Couple take over pub that was damaged by fire

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Craig Hennessey and partner Titanilla Kiss
Craig Hennessey and partner Titanilla Kiss

A north Cumbrian pub that was damaged by fire will reopen later this month with new owners.

Chef Craig Hennessey and his partner Titanilla Kiss, who is originally from Hungary, have taken charge at the Robin Hood Inn at Smithfield.

The couple have been together for two and a half years.

Mr Hennessey, who has lived in Cumbria for 11 years, was previously running the Hidden River Cafe, at Brackenhill, near Longtown.

He said: "This will be our first solo venture and one which we're very much looking forward to.

"We are basically making the pub rise from the ashes. We've had to replace the kitchen and do some refurbishment work in the bar area.

"We will primarily be a steak house and grill and we will get our meat from Kirkup Butchers at Longtown. They will supply us with fresh Galloway beef.

"We will also be serving a few chicken dishes and a menu that is relaxed pub grub."

The pub, which is situated at a busy crossroads, will also serve brunch.

The bar will be open on a Monday and Tuesday and food will be served from Wednesday until Sunday.

Mr Hennessey, who has worked in Penrith and Windermere, said: "We are opening on August 25 and then on Saturday, August 26 we have the Heilk Moon Leek Club show day so no food will be served that day.

"We will recommence our food service on Sunday, August 27.

The pub will employ 13 people.

Mr Hennessey, orginally from Buxton in Derbyshire, said: "Seven of the staff worked for me at the Hidden River Cafe and so they are coming to work for me at the pub and joining the new venture.

"I am hoping the reputation we had at the Hidden River Cafe will stay with us and we can continue with our high standards.

"Having the pub will bring us closer to civilisation as at the Hidden River Cafe we were out of the way and didn't see the public too much."

The pub was damaged in May after a chip pan fire.

Crews from Carlisle East and Longtown attended.

Four firefighters wore breathing apparatus to tackle the flames.

A family that was in the property had evacuated before fire crews arrived.

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