Report by Jodie Nesling
A traditional Margate pub has had a makeover but don’t expect a trendy gastro venue, as the new owners like it just the way it is.
Darren Petrucci and partner Paul Kelly took over the much-loved hostelry in December and have plans to open the garden and host BBQs in the summer with event space available to hire for parties and meetings.
But for the regulars who come to play pool and darts, the pub will remain very much the same with the traditional bar.
One key change is refitting the kitchen and serving traditional pub grub.
Darren said: “We are going to start with Sunday lunches and go from there. Paul will be in the kitchen. It’s really exciting as the pub hasn’t served food in ages.
“The Mulberry Tree is a place where I would come for a drink. It’s comfortable, a real community pub. All the regulars mix with the newcomers. The cost of a pint is reasonable, and we are not putting prices up for now. We’ll also have regular guest ales after restoring the pump.”
Darren moved to Margate two years ago and previously worked at the Cinque Ports on Marine Terrace. He left to start the new venture after seeing the Dane Road pub was up for sale.
He said: “I saw it and thought, why not give it a shot? I have been in the hospitality business for 30 years but always working for other people and it’s such a great pub. Everybody is very friendly and nice- it’s a traditional, local boozer.”
While the pub has had a spruce up, including new windows and a lick of paint, the juke box, pool table, real log fire and much of the interior will remain the same – much to the delight of pub dog, Cyril.