Shepherd Neame expands tenanted estate

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Great relationship: Shepherd Neame acquires Ship Inn pub in Herne Bay (Pictured: licensees Alan and Michele Clarke)
Great relationship: Shepherd Neame acquires Ship Inn pub in Herne Bay (Pictured: licensees Alan and Michele Clarke)

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Independent family brewer and pub company Shepheard Neame has expanded its tenanted estate with the acquisition of a historic seafront pub in the South-East.

The Faversham-based firm, which is Britain’s oldest brewery, acquired The Ship Inn in Herne Bay from the Stonegate Group earlier this month.

In addition, the acquisition brought the total number of pubs and hotels in its portfolio to 296 across Kent, London and the South-East.

Licensees Alan and Michele Clarke, who also run Shepherd Neame site the Chesterfield Barn, will remain at the helm of the Ship Inn after taking on the venue in April this year and welcomed the change in ownership.

Fantastic welcome 

Alan said: “We have been running the Chestfield Barn for the past six years and have always enjoyed a great relationship with Shepherd Neame during that time, so we were really happy to learn that they would be taking on this site as well.

“We know Shepherd Neame’s team well, and are confident we can work together to fulfil our ambitions for the pub.”

The operator described the pub as being in a “fantastic location”, adding there was a “huge amount of potential” at the Ship as it had been closed for a while and needed some refurbishment.

He also explained the duo have introduced elements of the service at the Chesterfield Barn, including a new menu of traditional pub classics and light bites, to the Ship Inn.

“We have received a fantastic welcome from locals and are really pleased with how things are going so far”, Alan continued.

Successful partnership 

The Ship Inn is thought to be the oldest building in Herne Bay, with parts dating back to 1385, and was once a renowned smugglers’ haunt, according to Shepherd Neame.

Located on Central Parade, the pub, which is open every day from midday, boasts extensive sea views, particularly from its large terrace area.

Shepherd Neame managing director Jonathon Swaine said: “We are delighted to expand our tenanted estate with the acquisition of this characterful pub.

“We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Alan and Michele and supporting them in their efforts to ensure the pub goes from strength to strength.”

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