Well-known pub to reopen next week under new owners

Pictured from left are Graham Usher, Shane White, Matt Rose, and Chris Lawton

One of the best-known pubs in the Harrogate district is to reopen next Wednesday, May 26, under new owners.

The Inn South Stainley has been bought by partners Graham Usher and Matt Rose, who have ambitious plans to breathe new life into the premises and reclaim its reputation as a must-visit destination for lovers of good food and real ales, those looking for a great place to stay overnight, and the perfect venue to host weddings and functions.

The Inn will be managed by their hospitality consultancy, MATTGRAY Hospitality. Launched in January 2019, the business already operates two successful pubs – The Castle Inn at Cawood, and the multi award-winning Drovers Arms, Skipwith, both in Selby.

The previous owners of The Inn South Stainley, which closed its doors for the last time in March 2020, had invested more than £1.5m on converting the original standalone building into eight luxury bedrooms, fully refurbishing the pub’s interior, and creating another four luxury guest rooms on its first floor.

To replicate their winning formula at South Stainley, Matt and Graham have brought with them the Drovers’ long standing head chef, Shane White, and recruited Chris Lawton as their new general manager.

From next Wednesday, the venue, which will be open for overnight guests, will be serving gastro pub meals, drinks and snacks. As more members join the front of house and kitchen teams, it is planned to open the restaurant and function suite in July.

Whilst starters on the menu include classic moules mariniere, potted chicken liver pate, chef’s white onion, fennel & mozzarella soup, the main courses feature a number of pub classics like steak, ale & mushroom suet crust pudding, linguine alla Genovese, chicken, Yorkshire ham & leek puff pastry-topped pie; and battered east coast haddock. Also featuring an artisan stonebaked pizza section and gourmet burgers.

And with the popularity of al fresco dining on the ascent, the pair already have plans for two teepees with fire pits, which will be situated in different parts of the inn’s extensive grounds, to host a range of private functions, including private wedding parties.

Graham Usher said: “For the last two years, we have been looking for at least one more pub for MATTGRAY Hospitality to manage, however, there was nothing that really grabbed our attention, and then Covid struck.

“For nine months we put all thoughts on the backburner, but at the beginning of the year we started looking again, and that’s when The Inn South Stainley caught our eye.

“It was exactly what we were looking for. It had recently been refurbished to a very high standard and included guest rooms. And with the No 36 Ripon, Harrogate, Leeds bus stopping right outside, its ideal for staff, and for customers who want to leave the car at home.

“For this venture, we have brought head chef Shane White with us. He’s done an incredible job at The Drovers, and last year helped it win three awards, including Pub of the Year in the White Rose Yorkshire Tourism Awards.

“General manager Chris Lawton is a new recruit, but highly experienced, and is a great fit for The Inn.

“We are very much looking forward to opening the doors of The Inn South Stainley on Wednesday, May 26, welcoming our first customers – and showing them what we are all about.”

Matt Rose said: “The Inn South Stainley is an incredibly exciting prospect for us. It will be the largest venue managed by MATTGRAY Hospitality, and the first to have accommodation. There is so much we want to do here, but we want to do it right, hence opening gradually.

“Many people still call it by its previous name, The Red Lion, and talk about it being the place to go to eat and drink. Our intention is to make this well-known pub a must visit destination again for those who love great food, great drinks and a great atmosphere.”

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