'We have a huge task on our hands, but The Pheasant will fly again'

Jenna and Stuart Johnson The Pheasant in Great Chishill

Jenna and Stuart Johnson are taking over The Pheasant in Great Chishill. - Credit: Jenna Johnson

The Pheasant pub in Great Chishill has new owners, who may look rather familiar...

Stuart and Jenna Johnson - who run The Woodman Inn in Nuthampstead - have taken on The Pheasant, which closed in 2019.

They took over the venture after the villagers started on the challenging journey to their pub back open again.

Jenna told the Crow: "This time last year, at the beginning of the first lockdown, we didn’t even know if we would have one pub left at the end of it – as it happens, we now have two!"

Jenna and Stuart Johnson The Pheasant in Great Chishill

Jenna and Stuart Johnson have taken the helm at The Pheasant in Great Chishill. Picture: Jenna Johnson - Credit: Jenna Johnson

"We met with the community action group who were fighting to get the pub reopened. They were overwhelmingly supportive, and we made the decision to run The Pheasant as a sister pub to The Woodman.


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"Our plan is to take The Pheasant back to serving high quality, traditional food as well as fine wines and well kept beer.

"The villagers are desperate to get back to using their pub again, so made the crazy decision to get the outside of the pub open in just two weeks time, on April 19. The plan is for the inside to follow in May, when coronavirus restrictions allow it.

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"We have a huge task on our hands but we think that, with everyone’s help and support, we can achieve it. It may be ‘all hands on paintbrushes', to get it done in time though!"

Jenna and Stuart Johnson have taken the helm at The Pheasant in Great Chishill. Picture: Jenna Johnson 

Jenna and Stuart Johnson have taken the helm at The Pheasant in Great Chishill. Picture: Jenna Johnson - Credit: Jenna Johnson

Jenna explained that they are looking into transforming some of the upstairs into a multi-functional community space. They also have plans to make the garden more accessible and will be adding a disabled access toilet.

Jenna said: "With four small children and two pubs to run, life is going to be hectic for a while! But we are passionate about pubs and love what we do. People think we are mad but we are lucky to have really strong teams of staff in place, to allow us to split our time between the two sites.

"We are already taking online bookings for The Woodman and we should have The Pheasant website and booking system up very soon too. We can’t wait to meet all of the villagers and get the heart of the village beating once again!"

While the hostelry's website gets up and running, find out more about The Pheasant's new sister site, The Woodman, at https://www.thewoodman-inn.co.uk/.

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