THE NEW owners of a popular Allendale pub can't wait to get started.

Karl-Heinz and Carolyn Meister admit they fell in love with the King's Head in Allendale the minute they walked through the door.

And after the previous owners came to the end of four successful years last week, Karl said the road ahead is 'exciting'.

"It's the kind of place we were always looking for," he says. They took over the pub while on the look out for a new challenge after a successful ownership of a pub in Blaydon.

Karl explained: "We have worked a lot and been in many areas of business so we took on a pub to keep it alive for the locals and fell in love with the trade.

The couple previously lived near Oxford before moving up north and say they are aware of what is needed to create a thriving rural pub.

"We used to live in a village and the local pub was in an old building like this one.

"When we walked in here eight weeks ago and spoke to the previous owners and we never really discussed it, we just took it straight away."

The King's Head has built up a strong community association over the years, regularly hosting fruit and vegetable and flower shows as well as charity auction nights.

Local engagement is important to Karl and Carolyn, and they're appealing for any opinions on what they can offer at the pub.

Karl said: "We're always looking at what people want and keen to hear people's ideas.

"We want to get to know the locals who will hopefully step by step come back to the pub."

Launching a new business amid a global pandemic and national recession may seem ambitious to some, but Karl isn't worried about the future.

"The pub has three really key, great, elements," he said, "the pub, the letting rooms and the food it provides.

"At the moment we're looking for a chef, but the rooms and pub are open for people to use.

We're not concerned by the uncertainty because the owner Marston's brewery is great at supporting its pubs."

Although Karl admits the main tourist season maybe coming to an end the couple will use the time to help progress their plans.

He said: "It gives us time to do what we need to do to build the place up.

"We are going to get the food up and running with a smaller menu to start off with before we get a chef.

"The first plan is to understand the place as it's completely different to our last pub.

"Everything we are doing is with Covid healthy and safety measures in place to ensure the pub is a safe place for people to visit and enjoy."

There is also a desire to host live music in the pub once the Government passes approval, something that pub's throughout the UK have been without since reopening in July.

The pub has registered for the Government's Eat Out To Help Out Scheme, which provides diners with 50 per cent off all meals on Monday to Wednesday.