‘We will be home for all walks of life’, says new Dartmouth Arms owner
'It isn’t about the newest, craziest beer that has just been released from a niche brewery'
21 March, 2019 — By Dan Carrier
Stuart Langley and Fred Bolin outside The Dartmouth Arm
THE new owner of a Dartmouth Park pub has vowed that after almost a decade of uncertainty the local will no longer be under threat of closure.
The Dartmouth Arms, York Rise, has endured a difficult recent few years after it was sold to chain Faucet Inn Ltd by publican Nick May in 2011.
Under the management of Faucet Inn, trade dropped off and they eventually closed the pub as they turned upper floors into flats, and then failed to re-open the ground-floor bar.
After a long campaign by regulars, the pub was made an Asset of Community Value – and was reopened by publican Andy Bird two years ago. But after 18 months, Mr Bird decided to move on – and now new owner Stuart Langley says he has the right formula for the once-bustling local to reclaim a place at the heart of the community.
He took ownership of the pub outright earlier this year and now, after a comprehensive refit, is gearing up for a new chapter in the pub’s 154-year history.
Mr Langley said: “Andy felt he had taken the pub as far as he could. He had got it re-opened but wanted someone who could give it a bit more attention. I came to look at it and found what could be a fantastic pub. It just had so much potential in the four walls.”
Mr Langley has a long background in hospitality.
He has run venues in east London, music bars in Ibiza and opened a hotel in the Alps.
With his business partner, chef Fred Bolin, he also established the Disappearing Dining Club – a company that uses interesting venues to create places to eat.
He told the New Journal his first aim was to improve what was on offer and make it more welcoming for everyone in the area.
He said: “The pub wasn’t being used by the entire community here and it should be. It should be a home for all walks of life, all ages, it should be here for families. It should be for people who love a good beer and good food, good wine and good music. It wasn’t being used by the people who should feel it is their pub. We want to change that.”
As well as focusing on a new menu, Mr Langley has redecorated and installed a new sound system with DJs playing vinyl every weekend.
He added: “I had an idea of what a local pub should be today. Traditional pubs have been in decline and we knew we needed to reform what the pub could offer to the people who live around here. It needs to be somewhere people want to come to, with restaurant-quality food but in an affordable setting, not a swanky gastro-pub setting. It needs to be a place to relax. It isn’t about the newest, craziest beer that has just been released from a niche brewery.”