From Tenerife to Telford - meet the landlord running the pub for everyone to enjoy

As pubs continue to battle the cost of living crisis, the Shropshire Star continues its Love Your Local series which celebrates our local inns.

Landlord Steve Wright outside The Turf Inn
Landlord Steve Wright outside The Turf Inn

The Turf in Telford, or as the husband-and-wife team that run it like to call it, The Turf Family Pub, is welcoming place for all including children and families hence the name they like to use.

Landlord Steven Wright, 46, originally from Stoke on Trent, and Julie Wright, have run the pub together for three years, taking over in the Covid pandemic.

Steven has always worked in pubs and bars, and previously lived in Tenerife for 18 years where he had three businesses in the hospitality industry, but made the move back to England with his wife due to family reasons, and the two have been here ever since.

They have lived in Telford for five years now, and are loving the role of running The Turf.

Speaking about what it's been like, Steve says: "It has been OK since taking over, better than we expected but at the moment things are tight due to the gas and electric bills along with everything all round the costs are going up, it is crazy.

"But we have tried to keep prices as low as we can, with the beers we have only raised them once since taking over, and customers have noticed this compared to other places around the area and appreciate that, plus it keeps them happy too.

"We have a cracking regular crowd here, and we have been able to build a relationship with the locals, where the people are more friends now rather than customers."

Steven and wife Julie have run the pub for the last three years

Steve also works part-time for Telford & Wrekin Council, where he drives buses for disabled schoolchildren, which was his initial full-time job until the pandemic happened, which of course caused his hours to be dropped, and so he went part-time in that role and now runs the pub alongside it full-time.

When asked why they like to call it The Turf Family Pub, Steve explains: "We like to call it this to make it friendly, as we want people to know that families are welcome, and it is very much a family atmosphere in here.

"Plus women too, we want them to know they can come in here on their own and there will not be any issues.

"We are one big family with the customers, and it has a nice tightly-knit closeness around the whole pub, everyone gets along with one another and even if new people walk in, they are always made to feel welcome."

The hospitality industry has of course been through a major testing period in recent years with firstly the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis, but Steve said government grants helped get through that time.

"We took over in June 2020, and when we did there was a little bit we could to in terms of being open and then we got closed down but the government grants kept the pub going while it was closed, and it also gave us a chance to put a beer garden in for when we could open up properly.

"It worked nicely as it was a car park previously, but now it is a nice beer garden that is very popular, especially when the weather is nice, plus we have our own bouncy castle for the kids to enjoy."

Steven had businesses in Tenerife before moving back to the UK

The pub also serves food, with classic Sunday roasts available of course on Sundays, but they also serve breakfasts from 9am on weekends, and they are now launching an evening menu for the weekdays.

Steve says The Turf has always been known for being a drinking pub, but is now getting a reputation for its food as well.

He adds: "We never used to be known for food and so we tried it, and it took off so well with the Sundays dinners that we introduced breakfasts on the weekends and now we are just about to launch an evening menu, and it is nice to get the reputation for being known for our food as well."

Ready to fire up the karaoke machine

Running bars in Telford and Tenerife might sound like different challenges. However, Steve explains: "Not a lot is actually different apart from the weather and the fact that it is a lot more expensive to run here than there.

"The price of spirits and beer is probably four times less than it is here, and it is shipped from here to Spain!

"We are just happy to be here running the place, despite the crazy costs of running a pub.

"Plus the regulars and people we have met along the way are always so supportive and they help.

"Like when we do campaigns for charity and raise money, which we do a lot for Severn Hospice, they are always generous and it just points to the point again about how it is very much a family feel here at The Turf."

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News