Taking over from previous leaseholders Guy and Jenny Martin, who are retiring after 15 years, Chapman hopes to perpetuate the village pub feel of the place, while putting his touch on the food offering.
“The guys have done an incredible job in the last 15 years and it’s a very good business. I’m going to attempt to carry on their good work while putting my stamp on things as a chef. I love great food and I want to introduce a great restaurant to the pub, but a restaurant that complements it and maintain its village pub feel. You’ll be able to have a great cask of ale, a great beer, a lovely wine list, all complemented by a lovely menu,” he told BigHospitality.
The menu will be seasonally driven with a strong focus on fish. It will include wild salmon, game and pies. Main courses will be under £20, with a three-course menu priced around £30 and a specials board.
Aiming to take over at the start of August, Chapman plans to make a smooth transition between the previous owners’ and his own vision, without closing the pub for renovations. “When I get there at the start of August, I’m going to spend a little time getting a feel for the pub, seeing what works and what doesn’t, getting an understanding of what the customers want, and then, once we got our foot in the door and have established what the business is and where the areas that need tweaks are, we’ll think about doing improvements. The pub is a good business: it’s pretty busy and in quite good condition, so we don’t want to do a total refurbishment. We want to go in there and slowly introduce ourselves, and then we’ll spend some money on updating areas that need updating,” he added.
To run The Beehive, Chapman started a company called Coucha, chaired by Portfolio Recruitment founder David Coubrough. Coubrough will sit on Coucha’s board alongside his wife Victoria, as well as Chapman and his wife Helena.
Chapman explained: “We wanted a limited company, and for me, having the experience of David and Victoria is absolutely a success essential, and highly important in getting something running smoothly and properly from the beginning.”