After a career that has seen him travel to the US, Canada and the Greek Islands, Tyson Marshall is hoping to work a little mixology magic on Tonbridge.
The experienced pub manager has taken on the role of landlord at The Foresters Arms in Quarry Hill Road.
He’s no stranger to the area, having previously worked for the Whiting and Hammond group for eight years, including steering the Little Brown Jug in Chiddingstone to a national venue of the year final several years ago.
Having explored several sites including pubs in the area he recognised the potential to revive the fortunes of The Foresters Arms.
He said: “I’ve always wanted to have my own place and I heard on the grapevine that The Foresters Arms was available. When I saw the pub, it just felt right. I have been surprised at how quickly me taking over has all come together.”
With his daughter attending school nearby, being based in Tonbridge seemed a perfect move for the manager, who has gained experience as a specialist cocktail bartender with TGI Fridays in Australia.
Tyson, aged 41, who is from Melbourne, has now spent more than 12 years in the UK and really likes the Tonbridge area.
In terms of taking over The Foresters Arms, he said the most important factor is in creating the right atmosphere and making customers feel welcome. Tyson is currently overseeing a refurbishment of the Shepherd Neame pub and plans to reopen shortly after Easter.
He added: “I’m hoping to bring some of my experiences from around the world to the place in terms of how it will look, as well as some of the mixology that I learned from my time at TGI Fridays.
“The pub is well known in the area, and I’ve met people who remember it well from their college days, but it’s not been trading to its potential for a few years. So I thought it would be a great opportunity, as I have got to know a lot of people in the area over the past 10 years.
“I’m aiming to offer a relaxed atmosphere where people can come in after a day’s work for a few drinks. I think it’s important to offer people great service and have some good music too.”