A popular pub owner is due to have his last pint next month before retiring after 15 years.
Ian Richards has owned the Paris Hotel in Coverack for 13 years, having joined the bar two years earlier.
He said: “I think retirement is calling me. I’ve always wanted to retire early and after a crazy summer for all of us, I’ve just gone as far as I can.
“I want to go out on a high, when I’m still loving it – I go out when it’s buzzing.
“I’ve seen too many owners stay too long and I want to come out on top.”
Ian said he planned to take a year off to decide what he wanted to do next.
“Retirement is the plan, but if I’m bored I’ll look for something,” he added.
Three years ago, Ian married his longtime partner Louise, so he is looking forward to spending more time with her and their two adult children.
One thing Ian is particularly proud of is that he saw steady growth of the business up to the point where the coronavirus hit, and has since had two ‘fantastic’ summers even with the pandemic closures and restrictions. .
He has also battled road closures, including the devastating damage to the village during the 2017 flash floods in Coverack.
A career highlight was hosting a wedding reception for Emmerdale actors Lesley Dunlop and Chris Chittell in 2016, after they were married at the village church.
n Lesley Dunlop and Chris Chittell with then Paris hotel chef Jane Kelly and owner Ian Richards, after the pub hosted their wedding reception in 2016
Ian said of the St Austell Brewery pub: “I don’t think there is a better site on the Lizard Peninsula.
“It’s a great place, great locals and visitors who come year after year. If you’re willing to work there, you can’t go wrong.”
He will hand it all over to new owner Jamie Tidball and his wife Sam when they take over in mid-December.
Ian was able to have a say in who should fill their shoes behind the bar and said Jamie was top of his list.
“I had three or four people contact me, but I really felt Jamie was the right person for the pub. He really embraced the local culture and the culture of the visitors, being at the heart of village life,” he said.
n Bill Frisken of St Keverne Parish Council shows the Duke of Gloucester the damage to the sea wall, watched by Ian, a year after the 2017 flash flood
Jamie, originally from New Zealand, has many years of experience running pubs in London and has been coming to Coverack on holiday for years, which is how he met Ian.
Ian’s last official day at the pub will be Tuesday December 14, when he hopes to go out in style with an auction from 8pm in aid of two causes close to the heart of the village.
The money raised will be shared between Come On Holly Pop, the fundraising campaign for Holly Martin, a pub kitchen doorwoman who was seriously injured after falling from a horse earlier this year, and the Sepsis Trust, at the memory of Chloe Rideout of the village, who died of the infection.
Ian said, being a Coverack boy who was a dairy farmer at Treliever for 21 years before becoming a publican, he planned to visit the Paris across the bar again.
“A heartfelt thank you to all the customers over the years. I’ve made many, many friends. Being born and raised in Coverack, that’s what I want to thank people for,” he added .