ORIGINALLY thought by some to be the home of Petworth’s outcast hangman, The Grove Inn building was a feared realm for villagers.
But it has been a pub for many years and most recently has been taken over by partners Dave Ivemey and Kirstie Smith.
After being refurbished, the Grove is now open for business.
The pair are dedicated to serving locally-sourced food and beers, and welcome comments and suggestions from customers in the guest book placed at the pub entrance.
Local produce includes Hennings wine, meat from butchers in Barnham, and beer from Chivertons.
Dave said: “We have completely revamped the pub, with new furniture, tables and floors.
“We wanted to retain the character of the building.
“We didn’t want to put our own stamp on an area we did not know.
“We do however have our own new bestseller: the Grove cheeseburger.
“Our chef has worked all over the world, so knows how to experiment with flavour, and meet customer expectations.”
Dave, a firefighter, is taking retirement from the service following an accident at work several years ago which severely damaged his hand.
The couple wanted to move to the area because they ‘fell in love with it’, according to Dave. He added: “I wanted to provide a better education for my son. I heard about Midhurst Rother College and its outstanding success.”
Dave, who has moved from Portsmouth, previously ran The Tap pub in North End for five years.
And even pet bulldog Storm is helping to make customers feel at home.
“Storm loves people,” Dave said.
“This establishment will be dog-, child-, and family-friendly.”
In his quest for perfection, Dave even does the gardening himself, while partner Kirstie works front of house.
The area out the back has already been earmarked for some new inhabitants sure to please customers: micro pigs and ducks.