We enjoy serving a variety of beers to keep our customers interested. We have a group of 11 or 12 old chaps who come in on a Friday and they have four pints of Tiger each and sit in the corner, chatting and reminiscing.”
“We were lucky because before we even did anything one of the other local pubs seemed to go all out to attract the younger crowd - which elbowed out a lot of drinkers.” With nowhere to go, the community has found a new home at The White Horse.
Ken says it’s been about slowly building trade up, making gradual improvements which won’t startle their regulars. “People don't like too much change, so we try do things gradually,” he says.
Eileen, a former behavioural support teacher, brought the psychology of the classroom into the pub. “Make the pub feel right then you attract the right kind of people - and they want to stay. They’ll come back,” she says.
“It’s a community pub. We have all sorts of people drinking in here - and that’s what a good pub should be."
Trade is predominantly drinks, with an 80/20 beer/food split. “The pub wasn't known for food, but we’ve worked hard to change that” says Eileen. A new menu, offering fresh, home cooked food, with nearly all the dishes coming in at below £10, has been warmly received.
"We also offer a great venue for parties and life events such as weddings, birthdays and funerals - we've had a beautiful wedding recently and the pub looked great as did the happy couple."
"It’s going well", says a proud Ken.
“A chap from CAMRA came in the other week and he said to me: ‘so, what’s the formula you've used to improve this pub - because I want to use it with every failing pub…?’
“But there's no big secret,” says Ken. “It’s not rocket science.
“We just care about the beer and the people who drink it.”