The new venture is local to Sharp's Brewery and will be the company's first pub, as well as being situated a mere few minutes' walk away from Outlaw's own two Michelin starred restaurant in Rock.
Outlaw and Sharp's have frequently worked together in their Cornwall operations and their aim with the pub is to match great beer with great food. Outlaw talked with BigHospitality about his plans for the Mariners pub, where he will be overseeing the kitchens.
He said: "Well originally Ed Hughes, retail and hospitality manager at Sharp’s, was tipped off that the pub had become available. We’d been working with Sharp’s for a number of years in collaborations for special nights and food and beer matching events. He called and asked me to get involved and I thought, well, if Sharp's is fully behind it then I’ll be fully behind it.
"To be honest pubs are not one of the things I’d ever thought about doing, but having the security of working with Sharp's on its first pub makes it viable for me, it gives the support that we need.
"Sharp’s is based in Rock and the Mariners is a bit of an iconic landmark in terms of pubs in the area, everybody knows it locally. It made sense that if you’re going to get the best pint of Sharp’s beer, it should be in Rock."
Outlaw is helping put the menu together and overseeing the kitchen, which will be run by executive chef Paul Ripley who has worked as Outlaw’s company development chef for the past two years and set up Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac. The food on offer at the Mariners will be a seasonal home cooked offering, including bar snacks that can be eaten standing up, such as homemade pickled onions and sausage rolls.
“It’s going to be a straightforward pub,” said Outlaw. “Customers order food at the bar and it’s brought to the table. With the menu we’re always going to have a selection of good bar snacks and we’ll have daily specials that change often. There will be a soup of the day and a steak of the day, all that sort of thing.”
“We will serve fish of course but the pub won’t have a fish focus like my other restaurants. The views of the sea around the restaurant will mean people will come in wanting fish and chips, crab, oysters and we’ll do that, but Paul and I love meat dishes too. We’ll have good cuts of different steaks, and pies. We’ll make sure we have a pie of the day on the whole time.”
When asked how the pub would compare to his other venues, Outlaw said: “The standards of the food and service in terms of the attitude of the front of staff house and the way that they’re trained will be exactly the same. The meat and the fish we use in the pub will be the same as in the two star restaurant, we’re using the same suppliers. We’re just going to be creative with what we’re doing to create things that are affordable for different price ranges.
“We want to embrace that sort of culture and make the pub as friendly and approachable as possible, I just want people to come in and experience good quality food and drink at good prices.”
Community pub feel
The pub is due to open in the summer and before that it is undergoing a slight refurbishment, which includes putting the staircase back to where it stood originally and opening out the space so customers can enjoy the views out over the Camel Estuary. There will also be an open kitchen upstairs so the chefs can be seen at work.
“What we’re trying to do with the refurbishment is make more like a pub and get it back to what the local people want,” said Outlaw. “We’re also hiring people from the surrounding area, we’ve got 20 roles to fill at the pub for kitchen and front-of-house staff."
It is important for Outlaw to keep the staff members on throughout the year and not just in the busy summer period, so the Mariners will be having a number of specials throughout the winter to keep customers coming back.
Outlaw said: “We’re a seasonal business, in summer you just have to try and keep up. In the winter time we’re going to do some special evenings with things like sausage and mash night or pie night, and we’ll do deals to bring local people in, include a pint of beer in the price of a meal perhaps. We also plan to have quiz nights, all sorts of stuff.”
When asked what would make the Mariners stand out, Outlaw said: “That combination of really good service, really good food and really good drink is quite rare actually, many places have one or two of those attributes but to combine all three in our collaboration will make it great.
“We also have the expertise to match the beers and the food together but at the same time make it approachable and not get on our high horse about it. We want people to come in and enjoy themselves.”