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Untrue closure gossip “devastating” to Sidmouth pub

15:28 21 January 2013

(L to R) Paul  Coe, head chef Phil Boardman, Belinda Coe, bar manager Simon Hoare and chef Jean-Paul Coe.

(L to R) Paul Coe, head chef Phil Boardman, Belinda Coe, bar manager Simon Hoare and chef Jean-Paul Coe.

Archant

OWNERS of a family-run Sidmouth pub and restaurant fear unfounded rumours it is going out of business are now threatening to do just that.

Belinda and Paul Coe, who run The Bowd Inn, say the completely untrue gossip has “snowballed” and devastated trade.

“It is losing us our livelihood,” they told the Herald this week.

The parents-of-three say they have grafted to make the business, which employs 14 staff, a success since taking it over three years ago.

But the past six weeks has seen them have to fend off misinformation that they had gone bankrupt and that New Year’s Eve was their last day of trading.

A submission on a review website even erroneously stated the venue was boarded up. Belinda and Paul say several Christmas parties in January have been cancelled as a result and regulars are no longer visiting.

“Our trade has been affected so much it’s been devastating,” said Belinda.

“People think we are closing down but we want to let everyone know we’re still trading. We’re still here and we’re still doing the same – nothing has changed.”

She and Paul think the rumours started when they opted to close on Mondays at the end of October.

Paul, 50, said: “Someone started a rumour and it has snowballed.

“For this to happen is crazy – it could put us out of business if this goes on.

“It has been horrendous.”

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