The end of an era
For the second time this year the Coronavirus epidemic has forced us to close our doors. This time, we (landlords Linda and Andy Brooks) will finally be retiring. New tenants will take over when, eventually, the hospitality sector is able to re-open on or after December 2nd.
The decision to retire has nothing to do with Covid-19, but was made way back in August 2019, since when the search for the right people to take over this iconic community pub has been ongoing, interrupted by many factors but mostly by the lockdown which started last March. We did not expect to return after that, but as nobody was in place by July 5th we re-opened. The summer was different, but the weather was on our side and we were able to welcome back many of our old friends and customers, and by the time of the "Eat Out to Help Out" scheme in August things felt that they were returning to normal. But, of course, it was not to be.
However, there are positives. Most importantly, we have met potential new tenants whom we feel are ideal to continue the legacy whilst investing in the business - people with extensive pub experience who appreciate the importance of the Laughing Fish to its community. Greene King are currently in negotiations with them.
Secondly, the fact that, this time, we were given a few days notice of forced closure (thank you to whoever leaked Boris' plans two days early!) meant that our friends and customers had a last chance to pop in for a drink. On our last night, Wednesday 4th November, we were treated to a fantastic
send-off and overwhelmed with the gifts and good wishes we received. Not quite the big bash leaving party we would have liked, of course - that wouldn't have been legal! - but still a memorable night. Our thanks to everybody who contributed.
We'll keep this website open for the next few weeks, and hopefully be able to post positive updates about the re-opening. In the meantime, thank you to everyone for your support and friendship over the last twenty years - it has been a hoot.
The present landlords, Andy and Linda Brooks, have been at the pub since 2001 and, despite huge changes in the industry since then, have remained true to their principles of retaining it as an individual village pub, know much for its good quality home-made food.
The pub has undergone a few physical changes under their stewardship - in 2002 a children's play area was part of improvements to the garden. In 2007 the interior was extended, disabled access and a new toilet block were provided, and in 2013 there was a further interior and exterior makeover, providing improved seating and lighting.
We now sell six real ales - three of them from local independent brewers such as Burning Sky (Firle), Long Man (Wilmington) and Gun Brewery (Gun Hill), and three of them are nationally available ales.
We also now have two real ciders on tap, in addition to craft lagers and fine keg ciders such as Aspall.
We are well known for our no-nonsense home-made food such as proper shortcrust pastry pies, locally sourced seasonal meat, fish and produce, and a selection of regularly changing meals alongside sandwiches and burgers.
We have a menu that changes on a daily basis that is served lunchtimes and evenings from Monday to Friday, all day on a Saturday, and lunchtime on a Sunday. Our food service times can be found below.