A family firm which transformed a failing pub into a thriving village business is marking its first successful year in business, bucking the trend in the pub sector and doubling the workforce.
Ross Serino, his partner Rebecca Osbaldeston and mother Barbara Serino opened The Tuns at Sadberge, near Darlington, last year after investing more than £250,000 into the pub which had fallen into disrepair.
Formerly known as the Three Tuns, the new venture has proved to be a popular pub and restaurant, quickly gaining a reputation for its good food and informal bar offering local ales.
The Tuns initially created five new jobs for people living in the village and this has doubled to 10 in the last year, thanks to its popularity.
Mr Serino is also working with a number of local suppliers and producers including Country Valley and Hodgson’s of Hartlepool, while serving local ales including Theakston’s.
Bucking the overall UK trend with pub closures at a record high, the Grade-II listed building had previously been closed for several months.
The family, who have also run the popular Santoro’s in Yarm since the 1970s, spent 2013 completing a major renovation at the pub, carefully restoring it to its former glory, as it is thought to date back to the 15thth century when it was a court house.
Mr Serino said: “It’s been a real whirlwind for everyone involved but we’re really pleased with the response we have had from our customers.
“As well as the incredible support from local people living in Sadberge, it’s really encouraging that we get so many people travelling from all over Teesside and the Darlington area to visit us. The pub and restaurant trade is tough and we opened during a real downturn.
“However, we are bucking the trend by giving people what they want- great, uncomplicated food and a range of drinks at reasonable prices in a traditional village pub atmosphere.”