Well known village pub closes as ‘pandemic takes its toll’
A couple who run a popular village pub have announced it is closing.
Becky Smith and Daniel McDonald ran the Bay Tree in Stillington. But the pub is closing as the repercussions of the pandemic “take its toll”.
The couple took over the Bay Tree in 2020, as the first venue they ran as a couple.
On Facebook last week, the couple said: “It is with great sadness that we must announce our closure. Our young business just cannot sustain itself as the undercurrents of the pandemic continue to take its toll.
“Daniel and I want to extend our gratitude to those near and far who have supported our vision here at The Bay Tree, indulged in our company and returned for more. This industry is in our blood.
“Although our business journey quickly changed course, we were able to adapt with your motivation and the experience gained shall now encourage us to start our new chapter.”
They urged everyone to “to show respect to independent businesses still fighting for survival”.
‘So very talented’
The couple met when Daniel was sous chef at Middlethorpe Hall in York and Becky joined the front of house team.
“In June 2019, they left the comforts of their full time jobs to pursue their goals of running their own restaurant. After a year of searching for the right location, they found The Bay Tree in Stillington,” the pub website says.
During the lockdown they started a cocktail delivery service, then opened their garden before full reopening was allowed.
Customers were dismayed by the news. Foodie expert Ben Thorpe, who runs York On A Fork, said: “I’m so terribly sorry to hear that. Terrible news, much love and hope for better times soon.”
“This is so very sad but you two are so very talented so I wish you every success with whatever you turn your hand to. You deserve it,” said Tamsin Whitehead.