Stout House, a traditional and well-loved pub in the centre of Horsham, was run successfully by Barry and Debbie McGahan, in partnership with the brewers for nearly 19 years.
Having jumped at the opportunity to escape from a city career and take on the tenancy of the pub in 1999, Barry and Debbie became Hall & Woodhouse Business Partners in 2000. This is when the brewers acquired the pub from Sussex based brewers, King and Barnes, and the couple have operated it smoothly and successfully since.
Barry and Debbie were keen to ensure that the pub remained a traditional drinking destination, with a classic community feel where local people could gather for a chat and a pint, a concept that was supported by Hall & Woodhouse throughout their service.
Commenting on operating in the industry for 19 years, Barry said: “I have always been a pub person and appreciated the support from Hall & Woodhouse in allowing Stout House to remain as a traditional pub, at the heart of the town throughout our time running it. As with every industry, there have been peaks and troughs in the business, but we came through and continued to provide Horsham with the pub we always wanted it to be. In a market of gastropubs and a competitive restaurant environment, we were thankful that Hall & Woodhouse was always on the same page as us, in how we wanted to run the business. We took the pub on during a period of decline, but Stout House is proof that a community pub still very much holds tremendous value.”
“Debbie and I ran the pub as a husband and wife team, as it had been run historically, and always found the support of Hall & Woodhouse to be fair, and easy to deal with. Running a Business Partner pub was a collaborative approach with a mutual respect between us.”
Barry and Debbie are planning to spend their retirement watching their grandchildren grow up and holidaying in France. As a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club, Barry is also looking forward to having more time to play the sport.
Hall & Woodhouse is a local independent family company that brews award-winning Badger Beer and runs a collection of 180 beautiful pubs and inns across the south of England. The business is dedicated to supporting its local communities and causes, having invested more than £30million in its public houses over the past five years.
Please visit www.hall-woodhousepartnerships.co.uk/pubs to see our current pub vacancies.