Rumour has it that the Black Boy Inn, Milton will soon be under new management. Contracts are expected to be exchanged on Monday 16 February 2015 with completion scheduled for later in the month.
Marco Pierre-White’s regime will come to an end and locals are looking forward to getting their village pub back. Marco tried to turn it into a celebrity restaurant and he failed. He scrapped most of the bar and bar area and reduced the choice of drinks, clearly expecting punters to come for the name of Marco Pierre-White and/or Wheelers and the eating experience those names envisaged. Well it failed and it is sad that this lovely old pub has had to pay the price.
I understand the new owners will live on the premises and that is really good news. They will need to take stock of the building and what needs to be done to return it to profitability. I hope that means a combination of local watering hole and restaurant. There is enough space for the Black Boy to be a local pub and a restaurant and there could well be space for bed and breakfast trade if the local planners allow and, surely, they must be helpful to this pub that has survived such a long list of different landlords?
I have three thoughts in conclusion:
- Very grateful thanks to Hannah and her team who have worked so hard to meet customers’ needs while seeing the business wind down as Marco clearly decided he was exiting but never seems to have taken the local staff into his confidence. If his staff management style is based on silence and secrecy, I do wonder how he keeps his businesses going?
- A very warm welcome to the new landlord and landlady. They are taking on a pub with a chequered history and a huge list of past landlords but it has great potential and, in the right hands, I am sure it can come back to viability with full bars and full tables.
- Marco changed this lovely old pub and not for the better. He seems to have thought he could impose urban styles and tastes into this very rural location. I hope he has learned a lesson and may take a pause to reflect on the advice he has been given and the style in which he seems to manage his businesses.