St Patrick’s Day went down a storm at The Lincolnshire Poacher in Spalding where its managers are celebrating their tenth week of turning round the pub’s fortunes.
John Fennell and his wife Bernadette Scorr have come up with a combination of home cooked food, a choice of fine ales and warm customer service in an attempt to restore the Double Street pub’s popularity.
“It was nice of Enterprise Inns brewery and London Town Pubs to give us the opportunity to come into such a lovely pub with the facilities that it has,” John said.
“When we spoke to the outgoing manager, he said it was a grand place with the River Welland outside and a great mix of regulars.
“But we’ve introduced a lot more of the older generation to our services by offering senior citizens’ meals on Mondays and Tuesdays and we’ve already had recognition of that, with people coming in and saying ‘we’ve heard about your food and would like to try it.”
John has worked in the pub industry for 42 years, running premises across England and Wales, while Bernadette was a former food hygiene officer for a large supermarket chain in Ireland.
“We’ve been here ten weeks and the pub has gone from where it was to where we’ve taken it because of the food and functions which my wife co-ordinates,” John said.
“Our menu is all home-cooked food which we try and source everything for locally to keep things in the town.
“We treat all our staff like family with an attitude where they don’t work for us, but we all work together.”
The Lincolnshire Poacher also offers a children’s menu, Sunday lunches and caters for weddings, birthdays, parties and christenings.
John said: “I love the buzz you get from meeting people and it’s something that makes me not want to give up managing pubs.
“The Lincolnshire Poacher isn’t a nightclub, but like creating an atmosphere here by having music and TV programmes on in the background.
“But the brewery has also been brilliant to us by restoring the pub’s fireplace, putting blinds in and other things in line with what we want.”
John and Bernadette work alongside the police and the Spalding Pubwatch scheme to make sure their pub is a friendly place to visit.
“Spalding is absolutely beautiful but it seems to be a place where things are done by word-of-mouth more than anything else,” John said.
“The feedback we’ve had from regulars has been positive about how clean the pub is and how nice our staff are.”
“People are happy with the way we’re running the pub and they’re glad that The Lincolnshire Poacher has some stability now.”