New landlords of Cross Keys in Cottingham hope to bring their character to well-known pub

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 10 Aug 2017

The landlords of the iconic Cross Keys in Cottingham are "excited" by the challenge of taking over the reins at the village pub.

John Smile and his partner, Rebecca Charnock, say they are keen to replicate the business’s success after the previous landlords left early last month.

New landlord Mr Smilie says the couple are in love with village and hoping for success in their new setting after running pubs in Lancashire and West Yorkshire for the last 20 years.

“It’s gone really well so far and just hope it continues," he said.

"Obviously there’s a challenge coming into somewhere like this but we’re really happy with everything so far.

New landlord John Smilie behind the bar

“We’ve obviously had the locals who have really supported us, but we’ve also had people coming through the door who have never been in before or have been coming in for years.

“I’ve been running pubs on and off for 20 years on and off, in Lancashire, Stoke and Leeds. I’ve been to Hull before but had never really been to Cottingham.”

The Greene King pub had a major refurbishment two years ago and the new landlords said they do not have plans for any major overhaul.

“It’s a lovely village and a great place to run a business like this,” Mr Smilie said. “We didn’t want to come in and change everything because the pub is already lovely as it is.

“But obviously we still hope to show our character a bit. We are doing more karaoke and stuff like that we love.

“We want to make sure people still recognise us as a pub that does food well, and not just a bar where you can get the odd bite. People have been really positive since we started so hope that’s a sign of things to come.

READ MORE: A new B&B will open in this historic 17th century pub

“The pub has fairly recently been done up as well, so we want to continue to make it homely but we don’t plan to suddenly change everything.

“We definitely want to continue to make sure it has that local feel. It’s a local’s pub so want to make sure it’s the same when it comes the beer and things like that as well.”

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