Landlady's hope for The Garibaldi as Marston's puts Stourbridge pub up for sale
THE new landlady at The Garibaldi is hoping someone sees the Stourbridge pub’s potential after Marston’s confirmed it’s been put up for sale.
Helen Penny, who took over as licensee on December 30, is staying positive and hopeful that another pub company may take on the Grade II listed boozer in Cross Street in the Old Quarter.
Mum-of-three Helen moved from Halesowen to take on the landmark pub as her first venture as a landlady and just a week after moving in she discovered it was among 61 public houses that Marston’s is looking to offload.
She said: “I gave up a lot to come here. I got the pub because of the potential I could see in it.”
Helen said bosses at Marston’s have since met with her and she added that the company has offered support to help her build the business.
Despite the disheartening news, she plans to keep going and has booked in a host of entertainment and local bands to play.
A country music club, started by Stourbridge musician Pete Boddis, has returned to the pub after 50 years, and there’s an acoustic night every Wednesday. There are also bands lined up to play every other Friday.
Meanwhile, she’s been in talks about setting up pool and darts teams and would like to start running quiz and bingo nights. The function room has also been busy since she moved in.
She said: “This pub has got so much potential and the locals have been so supportive.”
Helen said one local resident has been helping her to paint the interior and artist Cal has organised an art exhibition at the pub on Friday April 21, from 7pm, featuring live music and a painting demonstration.
Sue Holmes from Stourbridge who featured on Channel 4’s The Piano played at the pub on Mother’s Day and has already been rebooked to perform on Sunday April 16 and for the King’s Coronation on May 6.
Helen said: “There’s still lots going on. I just want somebody to see the potential.
“The hope is that another pub company will keep me on. I’d be absolutely gutted if we had to leave here.”
The pub is on the market with Christie & Co with a guide price of £510,000 for the freehold.
It is among 61 across England and Wales that pub company Marston’s is looking to offload as part of Project Aramis.
Judith Rafique, head of estates at Marston’s, said: “Following a routine review of our estate we have taken the decision to offer to market a varied range of property types.
"This enables us to focus on our strategic objectives and maximise returns from our core estate.”
The Fountain at Clent; The Crooked House at Himley; The Bush Inn, Dudley; The King William, Dudley; and Spills Meadow, Upper Gornal, have also been listed for sale.
Marston’s is looking to sell the pubs as individual properties, small packages or as a group.
Noel Moffitt, senior director – corporate pubs and restaurants at Christie & Co, said: “The pub sector has been very resilient over the last few years and has adapted well to the challenges and despite interest in the sector there is a lack of properties on the market.
“This portfolio offers new entrants and existing operators a wonderful opportunity to acquire investments or operate their own businesses.”