Popular village restaurant and wedding venue closes
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 October 2020
A village pub has closed its doors for the final time.
Husband and wife team, Mike and Christine Yeatman, called time on The White Hart, in Weston-in-Gordano, this month.
The decision is subject to conversations with the pub landlord on Tuesday, but it is unlikely to be overturned.
The couple took over the derelict eatery, in Clevedon Road, in 2015 and invested £500,000 to transform it into a thriving business with a turnover of more than one million pounds.
Mike and Christine decided to close The White Hart after it lost 75 per cent of its takings from the wedding and events industries this year, which made the business ‘dependable’.
The couple had the ‘most amazing team’ working for the business, who let go 22 staff at the country pub.
The White Hart has hosted more than 150 weddings. 400 parties and welcomed 400,000 guests since 2015, and more than one hundred people have written heartfelt messages on the pub’s social media to wish the couple luck in the future.
Mike said: “Our small village pub can host weddings for up to 250 people.
“Pre-Covid restrictions, the average wedding is made up of around 80-100 people, so it’s easy to work out how we’ve lost out on around 75 per cent of turnover from weddings. Having that side of the business made it dependable.
“Back at the beginning of the year, we had 100 parties booked, so hosting weddings and events meant that we didn’t have to rely on whether villagers would stop by, or if the motorway was shut to attract customers. We had 22 members of staff we had to let go who have been the most amazing team and absolutely wonderful. There were lots of tears and it was very emotional.”
Mike and Christine also ran Venga tapas restaurant in Portishead before they sold the business last year.
He added: “We’ve spent half a million on this business over the past five years, we sold Venga and in five years served one million people at both establishments.
“We’ve had some lovely messages of support since we made the decision to close. My message would be go out and support local, independent businesses. Don’t sit at home with a Dominos and think about visiting the local restaurants, because it’ll be too late by then and they will be gone.”
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