New-look Golden Pheasant reopens after refurb with new owners

The Golden Pheasant pub in Etton
The Golden Pheasant pub in Etton

The Golden Pheasant at Etton reopens this evening (Thursday), with new owners hoping to return it to its former glory.

Stuart Johnson and wife Kirstene - whose name will be over the door - took possession of the former Georgian manor house on February 1.

The couple had owned bars in Spain in the past, and Stuart says this latest enterprise came about unexpectedly.

“We had fancied opening a wine bar and by chance last summer got talking to someone who had just sold his. I didn’t even know it had been for sale and he explained it hadn’t - someone had gone in and made him an offer.

“So that was it; on the way home I told Kirstene I was going to stop off at the Golden Pheasant and make the owner an offer, and that is how it started. I thought it could be something special again.”

Seven months of negotiations and four weeks of hard work later, the couple will at last welcome drinkers.

“ We have had friends and family helping us night and day - coming straight from their day jobs and at weekends - to help us get it ready,” said a grateful Stuart, director of sales at Hampton UK, which supplies and fits kitchens and conservatories.

An impressive bar has been built at one end of the lounge, a feature made of the open fire, new carpet fitted and several coats of paint applied to improve the “first impression”.

The car park has been re-gravelled and the huge beer garden and play area smartened up - something which Stuart sees as a major attraction.

“There are some good pubs around us - Helpston, Glinton and Maxey - but none can offer an outside area like we have,” he said. “Once the weather improves it will be great to see the garden packed with families.”

But first getting through today, with Stuart opting for a “soft opening” - no real promotion, just seeing who turns up from 5pm.

“If word of mouth is anything to go by, speaking to family and friends, I expect it will be a busy first day,” he said.

And, in the not too distant future, he hopes to have a chef recruited and the rear restaurant area in use, offering a yet to be decided dining option as well as a bar menu.