Couple take over Sidmouth pub after £180k revamp

The Volunteer Inn is being refurbished ahead of its reopening on Friday, November 24.

The Volunteer Inn is being refurbished ahead of its reopening on Friday, November 24. - Credit: Archant

A couple with years of experience behind the bar are taking on a popular Sidmouth pub after its £180,000 refurbishment.

The Volunteer Inn will reopen after five weeks next Friday (November 24) with a new drinks menu, a totally renovated kitchen and toilets and a revamped cellar to keep beverages cool.

Parents-of-three Matt and Lyndsay Fudge hope to offer ‘something a bit different’ at the Temple Street pub, while keeping the features the locals love.

“It’s needed a bit of attention for a long time,” said Matt, who took over the Anchor Inn with Lindsay and his parents Trevor and Denise in 2004.

“We’re proud we’re the couple that were chosen to take the pub forward. We want to thank people for their support. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the locals.

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“We’ve completely refurbished the kitchen and the cellar. The toilets were in desperate need of refurbishment.

“The pub is going to be more comfy and warm, like what people are used to at the Anchor. Family is a big thing for us – we have three small children ourselves.

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“We’re only two minutes from The Byes so it’s ideal for walkers, and we’ll have BT Sports, mainly for the rugby.

“We’ll still have quizzes and the darts teams, and early spring we might start a comedy night.”

The pub will be offering an à la carte menu on Friday and Saturday evenings with a focus on smoked foods, plus Sunday roasts and lunches and evening meals in the week.

Matt, 34, said it will be on a small scale to begin with so booking will be advisable.

The Volly is owned by Punch Taverns, which led the refurbishment, but the Fudges had a say in the features they wanted.

“Lyndsay’s been working tirelessly to get the garden ready,” added Matt, who lives in Salcombe Road with Lyndsay and their children, Evie, eight, six-year-old Stanley and Teddy, four.

“We’re going to have outside functions and do more FolkWeek stuff. We do the bars at the Bulverton and the Ham, and we have a mobile cocktail van so will have some cocktails on the menu.”

After the opening night next Friday, upcoming events include a pop-up restaurant run by Robin Rea of the Rusty Pig in Ottery, and another by a Michelin-starred chef.

More information will be on the pub’s Facebook page.

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