Consett boy Rhys Turner always dreamt of owning his own boozer, but after school took a job aboard a wealthy family’s multi-million pound boat sailing around Australasia and the South Pacific.
But after three and a half years touring tropical islands, the 22-year-old has given it all up to take over The Smelters Arms, which he’s bought with his mum and dad Vicky and Norman.
“Buying a pub is something that I have always wanted to do when I settled down, but I never thought it would be in my home town,” said Rhys, who has also taken over the 52-cover Steak House restaurant next door.
“Straight away I really liked the look of the place, though it was in need of a lot of TLC.
“My ambition is for The Smelters Arms and The Steak House to be the best of both worlds, with a friendly bar for the locals as well as a restaurant that will bring in trade outside the immediate area.
“We consulted with the regulars on how we should redecorate and we are keen to be part of the community, which has included sponsoring the local girls’ football league.”
The Turners have invested £250,000 in buying and refurbishing the pub, including new kitchens and toilets, with £95,000 of that cash in the form of a mortgage from Lloyds Bank Commercial.
And the reopened pub and restaurant has help create 10 new jobs in the process.
David Channon, relationship manager, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It is fantastic to see this local pub being brought up-to-date and I am sure it will prove tremendously popular with locals and visitors alike.”