Work begins on £365k investment at the Cowick Barton

Work begins on £365k investment at the Cowick Barton

Building work started this week on the The Cowick Barton in St Thomas, Exeter, which is benefiting from a £365K investment.

The historic pub, has been taken on by Star Pubs & Bars food manager, Luke Davies.  It has been closed since mid-May, will reopen at the end of July as a family friendly pub serving top quality freshly cooked British pub food.  16 new jobs are being created in the community as a result.

The funds are being spent on sympathetic restoration and upgrade of the Grade II listed pub, which dates from Tudor times.  Outside, the pub is being repainted and the roof and windows restored. Inside, traditional features, such as the pub’s five fireplaces, wooden beams and flagstone floors are all being renovated and the pub redecorated throughout with new lighting, furniture, and carpets. 

Work will also include upgrading the pub’s 25-seater function room, and installing a new 70k kitchen to enable Luke to introduce outstanding pub food.

In previous jobs, Luke has trained thousands of pub chefs around the country.  The Cowick Barton is the award-winning hospitality expert’s first solo venture and follows 21 years’ experience in the industry. The menu will focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced locally with all the hot dishes cooked from scratch. 

Luke and his family are moving from North Wales to Exeter and his wife, Louie, a specialist sugar craft baker, will bake party cakes at the pub.  Their three children have had a role too, helping design some of the kids’ menu.

The refurbishment will also include building a new cellar for the three cask and six keg beers and installing s Smartdispense to ensure consistently top quality pints are served. 

As a qualified Wine & Spirit Education Tutor (WSET), Luke is keen to pass on his wine knowledge to customers and will host evenings for customers to learn about different grape varieties and how to match wine with food. 

Luke said of his new venture: “I’ve visited a lot of pubs and built lots of kitchens   but when I came across the Cowick Barton, I knew it was perfect and the right time to make the move both jobwise and as a family.  It’s a beautiful pub, in a great location on the edge of Exeter.  What the area has been missing is somewhere to enjoy great affordable freshly cooked food.  We hope to fill that gap at the Cowick Barton.  We’re looking forward embarking on this new stage in our lives and creating a great family friendly food pub.”

Tim Galligan, operations director, Star Pubs & Bars said: “We’re delighted to be investing in The Cowick Barton enabling Luke and Louie to create a fabulous local food pub. We wish them every success in their new venture.”