Historic West Sussex pub has a new landlord with big plans - 'It's really exciting'

The new landlord of an historic pub in West Sussex said he has big plans for the future.

David Skinner has taken over the reins at the St Mary’s Gate in Arundel – which is celebrating its 500th birthday next year.

"I've always had my eye on this pub,” David, who also owns The Lamb Inn at West Wittering, said.

“It’s part of the same brewery I already work with – Hall and Woodhouse. It’s a really good brewery to work with.

“I've always thought Arundel has some lovely pubs and restaurants but I think I can add something to the mix.

"I can add something to a well established food scene.”

Two chefs, Pete and Stewart, will be responsible for the ‘classy à la cart food in a pub style’, David said.

He added: “Together they make a very good kitchen team.

"We will offer nice fresh food. The meat will be from Charlie's Farm, which is up Pulborough way. The fish is from Brighton. We’re working hard to get a fresh food offer.

“I signed the papers on Monday, April 22. We had guests arrive two days afterwards so it was a quick turnaround. We had drinks on Friday night, lots of locals there which was really nice. We had a sample food night.

“We have three members of the existing team staying on and I've got another team on top of that. We will be open all day, every day – trying to do as much food as we can and make sure it's a warm pub.

“I hope it will be a success.”

David revealed he has some big plans for the pub.

"We've got five bedrooms already but are looking to expand the upstairs part,” he said, “It will be a big programme and we will be spending lots of money.

"We will overhaul the kitchen, with new decorations and furniture too. We will have five more hotel rooms, which will overlook the castle.

"Hoping they will be in place by the end of the year.

"It's been good so far, really well received.

"We’ve doubled our Instagram following – it's difficult to market but we're getting there. It's a slow growth.

"I want to make sure I have the product right before I get really busy. It’s about building the infrastructure, training the staff and then building the customers up.

"It's really exciting."

David announced he taken over the pub on the Arundel Noticeboard on Facebook – in a post which has resonated with locals.

He wrote: “As custodian of this wonderful pub it is my job to look after it, improve it, and most of all fill it with joy, smiles and happiness!”

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