A popular pub in the heart of Stamford has just been taken over by an enthusiastic new management team.
Melbourn Brothers, in All Saints Street, is now in the hands of Lucy Howes and her partner Lewis Dalton. The pair, both 28, moved in a month ago and are already making a positive impression on the locals.
Lucy was previously running the St Mary’s Vaults pub, in St Mary’s Street, and Lewis was doing management training and preparing to join her there after previously working as a freelance copywriter and dog trainer in Norwich.
But the couple’s plans changed when Sean Mitchell, who had been running Melbourn Brothers with his partner since 2014, was arrested following a serious assault on June 12.
Brewery Samuel Smiths, which owns both pubs, then asked Lucy and Lewis to take over at Melbourn Brothers.
Lucy said: “I had been at St Mary’s Vaults for around a year and really enjoyed it. But our area manager asked me and Lewis to move here and we happily agreed.
“It’s a beautiful, historic venue and we’ve both enjoyed our first few weeks here. It was an unexpected move, obviously not something we planned for, but it’s going well.
“Out of respect for the people involved, and because it’s going through the courts, we don’t discuss what happened [with the previous landlord].”
Lewis added: “It was a surprise to be offered this pub, but it’s a good opportunity for us. We love Stamford. We’re trying to add a few personal touches – the courtyard area now has lots of new plants and we’ve got other plans too.”
As well as the pub itself, Lucy and Lewis are also responsible for the neighbouring All Saints Brewery. The brewery dates back to 1825 and features antique equipment which is still used to produce a range of handcrafted fruit beers which are sold at the company’s pubs all over the country.
Lewis said: “It’s an added responsibility but a great asset to have. We get quite a lot of beer enthusiasts and others who book on to tours of the building, which we run. People travel from far and wide.”
Chef Ian Large remains in the kitchen at Melbourn Brothers and Lucy and Lewis are supported by two part-time bar staff.
Lucy said: “There’s a great atmosphere here. Samuel Smiths pubs don’t have music or television and can sometimes be a bit quiet but on Friday and Saturday nights we are packed out. We attract people of all ages. You get those who are 19 or 20 and then groups in their 60s and older and everyone mixes.”
The pub is open midday to 11.20pm Monday to Saturday and noon to 10.50pm on Sundays. Food is served from 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm.
n Sean Mitchell, 45, formerly of All Saints Street, Stamford, is charged with wounding with intent following an incident at the St Mary’s Vaults pub, in St Mary’s Street, Stamford on Sunday, June 12. A 53-year-old Stamford man was taken to hospital following the incident with multiple wounds to the neck. Mitchell was in court last week for a hearing and was remanded in custody until September 2.