Tribute paid to ‘Mr Marmite’ landlord of the Tartar Frigate pub in Broadstairs

Karel with partner Karen last year

Tribute has been paid to a ‘thoughtful’ and hard-working Broadstairs pub landlord who died following a fall in March.

Karel Kozisek had run ‘a tight ship’ at the Tartar Frigate for 12 years.

The 63-year-old, known affectionately to regulars as Mr Marmite, fell down steps at his home and was unable to gain help.

At an inquest in Maidstone on Monday (July 6) coroner Geoffrey Smith recorded the cause as accidental death.

Karel was born in Prague on May 14, 1956. He was an only child who loved to play the class clown.

He served in the army then completed his studies in hospitality.

Karel married his first wife at the age of 22 and they had two beautiful daughters, Eliska and Lenka who still live in Prague with Karel’s five grand children.

He had a variety of jobs travelling to America and Germany before coming to England. He was very proud to become a British citizen.

He became the bar manager at the Tarter Frigate in Broadstairs 12 years ago, working long hours and looked forward to playing snooker at the Comrades club for relaxation.

His passion was to ride his beloved Harley Davidson roaring around town in his lunch break.

In 2018 he and his wife Patricia parted. A few months later he began a relationship with friend Karen McCallum and they spent two happy years together.

Karen said: “Karel was fantastic. I knew him since he came to the Tartar Frigate and he was a friend to me and my late husband Trevor. He was fantastic and really supportive when I lost my husband, helping me through a really awful time.

“He referred to himself as Mr Marmite, people loved him but he was like a bulldog when protecting his good customers such as if anyone came in who had had too much to drink.

“Karel was really thoughtful, when he visited me he would never turn up empty-handed, he would always have flowers, and he was so caring. We went to Prague so I could meet his daughters and grandchildren and his daughters just loved him to bits.

“He was put in a position when he was younger where it was hard t find work in the Czech Republic which was why he travelled. He was passionate about his work, putting in long, punishing hours.”

Karel is missed by his loyal customers and friends, his family and Karen.


  1. Very sad to hear of the death of both Karel who I didn’t know and Trevor who I did know. Sad for you Karen.

  2. As Regulars to the Tar Tar Frigate my husband I and enjoyed some fantastic evening there, this soon became our local as Karel was always welcoming to us, he will be sadly missed by all.

    • My collegue Wolfgang who sadly died
      in September 2018 and I spent a lot of phantastic evenings at the Tartar Frigate every time we brought students to Kent school. Wolfgang spent several weeks a year in Broadstairs. Can’t imagine that none of them will be there next time.

  3. First met Karl over 10 years ago, never failed to make us laugh with his cheeky humour great shock to hear of his passing.
    Our thoughts are with Karen and his family he will be sadly missed

  4. it was a pleasure to know karl ,i was only a delivery drivery ,always had time for a coffee and a chat .will miss those chats .
    Boc gases .

  5. A terrible shame. Karel always gave a friendly welcome and a chat and the Tartar became my “go to” place whilst working down in Thanet along with work colleagues.
    A sad loss for family, friends, patrons and the community.
    Thoughts with his loved ones and staff, RIP Karel ?

  6. So sad to hear this news. We lived in Kingsgate Broadstairs for three months in 2003/2004. We had twelve Friday meals at the Tartar Frigate and were always served by this lovely gentleman. He took a photo of the two of us on our last meal at the Tartar Frigate before we came home to Australia.

  7. Hi all.every musician tried to get booked at the frigate.karel made it such fun to play there..warm and friendly greeting ..a brilliant gig..shame..let’s keep it live music in his name…!!!Keith (legacy)

  8. I knew Karel through playing at The Tartar Frigate for around eight years,he was so supportive of me as a musician,always looked forward to seeing him,his welcome was so warm and genuine,he will be sadly missed.

  9. So sorry
    Karel always made us very welcome!and always stopped to talk to us if he saw us when he was out on he’s beloved Harley
    God Bless..Rip.

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