Whitstable is a town with its own unique life and character. Its reputation has grown over the years and now it’s well known for its great seafood, pubs, live music scene and warm atmosphere.
When Richard Philips took over the Pearson’s Arms a few years back it was a pub that, while semi-popular with the locals, was not a real hive of activity. It had a half-decent drinking crowd but did not serve food seriously and was in dire need of a refurb.
Richard took it over with an aim to re-vamp the food service, completely re-decorate the interior and find the Pearson’s a place in the growing Whitstable music scene. And he wanted to do all that without alienating the local drinkers— any pub that does that is bound to fail.
The refurb was designed to completely transform the place without making it stick out like a sore thumb. It needed to feel like a part of the core of Whitstable. There’s a definite beach-hut feel to the interior now, but there’s also a warmth and cosiness that helps keep business up over the winter.
In terms of food, the goal was to provide honest, good quality food from local ingredients. It was never going to be overly fancy or complex; Chef Craig makes sure that consistency and quality of service are the staples of a Pearson’s meal. Local fishers, grocers, butchers, bakers and brewers all contribute to our offering.
Music, too, has been a big focus. Every Sunday and Tuesday there are live bands, and each night attracts its own regular crowd as well as tourists and walk-ins. There’s always a great atmosphere and there’ll usually be a few to get up and dance before long. In the summer, some performers will even take the music outside to those enjoying a drink on the sea wall (or the Pearson’s Wall as it’s now known).
Beyond the décor, food and music the Pearson’s relies on its friendly staff to maintain the atmosphere. Jake and Paolo make sure that there’s a constant, lively back-and-forth between the front-of-house and the customers and it’s this that means the Pearson’s Arms always has a bit of buzz.
And more, regular £5 fish and chips, 2-4-1 cocktail deals and steak nights always go down well and help maintain the down-to-earth feel that makes the Pearson’s Arms work, and fit in so well with the Whitstable culture.
We’ve gone from strength to strength over the past 5 years; we’ve never been busier. And we expect this Summer to be even bigger as Oyster Week, sailing events and the beer festival bring Whitstable to life.
We’re very happy with where we are now and are proud to be a part of a bustling Whitstable way of life.
What do you think? Is there anything you’d like us to do more or less of? How well do you feel the Pearson’s Arms fits in with the town?