Landlady to leave pub after 20 years as farm shop and B&B to be added

The team at the West Acre Stag Pub are set to depart on May 7.

The team at the West Acre Stag Pub are set to depart on May 7. - Credit: West Acre Stag Pub

A woman who has worked at the same pub for two decades is "devastated" to be leaving as the owner plans to transform the business.

Serina Armes, the landlady at the West Acre Stag, has been involved with the pub since she was 13 when it was run by her father and stepfather.

The 34-year-old has now been given notice to quit the pub by the Westacre Estate owner as he plans to add a B&B and farm shop to "preserve the long-term sustainability of the business". 

Serina Armes and step dad Paul Figura.

Serina Armes with her stepfather Paul Figura. - Credit: West Acre Stag Pub

"It's only now sinking in that we won't be here much longer," Ms Armes said. "It's been a massive shock and we're so devastated to be leaving."

During the past 20 years the pub in Low Road has been overhauled and revamped - including having the walls of the restaurant knocked down and new toilets added. 

The pub didn't offer food before the family's arrival and Ms Armes said bringing in the clientele initially was the "hardest part".

She said: "It took us months and months to get people through the door.

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"As I was 13 at the time, I was obviously still at school but I helped with whatever I could."

With business busier than ever, Ms Armes said her customers are "desperate" for them not to leave.

She said: "It's been the busiest year we've ever had and our customers don't want us to go, they've said they'll barricade us in.

"A lot of our customers come from surrounding villages and don't know where to go now - there's nowhere quite like this."

The bar at the West Acre Stag Pub.

The bar at the West Acre Stag Pub. - Credit: West Acre Stag Pub

Ms Armes' final day at the pub will be on Saturday, May 7, and she will be hosting leaving drinks.

Alec Birkbeck, owner and manager of the Westacre Estate, said: "We served a notice to quit 10 months ago so we could renovate the pub and ensure a sustainable business moving forward.

"We want to create a single business that is a pub, cafe, B&B and farm shop in a connected single unit business.

"I thank Paul and Serina for the fantastic job they've done over the past 20 years."