The price tag for the overhaul of the Crown is the largest general manager Gareth Griffiths has dealt with in his career to date but Shepherd Neame said his previous hospitality experience in some of the capital’s busiest venues will stand him in good stead.
The Crown recently opened its doors after a 12-week refurbishment included the installation of a bespoke bar, new orangery and renovated outside space, as well as redecoration inside and out, including its nine bedrooms.
Griffiths, 37, said: “I have reopened a couple of pubs before but never this big a refurbishment. It’s a challenge that I am happy to take on.”
Quality is there
He continued: “The feedback on the pub itself has been amazing from everyone since it reopened. The quality is there in every aspect of the project, and myself and the whole team are very passionate about making sure we reflect that in our offer.
“It is a really spacious building so there is so much potential – the size of the dining room is particularly impressive.”
Sittingbourne-based Griffiths started out in the industry after moving to London following completion of a degree in photography.
Young’s and Stonegate background
Working for Young’s, he spent five years working his way up to general manager, being promoted from deputy manager at the Wheatsheaf, one of Borough Market's busiest pubs to general manager at the Bunch of Grapes in London Bridge.
Before heading to Chislehurst, he had been running the Earl of Camden pub for Stonegate.
The Crown, which is nestled on the edge of Chislehurst Common, has also implemented a new food menu, offering reimagined British pub classics, breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as light bites and sharing platters.
“Working for an independent, family-run company was a major draw for me,” he said. “[Shepherd Neame] is incredibly supportive and collaborative, so I have the opportunity to have a real say in how the business runs.”