A new lease of life has been given to the former Royal Oak pub in Ramsgate’s Harbour Parade after being taken on by landlady Nicky Smith.
The mum-of-seven, from Cliffsend, already runs The Playa in Sheppey and has now taken over a venue closer to home.
The pub was part of Thorley Taverns’ The Oak Hotel which was sold to isle businessman Dayne Gooding last October. Since then the property has been split into three with Ronnies cocktail bar and The Works café bar opening either side of the newly named Scott & Mortensens.
Nicky says she has added her own stamp but retained a Thorley Taverns feel.
The bar and restaurant is named after two close friends who sadly passed away in recent months but who Nicky credits with pushing her back into the pub trade after a four-year break.
She is joined by assistant manager Mel Stanley, previously of the St Lawrence Tavern, and has taken on 2 chefs and 5 bar staff.
Nicky, 50, is having something of a return to her roots with the seafront pub. She said: “I’ve known Mr Thorley all my life and Thorley Taverns is a big part of the town and one of the best employers I ever worked for. I used to run Restaurant 66 (now The Works) and I helped in the Royal Oak as well. So, I have put my own stamp on it but am not eradicating Thorleys.”
Ramsgate mum-of-six Mel is also returning to pub life after a short break. She said: “I have been in the pub business since I was young. I poured my first pint on my 18th birthday at the old dog track (in Dumpton).”
Scott & Mortensens is currently open Wednesday to Sunday and serves a full menu from breakfast through to evening meals – with the Sundays roasts proving to be a particular hit.
Nicky said: “I want to do steak nights on Fridays, bingo afternoons and am planning set lunches like The Playa, so £9.99 for two courses or £12.99 for three, probably for Wednesdays and Thursdays.
“We have our chef Ryan Hutchinson, who is from Champneys so we were lucky to get him and I’m currently looking for another chef.”