As a 24-year-old, Matthews took on the pub, which is a now Punch Pubs site, on 10 June 1993.
He recalled: “I remember this guy came up to me and said, ‘you won’t last two minutes here mate’, and at that point if you’d have told me all of them years ago that I would still be here 30 years later, I’d never have believed you.”
Entered trade at 16
Matthews continued: “The best thing is, that same guy came in last year, 29 years later and he remembered those words straight away – we laughed about it and he couldn’t believe it.”
Following in the footsteps of his parents, who had operated pubs through his childhood, Matthews began working in the on-trade at the age of 16 by helping in the pubs and learning from his mum and dad.
“When I first walked into the pub, It was totally different to how it is now,” Matthews said. “By the end of ’93, a lot of work had gone into its transformation, I’m proud to say the Barley Mow is always clean, it’s immaculately kept and myself and (fiancée) Sarah do our absolute best to stand out. That’s the secret to running a good pub – keeping your standards high.”
Wouldn’t give it up
Matthews met Sarah through working at the pub 27 years ago. He said: “Meeting Sarah would have to be the best memory here at the Barley Mow but it’s also the amazing friends I’ve met too. Talking to customers, having a laugh and a drink, that’s what it’s all about and I wouldn’t give that up any time soon.”
Punch Pubs and co operations manager Zacc Hirst said: “It is an honour to be working alongside Adrian as he celebrates his 30th year at the pub.
“Running any business and succeeding for that amount of time is a huge achievement but doing that in the hospitality industry, which is so fast paced and ever-changing, is amazing. The Barley Mow is a fantastic traditional pub offering a great experience whether visiting for a drink, food or just a great time. I hope Adrian enjoyed his well-deserved celebration with the team and all his fantastic customers.”