A cut above the rest!

PUBLISHED: 12:44 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

Pictured from left  are: Jo and Steve Haslem and pub manager Richard Howe. Photo: HELEN DRAKE

Pictured from left are: Jo and Steve Haslem and pub manager Richard Howe. Photo: HELEN DRAKE

BUILDER Steve Haslam liked the Cutter Inn so much he bought the pub! Mr Haslam - who does not drink beer - formally took over the Annesdale hostelry on Monday. He swooped to buy when he fell in love with the pub after finishing off building work there jus

BUILDER Steve Haslam liked the Cutter Inn so much he bought the pub!

Mr Haslam - who does not drink beer - formally took over the Annesdale hostelry on Monday. He swooped to buy when he fell in love with the pub after finishing off building work there just before Christmas.

As a sub-contractor with former owners, Suffolk brewery Greene King, he had a chance to sus out the building's location and potential and now plans to spend £500,000 on a comprehensive 16-week refurbishment programme.

"I only came down to sign off the job but I fell in love with the place," said Mr Haslam, 40. "I told my wife Jo 'you have to come and see what I've found', and made an offer the next day.

"We've been looking for the last 10 years to find the place and we want to bring it back to what people tell me it was - a thriving, jam-packed pub."

The revamp will see a new restaurant in what was the old function room, together with a new lounge bar and toilet block.

Mr Haslam and his family - Jo, 34, and children Paige, 12; Holly, five and Oliver, 18 months - come from Chelmsford but are moving into the pub for the duration of the refurbishment. They will then decide whether to move to Ely permanently.

"We want to get the message out that we want to be a local pub with a focus on the community," said Mr Haslam. "The view here is a million dollars and the location is to die for. We want to make the Cutter a focal point of the community."

Mr Haslam himself has no previous experience of the licensing trade but Jo was once a pub manager with Bass, now Mitchell's and Butlers, 14 years ago.

The pub will continue to be open throughout the refurbishment work.

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