New landlords for Barnstaple pub

John and Julie Cusack are the new landlords of the Royal Exchange in Barnstaple, which has reopened

John and Julie Cusack are the new landlords of the Royal Exchange in Barnstaple, which has reopened after being closed for two months. - Credit: Archant

John Cusack and wife Julie have taken over the Royal Exchange pub in Joy Street.

THE Royal Exchange pub in Barnstaple has reopened its doors under new landlords after being closed for some time.

New proprietors John and Julie Cusack moved into the Joy Street pub just before Christmas – and just in time to open on ‘factory Friday’.

The Punch Taverns pub had been closed for around two months following the departure of the previous tenant.

“We didn’t realise how busy factory Friday would be,” said John.

“Now, we would just like local people to know we are here and that it has changed hands and is nothing to do with the previous landlord.”

The couple have a wealth of experience in the pub trade – they moved to North Devon from Burnham-on-Sea after running The Orchard, another Punch hostelry.

Most Read

“I have been running pubs for more than 20 years, in London, Oxford and all over the place,” added John.

“Now we are here we are keen to get the local trade back again, plus the pool, skittles and darts teams. Fridays and Saturdays have already proved successful with karaoke, a nice mix of people and a good friendly atmosphere. Plus there is a Sunday night quiz and we hope to start a Tuesday folk music night in February.

“When we moved in here it was more or less stripped out and it is being completely refurbished, but we won’t be changing the structure or character of it because people like that.

“We will soon be doing food again, fresh cooked to order and in the best tradition of pub grub.”

The pub closed last year following the departure of previous tenant Jason Kyte, who was convicted at Worcester Crown Court on sexual abuse charges.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter