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On Friday, January 12, after being shut for a few days Coates House in Nailsea reopened under new management.

And the first thing you notice on entering the High Street café and neighbourhood bar is you are no longer compelled to wait to be seated.

On Sunday, January 6, after its weekly quiz co-owners James Murray and Simon Extance ended their challenging tenure at Coates House.

James had made many radical changes to the ‘village’ pub since he bought the premises in 2016 including its historic Queens Head moniker.

But with the Covid lockdowns and rat infestation things were not going to be easy and original ideas like a roof terrace never happened.

Determined to put the ‘house’ in order former landlord and head chef at Moorend Spout Terry Beardshaw, aged 60, came out of early retirement to help owner Emma Lake, 30, who also worked at the Union Street pub to begin a new chapter in the life of the hostelry.

Terry said: “Bored with taking it easy helping Emma manage this place is a no-brainer, being freehold it means no weekly rent to pay, our overheads would be lots cheaper and being freehold we can stock the beer we want."

Pointing to peeling paintwork on the outside window sills he added: “I feel the place has got a lot of potential for improvement with a bit of investment,

“It is our intention to get the business up-and-running how we want within three months by creating a good vibe and making improvements.”

Together Emma and Terry make a formidable working partnership with lots of professionalism, expertise and a friendly demeanor.

One of the first jobs Terry did was called in pest control  and take out an ongoing contract with the company he had used previously at Moorend.

As he said: “You are never more than a few feet away from the pesky rodents but with old mine workings and a main sewer running along the High Street it is an absolute necessity to keep the vermin out of our premises.”

There are no immediate plans for any name change, said Emma although she has started some rebranding on the Facebook page and for table bookings the new website is here .or call 01275 858062

Emma said: “We will be changing the menu but not to start with as we want to meet the customers and get to know the staff and how the place runs. 

“We will be introducing an evening menu soon with home cooked meals, using quality local produce.

“We will continue to serve breakfasts, brunch, and lunch as well as cakes, hot drinks and an array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.“

And she said food hours will also be same to start with at 9am-8:30pm.

Sunday quiz night will stay as will all 18 staff including chef Emily Allen however live music on Sunday lunchtime will probably be a casualty if the pub gets too busy serving roasts.

Emma added: “We will be redecorating the pub slowly as not to disturb the opening hours.”

Terry’s wife Sharon who has her own decorating business will act as the interior designer but first things first and that is to put the beer cellar back in its original place under the bar area and to remove some of the quirky touches like the retro lighting and old sofas.

The outside cellar is full of spiders and is too far from the hand pumps, agree Terry and Emma which makes pipe cleaning wasteful.


Coates House new chapter

They want to run a café/neighbourhood bar in the daytime and in the

evening create a warm pub/restaurant atmosphere with cosy seating areas and good grub.  

Emma is keeping a pictorial blog of progress of the improvements on a Coates House TikTok account.

She said: “This is to show what we have done and what are plans are moving forward.”

Check it out by clicking on Coates House image below.

And Nailsea People published a history of the Queens Head a decade ago from 1855 to 2016 with tales of ghosts, swingers and times gone by.

You can read it here (please don’t ask why it is filed under ‘theatre-reviews’).

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