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Mumbai Gate in Bethersden will become The Pig & Sty after £1m refurb

By Rachael Woods

An Indian restaurant will be returned to a pub in a £1m transformation - more than a decade after the last pint was pulled.

The Mumbai Gate in Ashford Road, Bethersden, is being redeveloped by Elite Pubs and will be called The Pig & Sty.

It will be the ninth pub in the Elite chain and its opening follows that of The Herbalist, last May, in Maidstone town centre together with a late-night cocktail and music venue, Junipers.

The Mumbai Gate Indian restaurant (7915257)
The Mumbai Gate Indian restaurant (7915257)

The pub's name is a reference to Bethersden's 1000-year history of pig-breeding and the new owners will be forging links with the village.

Bosses are in discussions with Marc Stevenson of Bethersden rocking horse makers the Stevenson Brothers and are planning to name the pub's private dining room "The Rocking Horse Room", where there will be a display of the creations.

Elite Pubs said it planned to restore the former Royal Standard pub to a modernised country pub offering a menu based on locally-produced food and wine, together with craft gins.

It will offer 120 covers in the main dining room, 35 in the private dining room, 60 in the bar and 150 in the garden, while a covered terrace area with a burger shack will seat 50.

Work begins on the Pig & Sty (7915253)
Work begins on the Pig & Sty (7915253)

The Pig & Sty will be family-friendly and its large garden is set to feature a play area.

A total of £1m will be spent on the transformation, the owners confirmed, with the official opening date on Saturday, September 21.

Family-owned Elite Pubs has been established for 15 years and also opened The Cow Shed in West Malling.

The Grade II-listed building, on the corner of the A28 and Standard Lane, originally The Royal Standard, was the Royal Spice Indian restaurant for five years from 2005 before being turned into a Chinese restaurant - called 1 Thirty Six - in 2010.

In 2013 it became an Indian restaurant once again, called Cinnamon Lounge, later becoming the Mumbai Gate.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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