Gaining loyal customers and support from the villagers will be vital to keeping the pub financially stable.

“Without them, it won’t work,” admitted Mrs Gowing, who gave assurance that she had the determination to make it a success.

“It won’t be through lack of hard work. We are going to give it our best shot,” added Mrs Gowing, who is conscious that consistent opening hours will be key.

Owner Billy Bird had criticised villagers for a lack of support after a number of landlords were forced to close, and emphasised the importance of gaining their backing.

“I hope these people will make a success of it,” he said. “But they need the community to practise what they preach.”

Melanie Davies, chairman of Pentlow Parish Council, has maintained that the community has always been supportive of the business; and said villagers were pleased to see the pub back up and running.

“The villagers are incredibly happy and we wish it all the luck in the future,” she said. “We have already supported it since it opened.”

Some villagers, however, remain unaware that the pub has reopened – something Mrs Gowing is hoping will change once word gets around.

“The evenings are picking up but a lot of people still don’t know we are open,” she said.

Regular events are being organised, with a quiz night taking place on Wednesday, June 13, at 7.30pm.

“I would like it to be very successful and be here for quite a few years,” added Mrs Gowing. “I would like to make it my home and I have no intention of going anywhere else.”



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