The Willow Tree pub at Barnby in the Willows near Newark, Nottinghamshire has had new life breathed into it by its latest owners Sarah and Matt Parsons after being closed for two years during covid
A couple have breathed new life back into a pub that was previously closed for two years.
Sarah and Matt Parsons are the latest proud owners of The Willow Tree in Barnby in the Willows.
The pub is described as an 18th-century village free house and Restaurant.
It was purchased by the Parsons in April 2022 after being closed during Covid.
"Friends of ours live in the village," said landlady Sarah Parsons.
"We had been in this pub before and loved it.
"It came up for sale and we decided that it would be an adventure so we went for it."
Sarah added that the last 18 months had definitely been an adventure.
"We got stuck in and gave it a good facelift," she said.
"We have been open since October last year and started as a wet pub only.
"Recently we began doing food.
"We currently serve food on a Friday evening and we do Sunday lunches as well.
"Fish and chips is our most popular menu item at the moment.
"We are planning to launch a new menu shortly.
"On a Sunday night, we also have our very popular pub quiz.
"Once a month we try to have some live music."
The couple has also been innovative and offered several different initiatives to customers.
"Our pop-up events have been really popular," said Sarah.
"We've had a Greek night and a Spanish Tapas night, both were completely sold out.
"Guest chef Jason Parker came along to do a South Indian pop-up event a few weeks ago and that also sold out.
"What we are trying to do here is offer a traditional pub environment with food but at the time we realise we work in a challenging industry.
"We are thinking outside of the box to add value to the people who walk through our doors.
"We are definitely a destination pub and we want to give people another reason to travel into the village.
"Our vision for the pub is to make it a really homely place and to have a reputation that people want to travel out to because we go that little bit extra to give customers a great experience.
"We want people to feel comfortable and enjoy their time here."
According to the British Beer and Pub Association, more than 150 pubs have permanently closed in England and Wales during the first quarter of this year alone.
Sarah has worked in hospitality in one form or another for over a decade and said she understood the importance of offering customers something different.
In her last job, Sarah was working as a chef in a pub in Yorkshire.
Her husband Matt is an electrical engineer and regularly travels to Nottingham for work, so the move made sense to them both.
The pub’s facebook page can be accessed here.
Sarah said that the reception from locals had been great.
"When we were first interested in the pub, the community were looking at getting together and purchasing it themselves because they wanted it reopened.
"They were extremely grateful when we came along and purchased it ourselves, they've seen us do the necessary work to get it up to scratch.
"They come in and support us regularly, some of them grew up here and they have told us some great stories."
The walls contain local history in the form of art and items that village residents, as well as people who live in the surrounding areas, have donated.
Being that the pub is a stalwart of the village community, the Parsons have embraced the rural life of their new surroundings.
"We are not just a dog-friendly pub, sometimes people come by with their horse and have a pint as well," said Sarah.