Regulars at The Star toasted the success of the management team after brewing giants Fuller’s confirmed that a new five-year deal had been agreed.
It comes after manager Gemma McNally and head chef Mark West took over the Market Square pub earlier this year following talk that its future was in doubt.
Now – after the duo came in on an interim basis to help transform the fortunes of the business – customers say they are thrilled that the town can continue to boast a community-led venue.
Charles Proctor has been using the pub on and off for 17 years and said: “What the gang have done is super. There is a fabulous vibe now and whenever I pop in the upbeat mood is palpable. In all honesty in these times of so many pubs closing, it’s just marvellous news.”
And another regular, local Billy MacDonald, pictured celebrating with Gemma and Mark, added that the pub is vital to the town. He said: “Tourism is returning to Petworth after the pandemic and so The Star can benefit the town in so many ways regards business as well as community.”
Gemma says the support she and Mark have received from Fuller’s has been a huge help and that a big pat on the back must also go to the hard-working team who have contributed massively to the turnaround.
“We are obviously incredibly happy that we have been given the chance to continue the fantastic work here and offer a town centre hub in the form of the pub and restaurant. Everyone has worked so hard and there has been a real dedication to the cause. That has obviously paid off and we are so, so chuffed.
“Being able to recruit Mark was a huge fillip and he is an extraordinary chef and his wonderful food is such a big part of the attraction here.
“Above all though we must thank the locals! The townsfolk have been right behind us since day one and their support has been invaluable. We have had help from regulars with quiz nights and open mic nights and now we can continue with our plans to increase our value to the community at the same time as maintaining the success of the business. Watch this space!”