The Devonshire Arms Opens Its Doors Again

Back in business this weekend as a community pub

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The Devonshire Arms is to re-open this weekend as a “community pub”.

The new owner, Paul Waterer, said it would not be a gastro-pub but would focus on being a traditional local pub where people could come and feel relaxed, whether they wanted a coffee, a drink, or something to eat.

"We’ll have reasonably-priced food, and our drinks will be very competitively priced. We want it to be the hub of the local community and we’re anxious to meet locals and get advice and feedback. We are ‘people people’ ourselves”, he said.

Before opening in Chiswick, he and business partners Paul Roomussaar and Rob Hutchings, ran the Prince Edward pub in Notting Hill with the focus on the local community. When the tenancy expired last February, they started to look for a new location.

“In Notting Hill we had a very mixed customer base, from eight to eighty-year olds, and tourists”, said Paul.

The pub has had a chequered history. Owner Nick Gibson closed it last February, less than a year after he had opened it with ambitions to provide fresh, seasonal British cooking and a range of British ales.

The 70-seat dining area, 16-seat bar, with 40 covers in the outside garden, had been part of the Gordon Ramsey empire ( GRH) and Gibson, who also runs the Draper's Arms in Islington, took it over in June 2011. He blamed its lack of success on a reluctance by local people to walk down from the Chiswick High Road .

But the new owners said they were not competing with High Road eateries.

“It’s not going to be a gastro-pub though we will have food. We’ll have breakfast from 10am, earlier if demand is there, a three-hour lunch period and four-hour dinner service at night. But our main purpose is to give people what they want, even if it's a takeaway coffee, and we’re keen to meet local people and get their advice and feedback”, he commented.

May 3, 2012