|A Year In The Life Of The Barley Mow|
Johnny & Charlie talk to us about the high and lows of their twelve months in Chiswick
When couple Johnny and Charlie first set foot in The Barley Mow their initial impression was not favourable. “It wasn’t really somewhere I would want to go” said Johnny.
But their Capital Pubs bosses convinced them to give it a go and after a six week refurbishment they reopened under the same name but with a new direction.
Changing local opinion about a pub once know as “chav central” was not an easy task but with 22 years in the industry between them Johnny and Charlie have done a sterling job.
The simple fact that the snooker tables have been replaced by a popular no smoking dining area would give a good indication of this success.
“The company wanted to distance themselves from The Barley Mow’s old reputation. Our brief was to make it into a good pub, somewhere where locals would enjoy.”
Although they came to Chiswick from The Canyon in Richmond, they goal was offer “simple but good pub food using fresh ingredients to make classic home made classic dishes at a fair price”.
The company, who also own the new Shackology, gave the couple responsibility to hire and train new staff, create new menus and a new wine list.
When asked what the high of the past year have been they listed Australia Day (Charlie is from Melbourne) St Patrick’s Day (Johnny is from Northern Ireland), regulars visits from local rugby teams and the recent Six Nations tournament.
The low points were harder to recall with only one coming to mind ie. Toby Young’s misguided comments about The Barley Mow being one of the only ‘problem pubs’ in Chiswick in his review of Carluccios for Evening Standard.
“We were really upset by that after all the work we had put into here. Still at least we got a kind of apology” said Charlie.
And what of the fast approaching smoking ban? “We’re looking forward to it to be honest. It was only a matter of time before it came in. We’re lucky enough to have a beer garden. It’s going to be harder for other places without outside space, they’ll be affected more.”
May 30, 2007