The Izaak Walton Inn (the mid-19th Century pub/restaurant (on Cresswell Lane by the Cresswell railway crossing) is nowadays (2014) a pub running a significant restaurant business. See: Izaak Walton Inn, Cresswell
But it has had an up and down history for a while… Here we look back on the last five years.
2017 … ????
March 2016 [open for over a year]
Izaak is opened again in early 2016 – under new management. Rob Shaw and Lucy Gibson, a young couple, make a real go of the business, getting good reviews.
But they too cannot sustain the business. In June 2017, a notice is suddenly posted on the pub door saying “Closed until further notice” and a week later, the pub is on the market again.
2015 [open for two months only]
February: Izaak closed again
2014 [open for nine months]
The pub re-opened in March 2014, now newly owned by the Mornington Pub Co, and under a new manager, Kathy Morton, who, though a local girl, had run pubs successfully all across the country.
Before opening, the pub was given a £120,000 facelift.
Kathy stayed seven months, and then was replaced by another Mornington-appointed manager, Del, in October 2014.
2013 was a bad year
As the pub came out of 2012, it seemed to have found some new stability with new landlord Richard Graves, after a topsy-turvy 2012.
But Richard left in January 2013, and the pub was closed – to remain ‘dark’ for fifteen months.
History pre 2012
As everyone will know, The Izaak had had a chequered history even before that.
Its thatch-roof burnt off in 2003, causing a temporary closure, but its reputation as a home of good food recovered in the years up to 2010 under the partnership of Anthony (Lockett) and Wayne (Mendes).
It was even in the Top Ten Best Restaurants of North Staffordshire 2006 (as drawn up by Sentinel food critic Alan Cookman).
But, after Anthony & Wayne departed some years ago, it’s been an open-and-then-shut situation, and some bad reviews didn’t help.
But, it’s a great pub, and there are records of it as a hostelry going back 150 years, though it might well be older than that.
What’s more, if anyone is a fan of fly-fishing, you’ll be in Heaven in the bar, which has lots of memorabilia about fishing – including a copy of ‘The Compleat Angler’ (which was written by Izaak Walton himself of course) which is dated 1795.
There have been a few managers since the beginning of 2012: Zandy & Karen, then Jean Claude and then Neil, and John & Trisha of course.
To be honest, we feel that the large corporations that own so many pubs now don’t always give their tenants a fair crack of the whip. Let’s hope that Criterion, which owns the pub at the moment (December 2013), do give the present tenant a chance to succeed.
We’d like to see the pub make its 200th anniversary in 2050. Crossed fingers…
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