DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Canterbury, May, 2019.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 25 May, 2019.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Rory Kehoe

Earliest 1370+

(1987)

Simple Simon's

Latest 2008

(Name to)

1-9 Church Lane

Canterbury

Simple Simon's 1938

Above photo, kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe. Showing the rear courtyard just after renovation in 1938.

Simple Simon's

Above photo taken from http://www.beerquest1k.com

Inside Simple Simon's bar areaInside Simple Simon's bar area

Left photo shows bar towards fireplace looking west.

Right photo shows bar towards door looking east.

Inside Simple Simon's fireplaceInside Simple Simon's looking to courtyard

Photo on left shops the fireplace in the bar.

Right shows the window from downstairs bar into rear courtyard

Inside Simple Simon's stairsInside Simple Simon's stairs

Photo left shows public stairs up to dining room.

Right private stairs up to kitchen.

Above 6 photos taken from Canterbury Buildings Website.

 

Information I received, probably from a web site unknown said the following:-

Simple Simon's was described as a brewpub in Canterbury. At one time they made their own brew on the site, but the premises has been selling beer for 600 years. As well as their their own beers on sale, they had at one time 21 guest taps, including 9 different hand-pulls. The bar area is small and cozy, but they also had an upstairs dining area as well as a large courtyard.

By 2008 the name had changed to that of the "Parrot."

However, research done by Rory Kehoe says the following:-

Simple Simon's, Canterbury, was never a brew pub!

If it ever was a pub before Mike Patten opened "Simple Simons" then it's not listed anywhere that I've seen.

It hasn't been found listed as a brewery and hasn't been selling beer for 600 years!

Yes, "Simple Simon's" did offer a wide range of Real Ales, had a number of small, cosy bars and operated the restaurant upstairs.

The building was in a poor way in the 1930s and was extensively restored, opening again in 1938.

From c.1938 to c.1950 it was St. Radigund's Girls' Club

From c.1950 to c.1960 it was St. Radigund's Social Club and St. Andrew's Youth Club.

From c.1960 to c.1970 the building was the Department of Dress & Textiles, part of Canterbury College.

 

Prior to opening as "Simple Simon's" in 1987 the building was Radigund's Restaurant (c.1970 to c.1990).

"Simple Simon's" was originally called Radigund's Restaurant, until the mid-1980s, when it closed. At this time, the "Miller's Arms" (round the corner) had been a free house for about 8 years, owned/run by Simon and Maria Taylor.

Simon and his younger brother, Tony, also ran the Canterbury Brewery, which supplied the "Miller's Arms."

Mike Patten (owner of several nightclubs in Folkestone, as well as a record label) wanted to buy restaurant and along the way, commenced negotiations with Simon Taylor who (from personal experience) liked to talk the talk but when (amongst other things) daddy's money ran out, was unable to walk the walk.

The plan was to convert Radigund's Restaurant to the St Radigund's Tavern and run it as a sister free house to the "Millers Arms." Whether the idea of a brew pub was ever feasible I don't know but it was talked about at the time.

St Radigund's Tavern might then have been called the St Radigund's Tap.

Mike Patten needed Simon Taylor to attend a meeting with his lawyer, in order to formalise arrangements/sign the contract for Radigund's Restaurant.

After a couple of postponements, excuses etc. Mike Patten set a final date/time on an "or else" basis. Simon Taylor failed to attend.

Thus, Mike Patten went ahead on his own and the St Radigund's Tavern was, in honour of Simon Taylor's shenanigans, re-named Simple Simon's!

Within a couple of years Simon Taylor's business model (think colander!) had leaked sufficient parental loot, as to make the "Miller's Arms," brewery and off licence (on Wincheap) insolvent and all went under. By comparison, under Mike Patten's sole management, "Simple Simon's" prospered and was eventually sold to Young's in c.2007 for about 1.5million.

Mike Patten now owns/runs the "George Inn" at Six Mile Cross on Stone Street.

Simon Taylor died about 10 years ago (2008) and Maria divorced him not long after the "Miller's Arms" went under.

 

LICENSEE LIST

PATTEN Mike 1987+ Next pub licensee had

 

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

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LINK to www.Pubshistory.com