A LANDMARK Taunton pub is welcoming customers once again – after a delayed re-opening.
The Kings Arms, in Staplegrove Road, had been closed since March when the lockdown was introduced due to the coronavirus crisis.
Now, it is under new management and offering ‘a traditional British pub’ in the town centre after previous manager Beverley Higgins retired.
It is now under the guidance of Sarah Snowden, general manager of The Chapel in Cotford St Luke and owner of FizzyWhizzyWoo in Taunton.
Sarah and partner Craig Brittain, both 47, became leaseholders of the Taunton pub last year, but took a while to re-open due to the crisis.
However The Kings Arms opened its doors again just over three weeks ago.
“Craig has always wanted this pub,” Sarah said. “He drinks in here with his friends. It is a successful business, it is a big business and it has got a great reputation within the town.
“Beverly who has been here years and years knows us well, so when it got to the point when she wanted to retire, she put us forward to the brewery to take over.
“We’ve always wanted to do it, it’s a lovely looking pub with a good reputation.
“We’ve redecorated. All the walls were blue because Beverly is a massive Chelsea supporter.
“But we have invested in the pub a lot ourselves.
“We’ve rebranded from the outside and we have done some work on the gents’ toilets – they had a terrible reputation around town.
“It turned out they were schoolchildren side urinals and now they are full adult-size urinals.”
The pair’s aim is to make sure The Kings Arms stays a traditional British pub, with live sports and “pub grub”.
There are skittle alleys, which can be hired out as function rooms, a darts board, a pool table, as well as a large beer garden with an outdoor TV.
“I feel really good about this actually, we’ve taken some of the old staff back, we’ve got a lot of regulars back,” said Sarah.
“And the feedback on the decoration and things have been positive.
“We are very much looking forward to Government guidelines around the coronavirus changing so we can get this pub back to what it should be.”
The Kings Arms is owned by Enterprise Inns plc.