Publicans are back in Earl’s court

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Neil and Sarah Simmonds are back running the Earl of Spencer Inn.
Camera IconNeil and Sarah Simmonds are back running the Earl of Spencer Inn. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Seven years ago it was a dream for Neil Simmonds to run an English-style pub rich with history.

After four years away from the Earl of Spencer Historic Inn, last Sunday provided a sense of nostalgia for Mr Simmonds and wife Sarah.

The couple have reopened one of Albany’s favourite pubs for a second time after first becoming the licensee back in 2011.

But after four years in other cafes, kiosks and lunchbars in Albany away from his “baby”, Mr Simmonds is back where it all began.

“It’s a good business, we want to bring it back to life,” he said.

“We realised it was a good baby to have.”

With an aim of bringing it back to its traditions, the Earl has undergone some trendy alterations but will largely keep its warm English feel.

“We want to bring it back to basics, good pub food, good atmosphere and for a 30-plus age crowd,” Mr Simmonds said. “It will be a new menu but will have the classics. Pie and a pint will be back. It will be good pub food at a decent price.”

Mr Simmonds will be back in the kitchen while the bar will include 12 beers on tap and serve exclusively local wines with plans for live acoustic music on Friday nights and Sunday sessions.

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