Cheers! New owners of pub near Bognor Regis thank locals for ‘fantastic support'

The owners of a Middleton pub given a new lease of life have thanked locals for supporting the business after it opened its doors again.
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The Beresford closed almost a year ago and residents feared it would be permanently lost to the area.

But businessmen brother Harry Dumville and Ben Standen stepped in and customers turned out in good numbers to raise a glass to the venture at the historic hostelry's grand opening last Friday.

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Harry said it was heartening to see so many customers come and celebrate the opening. He added: "In an era when so many pubs are closing, you have to take a leap of faith when re-opening pubs and we did with the Beresford in Middleton. But I have to say it has paid off because the response we have enjoyed has been nothing shy of fantastic.

Harry, partner Chloe Meigh, Jordan and Ben StandenHarry, partner Chloe Meigh, Jordan and Ben Standen
Harry, partner Chloe Meigh, Jordan and Ben Standen

"The pub was packed on Friday and the weekend trade was steady, too, so it all augurs very well for all of us. We have the makings of a flourishing business and the locals have got a slice of their community back -- everyone seems to be happy and that can only be a good thing."

Work on a new £80,000 kitchen being installed continues and within a month or so food will once again be served. And Ben says the plans for the run up to Christmas and the New Year are exciting. He added: "We are working on a schedule for events moving forward and we very much want to be on the front foot in terms of our entertainment offering.

“The Beresford was known for superb food before it closed and we have that in mind too because we want to pick up and run with that reputation for very good cuisine. It's all keeping us busy but to get such wonderful feedback from people who have missed out while the pub was closed makes it all worthwhile."

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Around 400 pubs closed their doors for good in England and Wales in the first six months of 2023 and the brothers have been praised for their bold venture. Derek Cheetham, a regular before its closure, said it was a great evening and that he was sure the community would continue to support the pub.

Welcoming staff at the BeresfordWelcoming staff at the Beresford
Welcoming staff at the Beresford

He added: "It was such a joyous occasion. Good luck to the new owners for giving the pub a second chance. Now all we have to do as customers is make sure we support them to play our part in having such a vital part of the community."