Historic Sleaford pub up for sale after owners announce retirement

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Owners of a historic pub near Sleaford have put the venue up for sale in preparation for their retirement, having completely turned the business around.

Alan and Liz Hewitt bought The Bustard Inn in South Rauceby in 2006 and gave the pub a full refurbishment and refit to build it up into the dining pub.

Over the last eight years the pub has held an AA rosette and been recommended in both the Michelin Guide and the Good Pub Guide thanks to their Head Chef Phil Lowe.

The couple hopes to pass the baton to new owners who will care for it as much as they have, with the established management and kitchen team in place enabling them to take over the operation smoothly.

The pub is a Grade II listed building which dates back to 1860 and includes a lounge bar area, a restaurant and a private dining room. Upstairs there is a large one bedroomed flat, a staff changing room and large office.

It was built as a pub by the owners of Rauceby Hall out of local stone with a slate roof, and its name is derived from the Great Bustard which became extinct in England apparently after the last one was shot nearby in the early 1830s.

The pub also has historical connections to the royal family through the nearby RAF College Cranwell, attended by King George VI prior to his coronation and most recently, Prince Charles. They were said to visit the pub often as many personnel still do today.

The business is licensed for weddings and also serves a range of real ales – a particular favourite being the ‘Cheeky Bustard’.

Tom Rawlinson, Business Agent in Christie & Co’s Nottingham office said: “Alan and Liz saved this pub when they bought it 10 years ago.

“It is the only pub for three miles around so attracts a good mix of locals and those from further afield who know of it from its high reputation.

“This would suit a first-time buyer due to the pub having an experienced management team who remain in place to run the operation, or an established operator who is looking for their next challenge in what is an already profitable business with even further potential.”