Exeter pub spiced up by globe-trotting father and son

-Credit: (Image: Mary Stenson/DevonLive)
-Credit: (Image: Mary Stenson/DevonLive)


A father and son have travelled all the way from a Caribbean island to inject life back into an Exeter pub. The place has now been given a makeover, a new name and has already started welcoming back customers.

On Saturday (November 19), new Exeter pub Fifty point Seven finally threw open its doors for the first time. The re-opening has been long-awaited after previous venue The Nest closed in November 2022 due to pressures brought on by the cost of living crisis.

The New North Road pub is now being run by father and son Samit and Neil Ghosh who have travelled all way from the Cayman Islands. Neil, 21, says that he decided to leave his corporate job and the Cayman Islands in pursuit of "a little more spice" and "excitement" in his life.

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He said: "I was working in a corporate job before and Cayman is quite slow and boring. I wanted a little more spice, a little more excitement so we started looking and my dad's been in the cooking and restaurant industry for a very long time so he has expertise in that. The job I used to work in deals with analysing and evaluating businesses so we both had relevant skillsets and we wanted somewhere that's really interesting and engaging to us.

"We started looking around and we landed here. Exeter is quite nice, I've been here about three weeks. The people here seem really friendly, really relaxed."

The pub has been given a makeover, including more seating space, fresh flooring and a revamped bar. It also has a new name, which will be the venue's fifth name in just two years. It was best known to many locals as The Oddfellows Arms run by Yvan and Faye Williams who left in 2021 to focus on their bar events business Barnova, which is currently running the bars at the Christmas Market.

In 2022, it was taken on by new management who initially announced it would be renamed 1685, before changing it to The Last Drop but it never opened under either of these names and was put on the market in September 2022. A month later, the owner of Coolings on Gandy Street, took it on and renamed it to The Nest, before closing just four weeks later as bills skyrocketed.

The new name Fifty point Seven represents the latitude of Exeter. Inside the pub, there is geographical décor, including maps and compasses adorning the walls. Neil said: "50.7 is the latitude of Exeter and I think it was another one of our directors who came up with the name and they got some designs going. We settled on the compass look. A lot of people seem to like it and I thought it was quite clever so I'm happy we stuck with it."

Given the pub's location, Neil says they're keen to get involved with the city's student population, offering them a day-to-night venue which he compared to Batman. However, he says they're also hoping to appeal to more mature, local customers once they've finished updating the first floor.

He said: "We're trying to do about 60 per cent food and 40 per cent drinks. In the daytime we'll expect a lot less drinking and a lot more food but during the night time, it's almost like a Batman- you have your daytime person and your night time person and they're completely separate.

"When you walk into here at night, it's going to be very much more of a nightlife venue, not quite a club because that's a different type of image but we will be the place you go before you go to the club. We want to be the place you go for pre-drinks and sit there for three, four, five hours, have some good drinks for really good prices, have a laugh with your mates, enjoy some good music and all that good stuff.

"We're planning on getting live bands in, consisting of students at the university. We want to be as engaged in the student community as possible.

"We're a little way away from opening the upstairs space but it will be the cocktail bar. We don't want to exclude anyone. Downstairs, doing the late nights, I can't see too many old-school Exeter individuals going there so this is a more mature offering. The music will be different, the lighting will be different."