Opened village pub to live near his job

Landlord Jason Butterfield with chef Tiffany Haywood and head chef Jayne Phimister. SG160115-200TW
Landlord Jason Butterfield with chef Tiffany Haywood and head chef Jayne Phimister. SG160115-200TW
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A maintenance manager with Bakkavor at Holbeach moved home to be closer to his work and ended up reopening a village pub.

Jason Butterfield (41) rescued The Old Black Lion at Gedney from the legions of pubs that have closed their doors for good.

It has become his home and second place of work when he’s not grafting away at the day job.

Jason was living in March, Cambridgeshire, when he saw an ad for the pub.

“I wanted to live a little bit closer to where I work and I saw this place up for rent,” he said. “I have got some good staff who run it during the day and I come home from work and run it in the evenings and weekends. It’s hard work.”

The Old Black Lion, in Lowgate, Chapelgate, was built in the 1700s and, according to the locals, the legendary highwayman Dick Turpin once used it as his hideout.

When the pub closed its doors last year, it looked as though that was it and the village had lost a vital social hub.

Jason said: “I think the people here were happy to see the pub reopen – once they have closed down, it’s a real struggle to get them open again.

“A lot of the locals in the village really missed it. It’s a local place for them to meet.”

The pub sells Bateman’s Triple XB, Timothy Taylor’s landlord ales and John Smith’s, and is rapidly making a name for itself with fabulous food from head chef Jayne Phimister.

Jason said: “I interviewed quite a number of people for the position as head chef and Jayne came and showed me some ideas for the menu. She was really passionate about it. She has run her own places before. I tried her food as well and every dish was just amazing so I just went with it.”

The pub has 32 covers in its dining room but seating can be extended into the tap room to cater for a further dozen.

Jayne, who lives in Sutton St James, said diners are happy the pub only uses rare breeds’ meat, British produce and vegetables that are in season.

The Old Black Lion caters for dietary requirements like gluten free, dairy free and vegan.

Jayne favours “old cuts” for her meat dishes and her signature dish is short ribs. Also popular with the diners are Jacob’s ladder and pork belly.

l For more information 
visit www.theoldblack liongedney.co.uk