It is with a real sense of moment that Linda and I have learned that Richard and Julia Channon from All Inn One (AIO) have elected to sell their interests in their restaurant pub. We understand that a deal has been made and they will remain in place until approximately Easter 2019.
This news breaks at a point when their staff have been advised what is happening and they plan to speak personally to their friends and customers over the next few days.
Richard and Julie have a presence in the Forest Hill community that extends beyond their support for Forest Hill Traders Association, Forest Hill Society and their many and varied customers. It represents a deep commitment to that community of which they are a core part. There will be many societies and bodies who have enjoyed their hospitality and generosity when meeting places needed to be arranged. Over many years, they provided for and supported many elderly customers in lunch clubs and Christmas offerings.
There is a long list of warm memories of events such as Christmases, Burns Suppers, Rugby World Cups, Six Nations Rugby, Football World Cups and European Football and of course many celebrations and parties with our friends.
For those of us who know them well and have watched their immense hard work move them through significant and key phases over a period of 18 years, it is with real satisfaction to us that the business that they have created has now offered them new opportunities to develop along side their son Josh.
For those who have long memories and can remember, even before they appeared, the cycle of the history of The Foresters, both good and bad, they developed the model they inherited from being a basic pub, through the development and opening of the restaurant, sustaining their key commitment to buying the freehold of the establishment and their continued re-shaping of their offering that brought in new custom as Forest Hill itself evolved around them are all a huge credit to the qualities of Richard and Julia.
There is always real sadness when friends choose to move on, but both seem resilient in their commitment to re-invest in Forest Hill. They have created a quality example of a good local and have set a high bar for the new owners. And along with Richard and Julia we would wish the new owners every good luck in their endeavours.