Well-known local sisters and landladies Sam White and Lou Murphy are to leave the Red Lion pub in Hooe having been there for eleven years.
They will be gone on Tuesday but are planning a “massive party” tomorrow night from 7.30pm so regulars, friends and staff can get together once more and celebrate the good times.
Sam and Lou started doing the food at the Red Lion under the previous landlord but took over the running of the pub themselves in 2006.
Since then they have built up the restaurant side as well as the bar and achieved a devoted clientele thanks to word-of-mouth recommendation and positive TripAdvisor reviews.
They are leaving having been unable to come to an agreement with Enterprise Inns over a new lease and they felt they had to call it a day after lengthy negotiations which seemed then to get no further.
Sam said: “It is tragic. We’ve been here all that time, and Sam has lived upstairs and brough up her three children here, and I’ve brought up my two.
But we have had a brilliant time. We have the most incredible loyal customers.”
She said the news had come as a shock and that the staff are “completely devastated”.
The sisters thank Katie Foster who has been cooking at the pub for nearly 11 years having arrived as a waitress, dad David Formby for his work in the garden, and mum Caro who has got stuck in making delicious puddings.
They have held many community events at the pub, such as fun days and markets, even a Diamond Jubilee garden party, and raised thousands of pounds for the Mo Bourner charity, initially in response to the need to purchase for him a special wheelchair.
Mo’s dad Pete is a farmer in Hooe and a friend, so it was a given that Lou would want to raise money for the teenager by running the Hastings half-marathon and Red Lion staff and customers would also give their full backing.
Sam added: “We would like to thank everyone for coming here. It has been great fun. A huge thank you to all our loyal customers.”