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Owners of Thong Dees Thai restaurant in Folkestone to reopen Park Inn pub and hotel on Radnor Park Road


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A couple behind a Thai street food bar and restaurant are set to reopen a pub which was at risk of being turned into flats.

The Park Inn Hotel in Folkestone has been boarded up since the departure of its previous landlord at the end of 2021 - and it was widely expected the building, which stands opposite Folkestone Central station, would be redeveloped into homes.

Chris Brown and partner Yaya are reopening Folkestone's Park Inn Hotel pub
Chris Brown and partner Yaya are reopening Folkestone's Park Inn Hotel pub

But Chris Brown and partner Yaya, the pair behind Thong Dees in Sandgate Road, have now purchased the entire property and are busily renovating the bar ahead of reopening on June 2.

"I used to come in here and drink sometimes, watch bands and whatnot," Mr Brown said.

"It was always a good pub but the chap wanted to sell it.

"There was a lot of talk about development [for flats] so I came and looked around it and I thought 'we can't let this go into flats, it's madness'.

"So I sold my house, my car, anything that had worth, and when all that had gone through I was able to get the mortgage on this place going.

The Park Inn pub and hotel in Folkestone opposite the Central station
The Park Inn pub and hotel in Folkestone opposite the Central station

"We had to live in hotel for a while, but then we got the keys and now we're living in one of the rooms upstairs while we do it up."

Building work is taking place on site with just weeks to go until the opening planned for the first day of the long Jubilee weekend in June.

The couple's plan is to freshen up the main bar area, but keep it very much as a traditional English pub with a focus on live music and sport.

In the longer term the aim is to set up an Asian food business in the restaurant to the rear of the property, and eventually refresh the hotel rooms upstairs in a more boutique style.

The much-loved pub, long known as a live music venue, closed at the end of 2021 after the owner of the building decided to sell up thanks to the financial hit of successive lockdowns.

Dave and Jackie Sadler left the Park Inn when it closed at the end of 2021. Picture: Jackie Sadler
Dave and Jackie Sadler left the Park Inn when it closed at the end of 2021. Picture: Jackie Sadler

Dave and Jackie Sadler had been the landlord and landlady for more than 17 years and pulled their final pints on New Year's Eve.

Speaking to KentOnline in October when the closure was announced, Mr Sadler said: "It's been a great place, we have got a lot of fantastic regulars and a lot of the people here are going to be gutted. It's a real community."

Originally called the 'Central Hotel', the building is understood to have been renamed the Park Inn in 1986.

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