AN AWARD-WINNING Isle of Wight pub, closed for the last eight months, has reopened — and the owners have promised to restore it to its former glory.

The New Inn, Shalfleet, has been taken over by Martin Bullock, who owned it for 22 years before leasing it out two years ago.

Martin owns the Inns of Distinction Group with fellow director Phil Gilbraith.

Their portfolio of Isle of Wight pubs includes The Fishbourne Inn, The Boathouse, Seaview, The Spinnaker, Bembridge and Artisan, Ryde.

Assistant manager Katherine Hallett will run front of house.

She said: "We have refurbished the pub inside and out and given it a new lease of life.

"We hoped it would have been open sooner, but there were problems with the gas re-installation. That's all sorted now though."

Katherine, formerly the assistant manager at The Spinnaker, said locals were happy to see the pub reopening.

"We have had a great response," she said.

"The villagers are so pleased they have their local pub back and we have had lots of custom from people staying on their boats at The Creek, as well as walkers and cyclists.

"We are hoping to get our food back up to its previous reputation when we were consistently winning awards.

"It's better than pub grub, but not fine dining either — we will be serving predominantly quality seafood dishes, but also classic favourites as well."

The pub has been added to the Beer and Buses route, and has a number of special events in the pipeline.

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