One of Cheshire’s most popular pubs has closed for business after six years.
The Lord Binning in Kelsall shut its doors for the final time last week, after posting a farewell tweet on their Twitter page thanking their customers for being ‘lovely’.
Jane Mooney who ran the pub with her chef husband David, confirmed to The Chronicle that it was ‘time to make a change and move on’, in order to concentrate on their other projects which include gastro pubs The Blind School in Liverpool, The Old Sessions House at Knutsford and The Montgomery in Eastham.
“It was one of those things,” explained Jane. “We looked at what worked for us and the rural country pub just wasn’t working anymore. Our other pubs are our focus now and they are absolutely flying.
“We had an opportunity for a break in the lease and it needed more investment so we decided to make the change. We have absorbed the staff in our other pubs so there were no job losses. It’s a lovely pub in a lovely place so we’re sure it will be snapped up,” she added.
Dave first took over the pub, which used to be the former Morris Dancer, in 2011 along with former business partner Paul Newman, under the company New Moon.
It proved a hugely successful venture and the pair soon took on a range of projects, including Chester city centre’s Mockingbird Taproom which closed down earlier this year when New Moon went into administration.
The remaining pubs were taken over by the Mooneys’ new company Carwood Catering Ltd.
The Lord Binning's last tweet, on April 3, read: ‘Thanks Kelsall, you’ve been lovely. Time for someone else to pick up the challenge, last tweet from us.”
Mal Waite, one of the organisers of the Chester Folk Festival, who are due to hold the annual event in the village in May, said news of the closure was 'an inconvenience but not a disaster' for the festival.
"We found out about it at the weekend and are saddened by the closure of the Lord Binning - particularly for the staff and the villagers for whom it is their local," she told The Chronicle.
"In terms of the festival, clearly it is an inconvenience, but not a disaster. We faced a similar situation a few years ago and we feel we are well-placed to know how to fill the gaps left by the loss of the pub.
"In fact, our organising machinery began rolling as soon as the news reached us. We are in contact with the company dealing with the pub as well as various suppliers so that we shortly expect to have everything we need in place.
"Whether the pub re-opens in time or not, Chester Folk Festival 2017 will go ahead and it is our aim to make it a great one as always. "