Sisters like the pub so much they bought it

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Two sisters who have breathed new life into a pub/restaurant in Heath and Reach over the last 12 months have decided to stay.

Sisters Sarah Smith and Jo Carter have announced plans for a permanent commitment to the Dukes.

The pub, formerly known as the Dukes Head, has been on the site since 1747 and in recent years has been Indian, Thai and Chinese restaurants.

The project to turn it into a gastropub with an a la carte restaurant, bar snacks menu, real ales, open fire and six en suite bedrooms has been a labour of love for Sarah and Jo, who have spent much time completely restoring the interior, re-equipping the bar and restaurant areas, and refurbishing the accommodation.

Landlady Sarah, a mum-of-two who manages the pub onsite on a daily basis, has more than 14 years’ experience in the hospitality trade including two years as restaurant manager at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

She said: “I fell in love with the Dukes Head having known it for many years, and had both my daughters’ christening parties there in 2007.

“My sister Jo and I moved heaven and earth to get it, although on a leasehold basis. Now, just over a year later, we are buying the building, and we want our customers, suppliers and staff to know we are here to stay.

“We have put together a first-rate team including chefs who enjoy cooking with high quality, extremely fresh ingredients.”

They have ambitious plans for the future, including regular live music and a weekly pub quiz.