Richard and Lindsey Johns bid farewell to Hovingham Inn and say 'the best is still to come'

09 May 2022 by
Richard and Lindsey Johns bid farewell to Hovingham Inn and say 'the best is still to come'

Richard and Lindsey Johns closed the door on their tenure at the Hovingham Inn following an "emotional" final weekend and said while they are unsure of their next step they believe "the best is still to come".

Richard told The Caterer: "Everyone assumes we're going to slip into another venture but at the minute we're really not sure. We're going to take a bit of time out and see where we go from here. The last eight years have been so full on, we've set up three businesses back-to-back and also been involved in an external business and we haven't had time to breathe.

"We need to see where we want to go. We want to carry on but it's finding the right thing."

The couple took over the pub in 2019 having previously co-owned Rascills restaurant in Raskelf, York, and Artisan restaurant in Hessle, East Yorkshire.

They made the decision not to renew their lease on the Hovingham Inn in North Yorkshire as the terms and pressures faced by the industry had left them "firefighting on a daily basis".

Richard added: "We want to carry on but it's finding the right thing going forward.

"It's almost like a perfect storm has emerged. Staffing doesn't seem to get any better, in a rural location that's been a massive challenge to the point that we've more or less run the place single handedly, both doing the jobs of three people and that's not where we want to be. We've done this for a long time and I like to think we've earnt our stripes. Going forward we want to be able to invest in what we're doing and show the best of us."

The couple described the response from guests to news of their departure as "humbling and heartening". They have said they are considering all options and would love to open a small venture going full-circle to their beginnings at Artisan.

They added: "We still feel the best is yet to come, we're really passionate about what we do. We've done it for 18-19 years we've put so much in it would be nice to get something back and really show what we're all about."

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