Former Top 50 Gastropubs Awards winner buys first pub

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Morning advertiser, Publican’s morning, Public house

Mike Champion plans to upgrade the guest rooms and improve the food and service
Mike Champion plans to upgrade the guest rooms and improve the food and service
Award-winning front-of-house manager Mike Champion has become a licensee for the first time, after purchasing the leasehold of the Carpenters Arms pub in Cambridge.

Champion, who won Front of House Manager of the Year​ at the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​’s (PMA​) Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2013 for his work at the nearby Red Lion in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, took on the Carpenters Arms last month.

He had also been running the Black Bull Inn in Balsham, Cambridgeshire, but said he has had to give them both up to focus on the new business.

'Meant to be'

“I was at an awards ceremony talking about wanting to run my own pub and I said: ‘Well, there’s a pub 300 yards from me with rooms, a restaurant, a bar, guest rooms, car park and it’s got a hook — a wood-burning pizza oven.’ The most important thing for me was that it had a hook,” he told the PMA​.

“A few days later, Tom Nichols from Everard Cole said it was up for sale. It was meant to be.”

Champion said he plans to upgrade the guest rooms, bring in more soft furnishings in the bar and improve the food and service. He is also looking to build a covered seating area outside, close to the pizza oven, which he said is already proving popular with customers.

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