YOUNG publicans Tom West and Chloe Givans were delighted to open doors as lockdown restrictions eased yesterday (Monday).
They took over The Royal Oak in Charmouth, a Palmer’s Brewery pub, in November but have not been able to open fully because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
During lockdown, Tom, 26, and Chloe, 24 – the youngest tenants in the Palmer’s estate – have operated a takeaway and delivery service in Charmouth, Lyme Regis and Axminster with their Munch Box and Sunday roast dinners being particularly popular.
Tom and Chloe have both worked in the hospitality trade, but this is the first pub of their own and they were looking forward to welcoming back customers on Monday when pubs are allowed to open indoors again.
Tom and Chloe are both well known in the village. Tom is the son of Jenni West, stalwart of the Lyme Regis Skittle League, and grandson of the late Dave Smith who was well known in Charmouth and Lyme Regis as a barman.
Chloe’s mum and stepdad, Maria and Al Tritton, run the Nisa Stores in Charmouth.
The Royal Oak will be opening seven days a week from 11am to 11pm and will be serving food from 12noon to 8pm.
Tom and Chloe are employing a new chef, Josh Chestney, from Lyme Regis, with a new menu featuring local caught fish and local produce.
They will be staging an official opening on July 3 with music by The Twerzles and popular local duo Guilty Pleasure, made up of singer and guitarist Harvey Causley and drummer Tom Stroud.
Tom and Chloe have been together for seven years are are planning to get married next September.
They said they have been amazed by the support they have received from the village during lockdown.
“We never expected to be so busy!” said Tom.