New landlord of The Spotted Dog in Darlington confident of success despite A67 closure

The Northern Echo: Stephen Grabham outside The Spotted Dog in High Coniscliffe Stephen Grabham outside The Spotted Dog in High Coniscliffe

A LANDLORD is determined to revive the fortunes of a Darlington pub despite knowing that the main road leading to it will be closed for a year.

Stephen Grabham has recently taken over The Spotted Dog in High Coniscliffe only a matter of weeks before the A67 it lies on is due to close for a year because of the landslip repairs.

Despite this hurdle Mr Grabham is determined to make the business a success and has drafted in gastro pub entrepreneur Anthony Tillbrook of the Devonport Hotel and his head chef Paul Ockleford to help introduce a new menu.

Mr Grabham said: “All of the choices on the menu are cooked completely fresh using only locally sourced produce.

“Customers can come along and enjoy classic dishes but with the added choice of our daily specials board which includes a full vegetarian choice too.”

The pub will serve classics such as Cumberland sausages and mash, Black Sheep Ale, steak and mushroom pie, fish bake and fillet steak to name a few.

To test the food with the locals Mr Grabham personally invited residents to have a drink with him and try out his food and he was delighted that more than 100 people went along.

The encouraging response has given him confidence in the business in spite of the road closing.

He said: “I have now seen the potential in this place and I really do believe if people know they are guaranteed good food and service when they visit here, then they will still come no matter what barrier is in their way.

“In fact customers may have an easier journey to get here; once they pass the road closure barrier at Elm Ridge roundabout which gives access to come up here, then their drive here should be a quiet and pleasant one as there will be less traffic!”

Darlington Borough Council officers are due to meet next week to decide exactly when the road will close – early May expected – and to finalise the diversion route after listening to residents’ feedback.

Comments (10)

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5:34pm Sat 19 Apr 14

JJ2000 says...

Hope it works out.
I think I'll pay a visit this week in fact.
Hope it works out. I think I'll pay a visit this week in fact. JJ2000
  • Score: 9

6:34pm Sat 19 Apr 14

laboursfoe says...

We were here a few weeks ago, great food and friendly attentive service...

We'll be returning, diversion or otherwise... Good luck
We were here a few weeks ago, great food and friendly attentive service... We'll be returning, diversion or otherwise... Good luck laboursfoe
  • Score: 9

12:14am Sun 20 Apr 14

behonest says...

A whole year to fix a few yards of road? Must be a Labour council.

Oh yes, so it is.
A whole year to fix a few yards of road? Must be a Labour council. Oh yes, so it is. behonest
  • Score: -8

12:30am Sun 20 Apr 14

Sanddancer60 says...

Why does everything have to be the council's fault? The road collapsed. There are services under it that have to be moved. It takes time.
Why does everything have to be the council's fault? The road collapsed. There are services under it that have to be moved. It takes time. Sanddancer60
  • Score: 14

8:53am Sun 20 Apr 14

bambara says...

Problem in your post behonest

A whole year to fix a few yards of road? Must be a service that the Tories have privatised and the council are now forced to pay a third party to deliver, less efficiently and at a lower quality.

There fixed it for you.

Anyone else noticed how road repairs don't last as long these days, now that they are done by people who are just out to make a profit?
Problem in your post behonest A whole year to fix a few yards of road? Must be a service that the Tories have privatised and the council are now forced to pay a third party to deliver, less efficiently and at a lower quality. There fixed it for you. Anyone else noticed how road repairs don't last as long these days, now that they are done by people who are just out to make a profit? bambara
  • Score: 3

9:50am Sun 20 Apr 14

Jonn says...

bambara wrote:
Problem in your post behonest

A whole year to fix a few yards of road? Must be a service that the Tories have privatised and the council are now forced to pay a third party to deliver, less efficiently and at a lower quality.

There fixed it for you.

Anyone else noticed how road repairs don't last as long these days, now that they are done by people who are just out to make a profit?
How true. Private contractors dig up the roads and the end finish is appalling, no accountability it seems.
We had 3 different contractors come to repair one damaged drain in our street, one to inspect it, one to dig it up and one to fix the drain then the other comes back to fill it in, badly, then the other comes back to inspect it again!
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: Problem in your post behonest A whole year to fix a few yards of road? Must be a service that the Tories have privatised and the council are now forced to pay a third party to deliver, less efficiently and at a lower quality. There fixed it for you. Anyone else noticed how road repairs don't last as long these days, now that they are done by people who are just out to make a profit?[/p][/quote]How true. Private contractors dig up the roads and the end finish is appalling, no accountability it seems. We had 3 different contractors come to repair one damaged drain in our street, one to inspect it, one to dig it up and one to fix the drain then the other comes back to fill it in, badly, then the other comes back to inspect it again! Jonn
  • Score: 8

10:22am Sun 20 Apr 14

Rover13 says...

Can you believe a year to repair a road, it will turn out like most repairs done by these baboons, I went to the spotted dog last week, we got a warm welcome and much improved, hope the people who found time for their freeby continue to support it.
Can you believe a year to repair a road, it will turn out like most repairs done by these baboons, I went to the spotted dog last week, we got a warm welcome and much improved, hope the people who found time for their freeby continue to support it. Rover13
  • Score: 5

8:19pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Mick85 says...

The spanish waiter makes this place! He is very friendly and always willing to go the extra mile. Just a shame the menu has changed and is now very basic. However the food is still spot on! Just hope there is more added to the menu in future :)
The spanish waiter makes this place! He is very friendly and always willing to go the extra mile. Just a shame the menu has changed and is now very basic. However the food is still spot on! Just hope there is more added to the menu in future :) Mick85
  • Score: 2

9:38pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Sezzy08 says...

Mistake getting menu advice from the devenport I eat out a lot and there menu is sooo boring now nothing hardly on there I used to love that place get more on your menu spotted dog :)
Mistake getting menu advice from the devenport I eat out a lot and there menu is sooo boring now nothing hardly on there I used to love that place get more on your menu spotted dog :) Sezzy08
  • Score: -1

6:49pm Sun 27 Apr 14

pxatkins says...

punctuation + Devonport, their.
punctuation + Devonport, their. pxatkins
  • Score: 1

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