Jenny Lind New Owner, Business As Usual
The Jenny Lind pub on the High Street of the Old Town has changed hands. The new owner, taking over from Linda Challis, is Kieran Canavan, a laid-back Irishman from South London who knows the Hastings area from 15 years of holiday experience in a caravan at Camber Sands. He says he has spent two decades running pubs and clubs in London, most colourfully Canavan’s Pool Club in Peckham Rye, a pool bar and nightclub which he still owns, but was looking for over two years to find the right place for “semi-retirement” (his phrase). After meeting locals and staff, and negotiating for several months to put together the right business plan for bank funding, he decided this is it.
PICTURE: Dave Young
The plus points of the Jenny Lind are legion: the ground floor holds 200 people (at a familiar squeeze), there’s a further function room on the first floor and six en suite hotel rooms (“very comfortable – I’ve stayed there”, says Mr Canavan) plus a two-tiered back garden. Under the ownership of Keith and Linda Challis, the pub became a hub for local live music and real ale, with ten different beers on hand-pull at any one time; it has championed support for the town’s annual round of community events – Fat Tuesday, Jack-in-the-Green, the Old Town Carnival, etc. The new owner confirms that he has every intention of maintaining this profile.
Personally he admits to a taste for heavy rock (Meatloaf is mentioned in conversation) but he is also keen on the Thursday sea-shanty evenings. In any event long-serving manager Simon Kennedy will remain in charge of musical bookings. Business as usual, then.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.