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The Future of the Metcalfe Arms
Local businessman Barry Denny and his son Matt are both keen cyclists. Matt’s company, Lark Valley Projects, bought the Metcalfe Arms pub, along with 5 acres of adjoining land, in the Autumn of 2013.
Barry was interviewed about this on Radio Suffolk on Thursday, 9th. Jan. 2014 because unusually the project was not to refurbish and reopen the pub, but to turn it into a licenced café and cycle shop. Barry said that in his opinion the centre of town is the wrong place for a cycle shop – it should be out there in the country where recreational cyclists go!
Barry is vice-chairman of the West Suffolk Wheelers cycle club, whose chosen dress colour when riding out is red: he and Matt have chosen red as a theme – in name at least – as they have called the business “Maglia Rosso”. This is Italian for “red jersey” and is the colour worn by leaders in Italian cycle races.
During the radio interview, Barry extolled the virtues and pleasures of our country area south of Bury St Edmunds: since Hawstead is not on any current regularly-used cycle routes, he plans to encourage riders to come this way by compiling a series of maps. Clearly the “Maglia Rosso” will feature as a stopping-off point for refreshments!
The shop caters for enthusiasts interested in the “mid to high end”, expenditure-wise: other features include cycle hire, cycle repair and a ‘training’ area in the adjoining field. The shop is at the front where the bars were, but with an entrance on the car-park side. Also on this side, but at the rear, is the café, and naturally Hawstead residents are welcome and are encouraged to use it.