The Denison Arms' new pub landlords 'relieved' to finally open doors to guests

The Denison Arms at East Ayton has reopened its doors to customers for the first time in months as new landlords take over the pub.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 4:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 4:04 pm
The Denison Arms at East Ayton.

Mike Squires and Chris Flynn took over The Denison Arms in November 2020 and were only able to open briefly in December before being forced to close again by lockdown.

With the largest easing of coronavirus restrictions in England so far on Monday, the pub is now able to welcome customers inside.

Head chef and co-landlord Mike said: “Monday was really good, a massive relief really to have people back in the pub."

At The Denison Arms are, from left, Shannon Mcclymont, Chris and Zoe Flynn, Mike Squires and Codie Howarth.

The pub initially tried takeaway, but "it didn't take off", Mike said, and Government grants have helped "keep our heads above water".

Refurbishment work took place in 2017, but The Denison Arms had been closed for more than an entire year before Mike and Chris could get in for a deep clean.

“We’ve improved the outside area and made the beer garden a bit bigger and over the next few months there will be more refurbishment work happening."

With more than 20 years experience as a pub landlord and having run The Buck Hotel in Thornton-le-Dale for the past three years the pair are eager to get going with their latest venture.

Codie Howarth at the bar...

“We’re going back to the old Denison-type meals, so home-cooked food with sizeable, hearty portions," said Mike.

There are two menus - a daytime bar menu and evening menu - and three cask ale pumps with plans for expansion in the future.

The pub serves a refined evening menu which includes two chargrilled pork chops covered in a wholegrain mustard and mushroom sauce and lamb shank, slowly braised in a red wine, rosemary and thyme confit.

Mike says the evening menu is designed to contain meal that guests will not have tried at home.

"Luckily where we’re positioned it’s quite a big sort of touristy trap and there are quite a few caravan parks. Even from a local perspective, there has been a lot of local bookings and interest - hopefully, things will come back to normal and we’ll be able to say ‘we’re fully booked tonight’.

“I think going abroad isn’t going to be that appealing considering most of Europe is in amber so I think it’s going to be a busy summer, which we’re looking forward to!”

You can find out more and book tables at The Denison Arms here.