Chesterfield landlord Adrian Matthews celebrated his 30-year anniversary running The Barley Mow pub this month.
Taking over the local on the 10th of June 1993, as a 24-year-old who grew up in the pub industry, Adrian still remembers the first words from a customer three decades ago.
He recalled: “I remember this guy came up to me and said, ‘you won’t last two minutes here mate’, and at that point if you’d have told me all of them years ago that I would still be here 30 years later, I’d never have believed you.”
Adding: “The best thing is, that same guy came in last year, 29 years later and he remembered those words straight away! We laughed about it; he couldn’t believe it!”
Following in the footsteps of his mum and dad, who had always run pubs through his childhood, Adrian first delved into the industry aged 16. Helping in his parents’ pubs and learning the tricks of the trade from them, it was inevitable that one day he would be at the helm of one of his own.
Having originally taken on the Chesterfield local on a temporary basis, it wasn’t long before Adrian put a permanent stamp on what is now a hotspot in the historic market town.
“When I first walked into the pub, It was totally different to how it is now,” Adrian said. “By the end of 93’ a lot of work had gone into its transformation, I’m proud to say The Barley Mow is always clean, it’s immaculately kept and myself and Sarah do our absolute best to stand out. That’s the secret to running a good pub – keeping your standards high.”
In standing out from the town centre’s competition, The Barley Mow has successfully been recognised on multiple occasions by Chesterfield-in-Bloom, with Adrian ensuring that the pub not only delivers a great pint but also looks the part too.
It’s not just it’s bright and beautiful floral displays that attract the crowds, the reputable pub also offers a range of draught beers and real ales as well as home-cooked dishes and decadent desserts from chip shop-style mains to their three-meat Sunday roast.
Having endured their fair share of challenges, Adrian, and his fiancé Sarah – who started working in the pub 27 years ago – credit the people and friendships they have developed over the years to keeping them afloat, even during the toughest of times.
“Meeting Sarah would have to be the best memory here at The Barley Mow,” Adrian said, “but it’s also the amazing friends I’ve met too. Talking to customers, having a laugh and a drink, that’s what it’s all about and I wouldn’t give that up any time soon.”
Marking his outstanding journey at The Barley Mow, is Punch Pubs and Co Operations Manager, Zacc Hirst, who commented: “It is an honour to be working alongside Adrian as he celebrates his 30th year at the pub.
“Running any business and succeeding for that amount of time is a huge achievement but doing that in the hospitality industry, which is so fast paced and ever-changing, is amazing. The Barley Mow is a fantastic traditional pub offering a great experience whether visiting for a drink, food or just a great time. I hope Adrian enjoyed his well-deserved celebration with the team and all his fantastic customers.”