A FAMILY from Weymouth are reviving a former local pub.

Husband and wife team Mark and Lisa Stanley are taking over The Rock on Abbotsbury Road and are set to reopen the premises as a pub once again on Saturday, March 30.

SAMBÔ, a Brazilian all-you-can-eat restaurant (Rodizio), was the last business to reside at The Rock, taking over the premises in 2019 and moving out in October 2023 to take up a seafront position.

It has been empty since then and the new owners plans to breathe new life into the business, with plans a for a traditional-style family pub.

The couple have never worked in the pub trade themselves, but Mark’s parents used to run pubs and clubs in London.

Dorset Echo: The RockThe Rock (Image: Hollie Carr)

He said: “My dad always promised that I would get a pub and unfortunately he died before we could do that.”

Lisa added: “It’s something that we have been thinking about for quite a while and then this place came up, so we inquired and here we are.”

The couple have three children, Caitlin, 20, Jack, 18 and Mason 11.

Teaching Assistant Lisa, 44, currently works at Wyke Regis Infant School and Nursery and plans to continue working there part time whilst the pub gets established

Mark, 52, was a former maintenance manager at a Weymouth hotel and is set to take over the day to day running of the pub.

Although the current economic climate has seen many businesses face their own struggles the new owners are very positive about the pub’s future.

Lisa said: “People do seem to be shutting down rather than opening, but there are no other pubs around here – you really have to go into town, but we just feel like we have had some really positive comments.

“We are looking to get a pool and darts team together to keep us going through the winter. We didn’t want a town pub and, on the edge, seems like a nice place to be.”

Whilst the pub gets up and running, Mark will mainly be running it assisted by daughter Caitlin who has worked in a few pubs herself and is currently a team leader at the Lodmoor (Brewers Fayre) where she plans to remain.

Mark said: “It will be just me and Caitlin to start and then we plan to get a couple more people in.”

At present, there will be no food served, but this is something that the family are looking into for the future as there is a kitchen on the premises which has been stripped out.

Dorset Echo: Inside the RockInside the Rock (Image: Hollie Carr)

They also plan to introduce a skittle alley further along the line.

The pub will have a ‘family and dog friendly atmosphere,’ and the perfect place for the family’s eight-year-old Bassett Hound Marley to relax.

Lisa said: “It will have a lovely relaxing atmosphere, TNT sports, live music every Saturday, a resident karaoke, as well as quiz nights.”

Lisa visited the Rock ‘years ago’ when it was formerly a pub and said: “Back then, I never would have imagined that we would have taken this over.”

The family are ‘very excited’ to be taking on this new venture and Mark has been carrying out a lot of the works himself alongside local contractors.