Racing Greyhound duo set to revive fortunes at The Bell Inn in Minster

Debbie and Keith hope to bring the values of the Greyhound to The Bell Inn

The Bell Inn in Minster will be taken over by the successful duo who revived the fortunes of the Racing Greyhound pub in Ramsgate.

Keith and Debbie Barnett are expected to take the helm on July 22, one day before they celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

The pair will run both the village boozer and the Racing Greyhound using a team of staff.

The parents-of-two have been at the Greyhound for 12 years and have transformed custom at the Hereson Road pub with a loyal following of regulars, families, diners and community support, including providing a meeting room for many local groups and charities.

Debbie said: “The Greyhound was on its knees but within weeks we had it up and running. Twelve years on and it is still thriving.

“We have a massive following, lots of regulars and the support from everyone is unbelievable.

“We think people in Minster are excited to be getting a pub back and we will be going between the two until it is up and running.”

Keith said plans are to also recruit some new staff and make sure the pub is open seven days a week, serving good pub grub and looking after its customers.

He added: “It is a sleeping giant at the moment. Everyone says how good it used to be and hopeful it will be as good as that again.”

The pair chanced on the opportunity after going to Minster for a meal at The Corner House. They popped into the Bell and noticed there was barely any stock.

Debbie said: “You notice things like that, it was obvious they were closing it down.”

After some enquiries Debbie and Keith, who also revived the fortunes of Lester’s in Margate during a 12 year stint, found the lease was available and decided to take the plunge and approach owners Enterprise Inns about the tenancy.

Keith said: “We need to get in there and get it cleaned up, It does need some TLC. We hope to get the kitchen open by August.

“We will be there at the beginning and then have a couple doing the day to day running. We have a team of 20 at the Greyhound and expect it to be about the same for the Bell.”

Debbie added: “We hope to do the same as we have here (at the Greyhound) so  keeping prices reasonable for average people, not going all A La Carte but good pub food, roasts, steaks. We are really looking forward to it, it will be exciting.”

Events are also being planned, including two fundraisers to equip both pubs with a defibrillator.

Keep up to date on the Racing Greyhound facebook page here

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