An actor and singer is hoping to make it big in the pub trade after taking over a well-known venue.
Tom Morris took over the running of the Marsden Inn in Redwell Lane, South Shields, in December and says he has made major changes.
The past three months has been quite busy but we still have a long way to go.
He says trade has increased in the past three months enabling him to take on more staff.
Its 10 bedrooms could now be set for a makeover after Trust Inns, which owns the venue, is happy with the direction the pub is going.
As well as revamping the food menu, Mr Morris has also introduced live bands and singers to the bar at weekends.
Mr Morris who has a background in food and beverage as well as spending time on stage said: “When I took over I was told New Year would be really busy but then January, February and March would be really quiet, that hasn’t been the case at all.
“The past three months has been quite busy but we still have a long way to go.
“It’s all about building the reputation. In the past it was a popular venue with people travelling from as far away as Durham, and hopefully through hard work and ensuring we are delivering high standards of customer service with great food we can get that kind of custom back.
“My aspiration is for people to come in here and think they are sitting in a pub managed by one of the big named chains – that is the aspiration to be as good as them.”
The pub underwent a revamp three years ago. However, there are plans to invest in upgrading the bedrooms.
The pub currently employs 25 staff, which includes kitchen staff and a handyman, and is open from 8am until midnight and 1am at weekends, while food is served from 8am until 6pm. However, from April the time will increase until 8pm.