A once rough pub in an up and coming Leeds suburb has undergone an incredible transformation after its new landlords 'got rid of all the idiots'.
First-time landlord Dave Henfrey, 49, took over The Bay Horse, in Farsley, last year and stamped out all the trouble, making it his mission for the pub to lose its rough reputation.
He took over with his wife Kay just before the UK went back into its second lockdown, in October 2020, fulfilling their life-long dream. The couple have three children aged 21, 23 and 24, and they set about turning the pub into a place they would like to drink and take their family.
The Town Street pub underwent a complete refurb, extending the bar, clearing out the old furnishings and updating the TV set up for sports. The furniture wasn’t the only thing that was cleared out, says Dave.
He said: “The clientele has changed a hell of a lot as well. It used to be known as a rough pub, a lot of locals didn’t use to come in. Me and my wife wanted to run a pub that we’d be happy to come drink in as well.
“We did have to lay the law down when we first opened, we thought we had to stamp it out and get rid of all the idiots. We have a zero-tolerance policy, if you want to do drugs, you’re out, if you want to cause trouble, you’re out. Simple as that.
“The clientele has changed from young thuggish lads to people more in their 30s now. People who have grown up a bit, have gone out and got wives, husbands and mortgages. Not young lads anymore.”
Dave said: “Farsley has got the community spirit that a lot of places are lacking. Everybody knows each other. There’s not a day that you can’t walk up and down the street without saying ‘hello’ to somebody or striking up conversation.”
Running the The Bay Horse is Dave’s first time as a pub landlord, having previously worked as a delivery driver for St Gemma’s Hospice and his wife Kay is a teaching assistant. They had limited experience in the hospitality industry - Kay had worked at their daughter’s pub The Old Hatte in Huddersfield - but they beat out fierce competition to run the pub.
They told owners Craft Union a series of methods they’d use to turn around the pub’s less than savoury reputation.
The couple host a series of event nights, each week they host sing-a-thons, DJ nights and karaoke nights, plus charity events which had massive success. He says a lot of local Farsley people and those who don’t live in the mill town come especially down for these events.
Dave, who is originally from South Kirby, said: “We still get it now, people say ‘The Bay Horse?! I’m not going to The Bay Horse!’ or whatever but when they actually come in, they’re like ‘wow’. Some tell me how they haven’t been in for a number of years and say how nice, clean and safe it is now.
“People come in here and have a good time, yeah we get a bit rowdy – especially when there’s a Leeds game on!”