The New Inn, Hook-a-Gate, Celebrates a Centenary of Success...
Many people still remember when the hamlet of Hook-a-Gate, just outside Shrewsbury had three pubs, known by locals and regulars as ‘the top’; ‘middle’ and ‘bottom’! You’ve guessed it the New Inn was the “top pub” and now, a hundred years after it was taken over by the Hunter family- it still enjoys a reputation as a top pub by its customer.
The New Inn was purchased on 25th March 1915 by Robert Hunter, a gamekeeper and his schoolteacher wife Susan. They quickly established themselves as an important part of the community, opening at 6am for the local mineworkers and supplying the village with milk from their own cows. Their days were long and hard as they also had to brew all their own beer as well as looking after 3 young children William, Gwendoline (Molly) and Denis.
In 1952 Robert passed away and youngest son Denis became the licensee with his wife Joan. Similar to his father before him, the pub was not the only venture as they also kept sheep, trained & raced greyhounds as well as Denis being the local barber! Denis and Joan also had 2 young children, Nigel and Rod.
In 1981 Denis retired and Rod became landlord at the age of 23. Always one for a challenge he bravely introduced food at the New Inn, building a catering kitchen and turning the old games room into a restaurant. Rod passed away in May 2009 after nearly 28 years as landlord; and he left the pub to Debbie his former wife, who had also worked alongside him at the pub during that time. Debbie now runs the pub with her partner Martin Davies and his son Tom Davies.
Debbie says “Without Rods vision I don’t think the New Inn would have survived this long on drinks alone, the food trade is still a strong part of our business today. However, I do believe the very soul of a pub lies with its local bar trade and we are lucky and very grateful to have a strong core of customers who support us”.
Debbie continued “ It is a privilege to have had the opportunity to carry on the Hunter name at the New Inn for the last 6 years, it was always a great ambition of Rods to make the centenary, and I know he would be very proud we have made it. I could not have done this without Martin, Tom and all of our wonderful staff. I would also like to pay tribute to Sara Conde who joined the kitchen team 4 years ago and who’s endless enthusiasm and new ideas have helped us move forward”
The New Inn prides itself on Good Beer, Good Food and Good Hospitality still maintaining the traditional values of Robert and Susan Hunter from 100 years ago.
To make a reservation please contact Martin & Debbie