Its dirty, empty shell dominated Market Place for months, but soon The Chase in Market Rasen will be sparkling again.
“Lincoln lad” Roy Ablett has spent the past two weeks cleaning and tidying the premises, which will also be a return home, as 38 years ago, he worked behind its bar.
Roy has owned 6-7 other pubs, with the last one being The Crown at Glentham, where he also held the lease, as he does here. He has also owned or run a printing company, a greeting cards company, two haulage firms, three butchers shops, off-licenses and a greengrocers.
The 62-year-old also worked several years in Europe running 36 campsites before returning to Britain in 2010 to run the Black Horse at Ingham, the Wishing Well at Cherry Willingham and then the Crown at Glentham.
“I once lived in Market Rasen for five years. I know the pub. I think it can do a good trade,” he said.
Roy took over the lease two weeks ago and has been busy cleaning, saying the place was “absolutely filthy, disgusting” when he found it, not just from it lying empty for so long, but believing it was also “left in a dirty state beforehand.”
However, this week, new cellar equipment will be installed, including new optics, bar fronts, plus a new pool table, quiz machine, jukebox and new one-armed bandit.
The leasehold pub will be a Free House and will stock John Smith’s, the “cracking beer” Lincoln Imperial, Strongbow cider (including fruit), Fosters and Kronenbourg lager, with Thatcher’s Cider and Carling lager to follow. There will also be a guest ale. “I’m really keen on real ales,” Roy continued.”
“Food will also be at a later date. I want it to be excellent when it comes out. We will do everything from a baguette, to a 30 oz mixed grill. There will be steaks too.”
His butcher will be F Doncaster of Newark, who supplies “excellent meat.” Small Beers of Lincoln will supply the beer. Roy says he has used these suppliers for years.
But first he also has to get some staff and is seeking chefs, cooks, bar staff, a cleaner, “at least seven jobs for the town.”
Despite such staff, Roy said he’s a “hands-on person, I do work myself.”
He plans to open the pub from 11am to 12 midnight. “Once we get rolling, we might even open for breakfast at 7am.”
There will also be private dining. Already, he has taken bookings for 50 breakfasts in September, plus 50 three-course meals on the same day.
And for someone with many pubs and businesses behind his belt, Roy adds: “we have quite a few followers.”