Troubled Exeter estate pub reopens under new name

A troubled Exeter pub has reopened under new management with a new name.

After being closed for a year following a licensing review, what was The Half Moon in Whipton reopened last Sunday, October 25, as The Star Inn.

The new landlords are Mike and Sharon Crisp who have been running community pubs for more than 20 years. The premises licence is held by Hawthorn Leisure.

The pub was given one last chance by Exeter City Council’s licensing review committee in January, despite being described as a “Wild West saloon” and a “drunken drug den and fight club” by locals.

The Star Inn at Whipton
(Image: Devon Live)

The review was instigated by a group of local residents of Whipton Village Road calling for its licence to be revoked, which was been backed by Devon and Cornwall Police due to the number of incidents which happened in and around the premises.

Instances of fighting, drug taking and intimidating behaviour were outlined by residents who did not put their names to any of the complaints for fear of reprisals.

It was also told how the quality of life has improved since the pub closed in October 2019.

At the meeting, Hawthorne Leisure apologised for all the problems that had taken place and conceded they had “got it wrong” in the past.

They assured things would be different if its licence was retained.

A spokesperson for Hawthorn Leisure said earlier this month: “We’re looking forward to reopening the former Half Moon under its new name, The Star Inn, later this month.

The Half Moon pub in Whipton ceased trading in October 2019

“We know that the Half Moon didn’t always meet the standards that we expect, and more importantly that local residents deserve.

“However, we can assure Whipton residents that under the stewardship of our new pub partners, Mike and Sharon Crisp, The Star will be a pub that the local community can be extremely proud of.

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“Mike and Sharon have been running community pubs for more than 20 years and know exactly what is required to make a success of a great local like this.

“They’ve spent the last few weeks getting to know local residents and we’ve also had positive meetings with the local authorities who are fully supportive of our plans for the pub when we reopen.”

Devon Live