Village pub near Sleaford that has been closed for a year gets makeover by new owners

A couple have reopened a popular pub restaurant this week, a year after it closed under sad circumstances.

Erin and Francis Taylor - new owners of the Queen's Head, Kirkby La Thorpe. EMN-210719-180751001

Erin and Francis Taylor are the new owners of The Queen’s Head in Kirkby La Thorpe, the award-winning restaurant formerly owned for 25 years by chef John Clark until he sadly died last year.

The couple, who have an online business and own property, moved to the area with their five children from Stevenage 10 months ago.

Erin said: “We wanted a better life for the kids as it was too fast-paced there.”

They noticed the pub on the market and took ownership three weeks ago. Erin said the villagers have been eager to see it reopen and the parish council is supportive. “There was concern in the village it might be knocked down to make way for housing.”

She said the dated decor has all gone, replaced with a bigger bar, a fine dining restaurant including a ‘chef’s table’, family dining in the conservatory and a bigger outdoor seated area.

Erin said they had to remove a wall in the conservatory to get all the old kitchen appliances out and new ones in. Old furniture was sold off to raise money for Sleaford’s Rainbow Stars charity.

The couple hope their son Jordan will get involved, alongside experienced staff. Barry Liversidge, their head chef, has worked in Lincoln for three years after moving from the south too.

The bar opened on Monday and restaurant will open on August 1.