Sort file:- Whitstable, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 4 Nov 2014

Handsome Sam

Open 2020+

3 Canterbury Road


07931 662081

Handsome Sam premises 2014

Above image from Google showing the premises in June 2014.

Handsome Sam 2014

Above photo showing licensee Chris Williamson.

Sam tee-towelHandsome Sam door

Above photos by Bas, March 2015. Left is of a tee-towel depicting Sam, the cat the pub is named after, and photo right of the glasswork in the front door, although the image shown here has been flipped.

Handsome Sam inside 2015 Handsome Sam inside 2015 Handsome Sam inside 2015

Above photos of the inside, by Bas, March 2015.

Handsome Sam 2019

Above photo 2019.


This is classed as a micropub and is situated just outside the town centre in a former antiques shop.

The name of the pub was chosen after the owner's cat which sadly died exactly four years before the pub's opening date of 4th November 2014.

The high-ceilinged room retains some original beams. High tables, bench seats and stools provide the seating, and hops adorn the two front bay windows. The premises has a temperature-controlled cellar room called the Beer Tent, from which beers and ciders are dispensed by gravity. I am also informed that wines, soft drinks, tea, coffee and pub snacks are also offered.


From 19 September 2014, by Jamie Bullen.

Plans to open new micropub in Whitstable by former NHS manager given green light by Canterbury City Council's planning committee.

A former NHS manager has raised a toast this week after his plans to open Whitstable's newest micropub received the green light from councillors.

Proposals by Chris Williamson, 53, of Western Avenue, Herne Bay, to convert a former antiques shop in Canterbury Road into a pub were approved by the city council's planning committee on Tuesday.

Working as a radiology manager at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Chris left his post in July to open a micropub after having an epiphany one morning.

The "Handsome Sam" will open on Canterbury Road subject to licensing approval.

He said: “I have always been a strong supporter of micropubs because they sell excellent real ales.

“I first got involved about four years ago when I went to the "Butcher's Arms" in Herne.

“I just woke up one morning and decided I wanted to run my own micropub.

“I searched all over Kent in Sandwich and Canterbury and then in May I came across the shop in Canterbury Road and it just felt right.

“It's so important to have the right location and it's fair to say I had a feeling about this one straight away.”

Micropubs have proved popular with drinkers at the "Tankerton Arms" and the "Black Dog."

Chris still needs permission from the council's licensing committee with a hearing due on Tuesday but says he hopes to be up and running in three weeks.

He revealed the name of the pub will be the "Handsome Sam" in dedication of his beloved cat who he looked after for more than 20 years.

Chris added: “He was like my best friend and everyone used to call him Handsome Sam so this is a tribute to him.

“We got him from a cat sanctuary and cared for him for more than 20 years ago but three years ago my partner was suffering from breast cancer and his health wasn't good as well so he had to go.”

Out of the 10 members of the board, eight approved the application while two abstained.

Chris says he is delighted to expand the micropub craze which swept across Kent and further afield with the opening of the "Butchers Arms" in 2005.

When it opens it will be the town's third miniature boozer behind the "Black Dog" in the High Street and the "Tankerton Arms" in Tankerton Road.

He added: “With my one there will be 78 micropubs across the country and only one has closed. They say two pubs are closing a week but the micropub revolution is going strong.

“It will be a community based pub for people to enjoy a couple of pints and talk rubbish.”


From the By Lydia Chantler-Hicks, 17 June 2019.

Whitstable pub The Handsome Sam targeted by burglar.

A micropub has lost an entire week's takings following an early-morning raid captured on CCTV.

At about 4.30am on Friday an intruder - thought to have been a man acting alone - forced his way through a window at The Handsome Sam in Canterbury Road, Whitstable.

He fled with cash from the till, as well as a safe containing a mobile phone and all money taken by the pub that week.

Handsome Sam burglar 2019

CCTV footage from inside The Handsome Sam micropub. Pic: Chris Williamson.

Landlord and manager Chris Williamson, who has given KentOnline images of the suspect, said: "It's difficult to say how much was taken, but all in all we think it was about 1,300.

"As far as we can tell, it was one person on his own.

"The photos make him look quite big but I don't think he is because he managed to squeeze through steel bars on the window. He must have been wearing lots of layers.

"I was at home tucked up in bed when the break-in happened. It was only when I came in on Friday lunchtime to open up I realised what had happened."

Mr Williamson, 58, says the burglary will have a negative impact on the small pub - which has been open for about four-and-a-half years.

"We're not a big business - we're a micropub, so by definition we're just sort of making a small amount out of it," he said.

"It's near the beginning of the financial year, and you don't start making a profit until the end of the financial year.


CCTV footage of the incident. Pic: Chris Williamson.

I employ a few people, and this does put you back. It's just not nice - it's really petty, and it leaves a sour taste really."

Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident, and are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 01843 222289, quoting crime reference 46/114566/19.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555111.


From the By Brad Harper, 8 November 2019.

Drinkers rattled when Range Rover crashes outside The Handsome Sam in Whitstable.

Drinkers were left stunned when a Range Rover ploughed into a traffic light outside a micropub.

Handsome Sam crash 2019

The 4x4 mounted the pavement in Canterbury Road, Whitstable, before crashing opposite The Handsome Sam, and the landlord of the venue thinks the road layout is dangerous.

One witness told how a passenger was left injured after his face hit the vehicle’s windscreen.

Chris Williamson 2019

Landlord Chris Williamson said he had gone home for his dinner, but was called shortly after and told of the accident.

When he returned, he saw a Range Rover with a shattered windscreen and the flattened traffic light.

“One customer missed being killed because he was stood outside the pub and he went back in 30 seconds before the crash,” he said.

The 58-year-old told how another customer ran after and confronted one one of the occupants of the car. A man was later arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

“When the customer got back, he looked shaken up so I gave him a whisky on the house,” he said.

Mr Williamson said he could not speculate on the cause of the crash, but said the road layout, and the quality of the surface, is a hazard to motorists.

“Right outside the pub there is a pedestrian crossing where there is a pothole which fills with water and is very dangerous,” he said.

“I reported it in January but nothing has been done.

“It is quite a dangerous junction - lorries quite often mount the pavement.”

Police said they were called to Canterbury Road, Whitstable, following a report of a road traffic collision.

The man arrested was released pending further investigation.



WILLIAMSON Chris 4/Nov/2014-19+


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-