The Donkey work is almost finished
ASCARISBRICK pub is to reopen under the ownership of an Ormskirk man who has worked with Heston Blumenthal and Tom Kerridge.
Matt Andrews, the new owner of The Kicking Donkey, said he intended the pub to be an elegant yet comfortable place to meet, eat and chat with friends and family.
The 25-year-old said: “We’re working hard to refurbish the pub to get as much natural light in as possible and make it feel a lot more spacious, without losing the marvellous character of the old, cosy pub.”
There will be no TVs, loud music, gaming machines, or pool tables, to create space for guests to enjoy food and drink in a welcoming atmosphere.
Dogs will also be welcome in the bar area.
The reopening is expected to create 12-15 jobs.
Matt said: “We will be serving delicious, local, seasonal food all freshly prepared, as well as having some cracking real ales and lagers, stunning wines, and a back bar crammed full of spirits.
“We’ve got a beautiful, southfacing garden for those evening G&Ts and a barbecue or two, and when things turn chilly we’ll have three roaring log fires for those cosy, winter get-togethers.”
Matt, who studied French at university in Sheffield and lived in France for two years, did work experience as a chef in several prestigious kitchens, including Tom Kerridge’s The Hand and Flowers, and Heston Blumenthal’s The Hinds Head.
He has also worked in a one Michelin star kitchen in Derbyshire.
Shortly after this, he worked as a pub manager for Brunning and Price, which owns The Sparrowhawk in Formby, among other pubs.
Matt said: “Having come from being a manager for Brunning and Price (Sparrowhawk), I’m going to be general manager at the pub, but I used to be a chef in a Michelin star kitchen and am obsessed with food, so I’ll be helping design all the menus alongside the kitchen team.”
Matt is excited to begin his first independent venture and is grateful he has the opportunity to do so on his “home turf”.
He said: “When I saw the Kicker come on the market, I just had to go for it.
“I’m a very positive and cheery chap, I love all things food and drink, seriously love meeting people and looking after them, and can’t wait to reopen The Kicking Donkey.”
A date for the reopening has not yet been announced, but Matt said that it should be at the end of this month.