Licensee takes on pub that was first date venue

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Old-fashioned boozer: manager Katrina McGorrin (left) and licensee Georgina Paxton (right) greet Rose Inn regulars
Old-fashioned boozer: manager Katrina McGorrin (left) and licensee Georgina Paxton (right) greet Rose Inn regulars

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Love is certainly in the air for a licensee who has taken on a second pub that was the setting for her first date with her partner.

Shepherd Neame publican Georgina Paxton, who already runs the Hampton Inn in Herne Bay, Kent, has taken on the Rose Inn, fewer than two miles away, after long-serving licensee Karen Hazell retired last month.

Paxton said: “I have always liked the pub. It is like a village pub in the middle of the town. It has got a nice little feeling to it. It is a proper old-fashioned boozer.”

Multi-site operator

She continued: “My partner and I knew each other before we started dating, and on our first date nine years ago, we went for a wander up the town and ended up coming in here. He knew people here and so did I, and it’s a small pub, and so we basically had the date with the whole rest of the pub.”

Experienced licensee Paxton has been running the Hampton Inn nearby in Western Esplanade for the Faversham-based family brewer for seven years and also operated the Divers Arms in Central Parade, another Shepherd Neame site, up until four years ago, so is no stranger to running two pubs simultaneously.

She added: “The two pubs I have now are hugely different. They have a totally different clientele – I have 27 staff at the Hampton and can do 120 covers on some Sundays. While the Rose has four staff and does not do food.”

Manager appointed

As she and partner Harvey spend part of the year at their home in Turkey, she has a manager in place at both sites with long-time colleague Katrina McGorrin taking the role at the Rose Inn.

McGorrin worked with Paxton at the Divers Arms and also at the Hampton Inn. Paxton said: “She was the obvious choice as manager here. It was a bit of a no-brainer.”

The three-storey pub, which has just two rooms on the ground floor for the pub, and some seating outside on the street, has had some renovation work applied since Paxton took over including an internet connection being installed and redecoration planned for the new year.

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