The Highlands, Uckfield, is to re-open its doors ith a completely new look following a change of ownership.
Highland cattle signs went up yesterday outside the pub which has been painted white – it used to be plain brickwork.
Inside, the building has been opened up. It has been redecorated and the flooring replaced. The kitchen has been refitted and new toilet facilities installed.
Furniture was due to arrive yesterday and the new owners, the Ridley family, who already run the Cock Inn at Ringmer, are looking forward to opening the pub to serve drinks from 5pm on Thursday, October 18.
The next day, Friday, October 17, will be the grand opening with two bands – South of Saturn and Pop the Cork – alternating to play throughout the evening from 7pm. Then on Saturday and Sunday, 18 and 19, normal business will get under way.
A Christmas party menu has been drawn up and along with main menus will be available on Thursday evening.
Ian Ridley said people wouldn’t recognise the pub as the same place when they came in. There will be a sports bar off to the left, with television screens, a pool table and darts.
And if you turn right, after coming into the pub, there will be a restaurant area. Meals to be served will include a Cock Inn staple, Steak and Ale Pie and one or two other favourites from there but it will, on the whole, be a new menu for the Highlands.
Mr Ridley said: “We think this is just what Uckfield needs and from the support we have had on Facebook and Twitter other people feel the same.
“When we put up the announcement three weeks ago that we were taking over it was seen by more than 20,000 people in the first week. We were inundated with CVs and have our first team. We hope to take on more people as time goes on.”
He added there would be food at the Highlands for everyone, whether on a budget, a diet or with an appetite. There will be smaller portions for the elderly, and small people, and dishes which will appeal to people with big appetites.
The manager will be Natasha Tulley, who has worked for Harveys for many years, including the Pig and Butcher at Five Ash Down. Head chef will be Jane Worfolk and the public bar manager will be Harry Todhunter. The restaurant manager will be Paul Heath who joins The Highlands on Monday from Pizza Hut.