The Hatch, between Redhill and Reigate, has a new licensee. Dušan Šofranac officially took over at the pub, on Hatchlands Road, on Tuesday 9 June.
Mr Šofranac already runs another Shepherd Neame pub, The Railway Telegraph in Forest Hill, which he took on in April 2014. That was his first experience as a pub licensee, although the Serbian-born father-of-two had worked in the hospitality industry for the past 25 years, including as a senior manager at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London.
He said: “The Railway Telegraph has proven a real success, so I felt ready to expand and take on my second Shepherd Neame pub. I decided to go for The Hatch as it was a cosy, traditional pub with lots of character. It is also in a fantastic location within easy reach of London so I am still easily able to oversee the Railway Telegraph.”
Mr Šofranac has already made changes to the food on offer at The Hatch, with a range of traditional bar snacks, pub classics and á la carte options now available, using locally sourced produce wherever possible. He has also introduced table service.
Food will be served from 12noon to 9pm, Sunday to Tuesday, and from 12noon to 10pm on Wednesday to Saturday.
“Our offer is simple – delicious food and great beers and wines combined with excellent service – and I hope that it proves as popular in Redhill as it has in Forest Hill”, said Mr Šofranac.
Nigel Bunting, Director of Retail and Tenanted Operations at Shepherd Neame, said: “Dušan has achieved great success at the Railway Telegraph, and we are delighted that he has taken on a second Shepherd Neame pub. We are sure The Hatch will continue to go from strength to strength.”