Express & Star

Couple who met at pub they went on to run stepping down after nine years in charge

A couple whose eyes met over the bar of the pub they ended up running for nine years are calling time on their venture.

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Karen and Phil Kennedy have announced they are stepping down after running the Summerhouse Pub, Sedgley for nine years, with Karen having worked there for 25 years

Karen and Phil Kennedy are stepping back from running the Summerhouse in Gospel End, Sedgley. In Karen's case she has served 25 years behind the bar at the Gospel End hostelry after starting out as a barmaid in 1998 then becoming a relief manager and taking the reigns in 2014.

The couple met shortly after Karen started working at the pub when Phil, a former HGV driver, was a customer. They went onto have two children, James aged 21 and Zoe, aged 17. James helps out with the pub's website and Zoe makes cakes which appear on the menu.

Karen said she and Phil felt it was time to step down after 'giving their all' over the last nine years.

Having worked there herself for a lot longer she said she would miss all the customers and staff who had supported them and that the couple had got to know as friends.

She said: "It is a good pub, we are leaving at the end of June with it in a healthy position for the next tenants.

"It has been challenging through Covid and the cost of living crisis but we have come through it and the pub is doing ok.

Their departure was announced on Facebook this week

"I have been here for a long time and given that, feel it is time to chill a little bit and plan the next move with Phil.

"At the moment we are not sure what that will be but it would be nice to have a job which you can leave at home at the end of the shift because it is long hours running a pub, though rewarding."

"But we have so many wonderful memories over the years of the place and will take them with us when we go and we live in the area hope to still see the regulars, just from the other side of the bar."

Customers plan to give the retiring couple a good send off before they leave, with over 80 messages on the pub's Facebook page wishing them well after the announcement.