Shepherd Neame has expanded its estate to 296 properties with the acquisition of the Ship Inn, in Herne Bay, from the Stonegate group.
Michele and Alan Clarke outside the Ship Inn, Herne Bay
The pub will continue to be run by current licensees Alan and Michele Clarke, who already have another Shepherd Neame pub, the Chestfield Barn.
The Ship Inn is thought to be the oldest building in Herne Bay, with parts dating back to 1385. It was once a renowned smugglers’ haunt. Located on Central Parade, it boasts extensive sea views, particularly from its large terrace area.
Alan said: “Things have been going really well at the Chestfield Barn, so Michele and I had begun looking for another opportunity to expand into a second site, and when The Ship Inn came up earlier this year, we decided to go for it.
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“It is in a fantastic location and there was a huge amount of potential as it had been closed for a while and needed some refurbishment.
“We have introduced the elements of our offer which have proved popular at the Chestfield Barn, including creating a delicious new menu of traditional pub classics and light bites. We have received a fantastic welcome from locals and are really pleased with how things are going so far.”
Jonathon Swaine, Shepherd Neame’s managing director, pubs, added: “We are delighted to expand our tenanted estate with the acquisition of this characterful pub. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Alan and Michele and supporting them in their efforts to ensure the pub goes from strength to strength.”