The new landlords of a Horsham town centre pub are planning to refurbish it next year.
Stout House in the Carfax was taken on by Lucinda and Oscar Higareda Chacon, according to brewers Hall and Woodhouse.
Lucinda and Oscar, who also run the Dragon at Colgate, the Cherry Tree in Copthorne and the Airfield Tavern in Horley, all of which our Hall and Woodhouse Business Partnership houses, plan to refurbish the pub in spring or summer next year, the brewers added.
Hall and Woodhouse paid tribute to previous landlords Barry and Debbie McGahan, who ran the pub for 19 years before retiring.
Barry and Debbie first took control when Hall and Woodhouse acquired Stout House from King and Barnes.
The landlords were keen to ensure that the pub remained a traditional drinking destination, with a classic community feel, according to Hall and Woodhouse.
Barry said: “I have always been a pub person and appreciated the support from Hall and Woodhouse in allowing Stout House to remain as a traditional pub, at the heart of the town throughout our time running it.”
There have been ‘peaks and troughs’, but the pub came through and ‘continued to provide Horsham with the pub we always wanted it to be’, Barry added.
He said: “In a market of gastropubs and a competitive restaurant environment, we were thankful that Hall and Woodhouse was always on the same page as us, in how we wanted to run the business.
“We took the pub on during a period of decline, but Stout House is proof that a community pub still very much holds tremendous value.”
Chairman of the firm Anyhony Woodhouse paid tribute to the pair’s ‘dedication and ambition’ during their tenure.
He added: “They have been great ambassadors for Hall and Woodhouse and will be greatly missed.
“We wish them all the best for the future and hope that they enjoy their well-earned retirement.”
Barry and Debbie are planning to spend their retirement watching their grandchildren grow up and holidaying in France.
As a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club, Barry is also looking forward to having more time to play the sport.