THE owners of a pub in Kendal have revealed why they have decided now is the right time to start a new chapter in their life.

David Burgoyne and his wife Lynne have managed the Shakespeare Inn in Kendal town centre for eight years.

The married couple made the decision to undertake a massive £350,000 refurbishment lasting for six weeks in 2018 which helped to revolutionise the pub and turn it into one of the most popular establishments in the area.

The pub and B&B establishment won the award of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence two years out of three as well as achieving a review score of 8.9 on

From once being a stereotypical drinking pub the Shakespeare Inn soon became popular for its handmade pub food and Sunday lunch.

However after finally starting to see a return on their investment, the onset of Covid-19 hit the business hard.

“The period from the end of 2019 to the start of Covid was where we thought we would finally start to reap the rewards, only for us to have our hopes dashed,” Mr Burgoyne said.

“We were preparing to renew the lease for another five years and then retire but I don’t think it’s justifiable with what people are pricing things at now.

“When you get to the bottom line, we were at the point of flogging ourselves just to pay the bills. Sadly, we’re not running a charity, we’re running a business.”

The pub owner admitted the introduction of Craft Union pubs had affected their ability to compete with their competitors’ prices but the pandemic didn’t just have a financial impact on them personally.

“It’s not just purely financial,” Mr Burgoyne added. "The impact that lockdown had on me personally was horrendous.

“We were waiting and waiting for the grants and furlough money from the government to come in because we still had bills to pay.

“The stress levels for us both were awful because we look upon our team as a family. We know them personally and we knew they had bills to pay as well. We felt some responsibility towards them.”

In their next chapter in life, Lynne is set to return to work full-time as a legal secretary and David is now job-hunting for a role in field sales. The couple are also on the hunt for a property after living above the pub since taking over the reins.

“This was a decision that we didn’t take likely, it’s been on the radar for a while,” Mr Burgoyne added.

"It’s time now for somebody else to bring their ideas and some fresh thoughts and hopefully carry on the good work which we leave off.”

Star Pubs & Bar started advertising for new owners last week.