Former landlord Chris Kirby couldn't bear to see his old pub going to 'rack and ruin' so he's taken it back on and opens tonight

PUBLISHED: 18:00 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:00 23 October 2019

New owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a �proper entertainment venue� with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANT

New owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a �proper entertainment venue� with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANT

Harry Rutter/ARCHANT

Pub landlord Chris Kirby stepped back behind the bar of the Cock Inn at March "to stop it from going to rack and ruin".

New owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a “proper entertainment venue” with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANTNew owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a “proper entertainment venue” with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANT

He says he's taken back on the lease of the High Street pub - with a friend - to get it back open and with plans to turn it into a centre of entertainment for the community.

Mr Kirby, who ran the Cock Inn High Street from 2010 to 2016, moved back in on Monday and will run it with his friend of 20 years Darren Mundy.

"It was going to be shut down because there was damp on the walls," Chris said.

Darren said: "After the previous owners left the pub earlier this year we kept seeing that no-one took it over, so now there's two of us hopefully it should work - as long as we get support from local people."

New owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a “proper entertainment venue” with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANTNew owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a “proper entertainment venue” with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANT

Chris added: "I just didn't want to see it shut." The doors open to the public tonight (Tuesday).

With plans to host live bands at least once a month as well as DJs, comedians and ladies nights, they hope to make it a "proper entertainment venue" - something that Darren says is missing in the local area.

He said: "There's not much else in the town to be honest. Obviously some of the pubs do have live music already but we're trying to get more entertainment, especially local people, into the area and cater for all individual types of music taste.

"And because we're both very different characters, I think we bring different things to the party."

New owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a “proper entertainment venue” with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANTNew owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a “proper entertainment venue” with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANT

While Darren takes charge of booking the live music - everything from ska, punk and Irish bands - Chris will be managing any special occasion bookings that come in.

They've already been busy transforming the garden so that it can be used for christenings and birthdays in the summer. The function room, meanwhile, will be available for free to people hosting charity events.

Chris is also planning a fireworks night for November 5 as well as a Santa's Grotto for children at Christmas to open up the pub to families.

"We both decided to just have a go at it since we've become single," Chris said.

New owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a “proper entertainment venue” with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANTNew owners Chris Kirby and Darren Mundy hope to transform The Cock Inn into a “proper entertainment venue” with live bands and DJs. Picture: Harry Rutter/ARCHANT

"One thing's for sure," they agree. "This is going to be a very random place!"

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