Published: 06:00, 11 June 2021
A long-vacant city pub is set to reopen today under new ownership following extensive refurbishment.
The Monument in St Dunstans, Canterbury, has been taken over by former University of Kent student Sam Holden, who rose to fame after winning almost $1 million on the world poker stage.
The Grade II-listed building was previously Kent’s only vegan pub, but closed at the start of last year and has since lain derelict.
Mr Holden, 31, bought The Monument from brewery giant Shepherd Neame, and is set to reopen it at 7.30pm today as an independent pub following extensive refurbishment.
The premises will then open from 5pm to midnight, Mondays to Wednesdays. It will open from midday on all other days, closing at midnight on Thursdays, at 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 11pm on Sundays.
It will offer a “good selection of real ale” and other drinks, with a food menu set to launch in July.
Mr Holden - who found fame at 22, when he made it to the final table of the World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas - says he is “very excited” for the opening.
“It’s a very busy week,” he said. “But everything seems to be going to plan. I’m just really excited to show people the pub.
“It’s looking really good,” he said. “I’m really proud of what we’ve done.”
He says punters can expect “a welcoming, traditional pub with quirky features” - including shelves of second-hand books they can either read on-site or buy for a few pounds each.
The Monument also boasts a spacious garden which seats about 40 people, and features a decking area that gets “the last of the evening sun”.
“We’ve got 10 picnic tables and a lovely bit of decking with deckchairs,” said Mr Holden. “It’s a sun trap, so it will get the last of the evening sun.”
“The tables inside and out are really well spaced, which I think is a real draw,” he added.
For more information and to book a table, visit The Monument's website.