The former owner of Leicester venues The Exchange bar and the Queen Victoria Arts Club has taken over Syston pub The Gate Hangs Well.
Cassie Davison is the new business owner of the Everards pub, which is next to the River Wreake on the outskirts of the town.
The previous business owner left in November 2020 after nine years at the pub.
Cassie has been an owner-operator of Leicestershire hospitality businesses for more than 22 years, having started her career in the industry nearly 30 years ago.
She most recently owned and ran The Exchange bar and the Queen Victoria Arts club, both in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter, until October 2019.
Since then, Cassie has been working as a consultant supporting other hospitality businesses and specialising in what she describes as her favourite area, pubs and bars.
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Alongside her consultancy work, and as a response to coronavirus, she also set up an online forum for hospitality businesses across the UK to discuss challenges and share ideas.
“The opportunity to speak so regularly to others in the industry highlighted to me how much I missed being an operator and the contribution that I can make with a great venue,” Cassie told LeicestershireLive.
“The Gate Hangs Well happens to be my ‘local’ and one of my favourite pubs, so when Everards put out a call out for a new operator, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation putting myself, and my family, forward.
“It was also a great opportunity to work with Everards – a local business that I have an immense amount of admiration for and whose values I share, particularly their contribution to, and championing of, Leicester and Leicestershire.”
Cassie said she was keen to open the pub as soon as possible, and was not planning to make any big changes to the venue.
“The Gate Hangs Well is already a well-established pub and we won’t be making any major changes before opening back up, as soon as we are allowed,” she said, adding that she was looking forward to opening up the extensive riverside garden in summer, lighting the cosy fires in winter and relaunching the ‘boathouse’ function room when restrictions are lifted. “We will be building on the existing business and growing into it over the next few years.”
The pub has an adjoining field where she is hoping to put on community events such as family picnic days with local food stalls and live music.
Customers will be able to enjoy hearty, homemade pub food, such as macaroni cheese, fish and chips, sausage and mash and pizzas. Vegan, gluten free and low calorie options will be available.
According to Cassie, she plans to use local suppliers wherever possible.
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In addition to Everards ales, drinks will include draught lagers, craft beers, wine and Prosecco, as well as a good quality low alcohol and soft drink offer.
Cassie, whose family will be moving into the pub, will be taking on the day-to-day running as general manager.
“I am really excited about getting back to the side of the business that I really love – the day-to-day front of house, so I hope to be there to welcome all our guests through our doors,” she said.
“Waiting for the announcement that hospitality can open again is like being a kid waiting for Christmas!”
A full team of staff is required for the pub, with available roles including head chef, sous chef, junior chef and assistant manager, as well as full-time and part-time front of house.
For job descriptions, and to apply, visit the pub’s website here.