DIFFICULTIES in the pub trade have not put off an enterprising duo.
Matt Shields and Mike Yates have just taken over the lease of a local and hope to make it the hub of the community.
Matt will manage the Sun Inn at Lightcliffe and is using his experience of the pub trade and studies to bring it to life.
Mirfield-born Matt, who graduated from Huddersfield University in 2010, said: “I believe the best kind of pub is one that the community comes back to again and again.
“It has to be the hub of the community. We’ve a function room I want to use for mum and baby groups, coffee mornings, networking and so on.
“We’re also using local suppliers for our food to support other local businesses.”
Matt started his career as a waiter and became a manager of a food chain aged 18. He went to university and worked in the Sun Inn, before gaining experience of the industry with a pub company.
When the licence of the Sun Inn came up he wanted to return to his former workplace as landlord.
Mike is the brother of his partner, Debbie, and they hope the family-run ethos will help the pub succeed.
Asked if he’s daunted about the challenge when so many pubs are closing down, Matt said: “Every time a pub closes down there are around 100 customers looking for somewhere else to go. If we can build our business with our customers in mind I think we’ll do just fine.
“People are wary of spending their money at the moment and they tend to stay loyal to places they’ve had good custom, feel welcome and offer something they like.
“We hope we’ll build up a loyal customer base by doing all that.”
The pub remains open but will close on April 8 and 9 for a make-over. It re-opens April 10 with a grand re-opening on April 12.
The duo have already sat down with local butchers, bakers and other food suppliers to source good quality produce for the pub’s kitchen to cook up and supplies will come from Elland, Halifax and Sowerby Bridge.