White Lion story starts new year with new chapter

The search is on for a new management team to take over Broadwindsor’s community pub, The White Lion.

Kate Staff and her daughters, Chloe and Louise, have been on board since the pub reopened at the end of April 2022 but are now moving on.

Rick Dyke, chairman of the Broadwindsor Community Pub committee, said: ‘We thank them for helping us to get where we are today, with a warm, welcoming and successful pub right in the middle of the village, and we wish them all the best for the future.

‘We’re now looking for an experienced team to take on the running of our lovely village pub from mid-February onwards. We are seeking a talented couple or two individuals for the key roles of front of house and chef/cook to create great pub food for 36 covers on three nights and two lunchtimes a week.

‘The position comes with spacious, four-bed living accommodation and the chance to build up both dry and wet sales, without the prohibitive financial in-goings of a tenancy or utility costs.

‘We have heard from a number of promising candidates but are keen to hear from more before making our decision.’

In the interim, the pub will be run by volunteers, under the guidance of former publican and village resident, Andrew Hookings, whose pop-up bar, The Comrades Arms, at the village hall, raised almost £10,750 in six-and-a-half months from October 2021 to mid-April 2022.

He’s issued a call to local people to work bar shifts so that the pub can remain open on Tuesday and Friday nights and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. 

He said: ‘I am sure members of our community will want to support the pub by volunteering behind the bar.  We’ll provide the necessary training to keep The White Lion roaring while we seek a new manager and team.’

The Palmers pub closed in the summer of 2021 and reopened as a community pub on Friday 29 April 2022 following a massively successful fundraising campaign which enabled the community to totally refurbish, reconfigure and re-equip the pub’s interior, including the kitchen.

Rick Dyke said: ‘The pub is incredibly popular with locals, visitors and holidaymakers and is at the heart of our thriving village, with community events like monthly farmers’ breakfasts, quizzes, bingo and music nights.

‘The Staff family worked hard to secure a five-star hygiene rating for the pub and a Cask Marque for well-kept ales. We want that to continue with the right people behind the bar and in the kitchen to build on the community pub’s firm foundations and take us to the next level.’

For more information about the job roles, please email hr_whitelion@btinternet.com

To volunteer for pub shifts in the interim, please call Andrew Hookings on 07876 334720 or email andrewhookings@yahoo.co.uk