It’s all change at The Jolly Farmer pub in Manston as old school friends Danny Wisker and Bobby Brown take over the lease.
The duo officially took over on September 19 – the day of the Queen’s funeral – and have already revamped the menu with plans for a pub refurbishment next.
Danny, who is also manager of a demolition firm, is the front of house lead while chef Bobby, who has worked with Gordon Ramsay and headed up venues in towns including Chislehurst and Tunbridge Wells, is the man in charge of the food.
Former Margate FC footballer Danny, who was a Big Brother contestant back in 2015, says over the last four years he had contemplated taking on a bar or club and jumped at the chance when the opportunity for the village boozer came up.
The 36-year-old, who lives in Manston, said: “I had been umming and erming about getting a bar or little club for the last four years, it has been an ambition of mine. Then The Jolly Farmer came up again and I went for it.
“I have never done this before so needed someone with me and I’ve known Bobby since school. He has made headlines (for his chef skills) and although he was working in Tunbridge Wells I called on the off-chance he fancied partnering up as I knew he wanted to move back to Thanet and do something new of his own.”
Bobby previously opened the Kentish Hare in Tunbridge Wells with two partners and has also featured on Master Chef: The Professionals.
He later was part of the team heading up the reopening of the George and Dragon in Speldhurst and the former East Kent College student is known for his passion of using local, seasonal produce.
Danny said: “The kitchen is his and the menu will be whatever he wants to do.”
Danny says the pair aim to bring back the ‘village pub’ atmosphere at The Jolly Farmer and there are plans for a total redecoration and refurb.
Danny said: “I used to go there with my family and it was always packed but it seems to have lost that village pub feel.
“We want to make it really nice again and with Bobby in the kitchen good food is guaranteed.”
Since the pair took over, Danny says the response has been good and there has been a steady flow of customers – with all enjoying what is on offer.
The pub’s staff under the former bosses have all been retained and two additional chefs have been taken on. The new menu is also now in place and bookings have been flooding in for Christmas.