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Bury St Edmunds bar and restaurant, Damson & Wilde, in Abbeygate Street, opens under new ownership





The husband and wife team behind a successful pub chain took over a town centre bar and restaurant today.

David and Roxane Marjoram, owners of Gusto Pronto, served their first customers at Damson & Wilde on Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds.

The couple, who also run The One Bull, amongst five other pubs in the region, as well as a brewery and wine shop, announced they had bought the business from the City Pub Group, last month

Roxane Marjoram, Victoria Pyne, head chef, Lucy Bullard, operations manager, Natalie Mason, general manager, David Marjoram. Picture: Mark Westley
Roxane Marjoram, Victoria Pyne, head chef, Lucy Bullard, operations manager, Natalie Mason, general manager, David Marjoram. Picture: Mark Westley

The takeover also means all 20 staff have transferred over to Gusto Pronto.

“We’re very excited. We had some really positive feedback to the news we were taking over, and can’t wait to get stuck in,” said David Marjoram.

“We will develop the business in two phases. First, we will be honouring all of the Damson & Wilde bookings in place in the run up to, and Christmas itself, while we get to know the business.

Damson & Wilde in the centre of Bury St Edmunds
Damson & Wilde in the centre of Bury St Edmunds

“Then, in the New Year, we will look to make a few changes in terms of the identity and offerings, including the menus and drinks.”

The venue will keep the name Damson & Wilde under the new ownership.

Rox Marjoram said: “Its been quite hectic the last few days getting ready but, it’s a lovely building and we are delighted.

“We will be introducing the Gusto hospitality style people have come to love; that of putting people first, giving them a warm welcome and memorable experience.”

Damson & Wilde was fully refurbished last year
Damson & Wilde was fully refurbished last year

“The 20 staff have moved across to Gusto Pronto and will be supported by existing team members.”

Damson & Wilde was originally opened by the City Pub Group in June 2022 following a major refurbishment by award-winning designers.

It was formerly Cafe Rouge, which closed in July 2020 after its parent company went into administration.

The courtyard garden at Damson & Wilde, Bury St Edmunds
The courtyard garden at Damson & Wilde, Bury St Edmunds

Rox added; “59 Abbeygate St is another iconic building, beautifully refurbished by City Pub Group last year with what we think is the best garden in Bury St Edmunds.

“Come January, we’ll launch new food menus.

“We’ll tweak the drinks offering over time – our Brewshed beer has been stocked at Damson & Wilde from the start - and Vino Gusto will supply our wines.

The refurbishment under the City Pub Group retained original features including wood panelling, fireplace and ceiling motifs.

Damson & Wilde, Bury St Edmunds
Damson & Wilde, Bury St Edmunds

The walled, courtyard garden area, which seats up to 80, has also been given a makeover and features a retractable roof.

There is also a private dining area which sits up to 20 people for functions, celebrations and birthday parties.

Oliver Trezise, regional director of City Pub Group, said: “We’re delighted to hand over the reins to such experienced, passionate and highly thought of local operators in David and Roxane.

“We have every confidence our fantastic team, not to mention our customers, will be very well looked after.

“No doubt the local knowledge and support Gusto Pronto bring to the table will see them and Damson & Wilde thrive in the months and years ahead.”

Gusto Pronto pubs include The One Bull, Bury St Edmunds The Cadogan, Ingham, The Crown, Hartest, The Beerhouse, Bury St Edmunds and The Fox, Bulmer Tye.

Damson & Wilde will be open seven day a week from noon.