A pub in Little Thurlow, which is due to reopen next weekend, has shown it is serious about its food offering by appointing a ‘significant’ name as its head chef.
The Cock Inn is currently undergoing refurbishment in preparation for its ‘soft’ opening next Saturday (July 30).
Licensee Alex Bourne, whose wife, Rebecca, is the new landlord, said: “There’s a lot to do but it’s a really exciting time. We’re all really positive about it and I think it’s going to be really well received.”
“We’re just looking forward to having the first customers come through the door,” he added.
The couple have ambitious plans for the food side of the business and have hired Jon Herring, previously of Jamie’s Pizzeria in Cambridge, as head chef and his wife, Lucy, as front of house.
Jon has spent four years working for the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group.
The Cock Inn, in The Street, will also be launching a village shop and cafe next month in an effort to make it ‘more all-encompassing’ by broadening its appeal beyond food and drink.
“We’re going to open on Saturday (July 30) quietly to the local population and we’re going to run it over the next couple of weeks, then we’ll officially open it towards the middle of next month with a cafe and shop in tow,” said Alex.
The 32-year-old, who has been working with rural pubs champion, Pub is The Hub, on the plans, added: “With lots of other rural pubs in the area closing I felt that we had to broaden our appeal and increase regular footfall to the pub.
“There are now no other pubs in Thurlow or a village shop and we have lots of space here at the pub.
“I love the work that Pub is The Hub has been doing in incorporating other services within pubs so it seemed like the natural thing to do.
“These days people want convenience, not just beer and sandwiches. The shop will be stocked with convenience items that people need every day as well as locally sourced and supplied goods.
“At the same time, I plan to open a coffee shop in the pub so that mums and dads doing the school run can pop in for a coffee and a cake for somewhere to meet. We will have superfast broadband available so that the many self-employed home workers in this area can bring their laptops to work or meet colleagues.”