The owners of a popular town centre eatery have decided to close their successful Banbury branch and focus on the original Deddington business following a cancer diagnosis.
Anton and Kathy Hayter, owners of Puddingface at Coach and Horses in Butchers Row, Banbury, stopped the food operation last month after less than a year.
After completely renovating the building, the couple, who have been running the Crown and Tuns – more commonly known as Puddingface the Pie Place – in Deddington for ten years, opened the town centre branch in April last year.
Shortly after its opening, the pub closed temporarily as Mr Hayter had been diagnosed with tonsil cancer. Staff stepped in and helped out until Mr Hayter got back to work in October, but ongoing ill health and hospital appointments led to the couple making the difficult decision.
Mr Hayter said: “We had to really sit down and think about it and I had to reassess what I was doing with my life. Unfortunately continuing ill health, the treatment and side effects have all got too much for me. It’s now become impossible for us to continue with two pie pubs so we have made the difficult and sad decision to retreat – not surrender – back to one pub in Deddington.”
Mr Hayter said they are determined to focus on everything positive and that the past year has really highlighted the support available. “Our landlord, Hook Norton Brewery, which owns both pubs, has been incredibly considerate and helpful – I can’t thank them enough,” he said. Mr Hayter also wanted to thank the Blenheim Head and Neck Ward at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.
“They’ve been great. You soon realise how much support there is out there,” he said.
Mr and Mrs Hayter are keen not to make anyone redundant and are looking at extending the opening hours in Deddington and possibly starting afternoon tea to accommodate staff.
The Coach and Horses is still open as a drinking pub only, run by Puddingface staff. Mr Hayter said they will probably keep it like that for a few weeks but aim to get another business to take over the lease.
See www.facebook.com/puddingfacethepieplace for updates.