Congresbury couple hopes to make village pub thrive once more

New team at the Ship and Castle, Congresbury.

New team at the Ship and Castle, Congresbury. - Credit: Archant

New tenants have taken over a Congresbury pub-restaurant, hoping to deliver an ‘exciting’ offering for villagers.

Mark Green and Sarah Aston-Davies are the new team behind The Ship and Castle, in High Street, after Mezze Restaurants opted to end its five-year stint in the village following ‘poor summer trade’.

The couple, who are Congresbury residents, were in charge at the pub for a brief period 10 years ago before running several watering holes across the South West.

The pair have promised the return of the locals’ bar, including a pool table.

The new tenants have appealed for the support of the village and hope ‘exciting’ upgrades will make the grade II-listed building a ‘thriving pub again’.

Mr Green told the Mercury: “We have many years experience of running a pub and we’ve earned our reputation.

“We started working for ourselves at The Ship and Castle 10 years ago until Green King renovated it for letting.

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“We moved on around the South West but we jumped at the opportunity when the pub became available. “We are local people. Sarah grew up in Congresbury and our children go to St Andrew’s Primary School, so we have strong links with the community.”

The pair have commissioned a revamp of the pub’s interior, which is drawing to a close, and have plans to renovate its six en-suite letting rooms.

Mr Green also hopes the pub will offer greater appeal to villagers.

He said: “We want to bring the locals’ bar back so residents can enjoy a pint or two in an informal setting, with a pool table and fruit machines.

“We have two extremely talented chefs putting together a new menu for all pockets using high-quality local food.

“It is a good menu. The chefs want to do things from handmade pizzas and burgers to fine dining.

“Greene King is decorating the pub and we, as new tenants, are bringing the interior up to standard.

“The pub is still trading with the decorators doing one room at a time, and we hope to finish next week.

“We hope people come and have a look at the exciting new changes we are making. With the support of the community we can make this a thriving pub again.”

A Mezze Restaurants spokesman said it wishes the new tenants ‘the best of luck’.