A PUB landlord who relaunched a historic Braintree pub is “gutted” after it came under new ownership and is set to undergo a £1.5million refurb.

Businessman Ken Tang, 46, is the current landlord of The Swan, in Bank Street, and re-opened the grade II listed pub back in February after picking up the keys in December 2023.

Over the years, the building has operated as a pub and venue for many years, and prior to Ken’s appointment, The Swan had a negative reputation for drug taking and antisocial behaviour.

However, after a successful but all too short period of being the landlord and helping make it a family friendly pub which had live music, entertainment, and other events, the building has now been purchased.

Braintree and Witham Times: Pub - The SwanPub - The Swan (Image: Newsquest)

The pub is set to undergo an exhilarating new chapter under new ownership.

The Swan was owned by Admiral Taverns and has now been purchased freehold and is set to become a high-class restaurant and venue called Ocean’s Braintree.

Ken was told by Admiral Taverns in December that the business could be purchased freehold at any point.

The main reason Ken decided not to purchase it freehold is that it would not be sold with the pub license and would have to become a different type of business.

Ken said: “It has been so successful, everyone was like ‘oh my gosh, we are going to miss the pub’.

Braintree and Witham Times: Sad to go - Ken Tang pouring a pintSad to go - Ken Tang pouring a pint (Image: Newsquest)

“I wanted to get it back to nice environment, get rid of the riff-raff, and I changed a lot, everyone saw that and seemed to be happy but are sad to hear it’s not going to be a pub anymore.

“I felt gutted, it would have been nice to have had it longer, but what has happened has happened, I can’t change it.”

The pub is now owned by American-based entrepreneur Barrie Drewitt-Barlow with part business owner and executive chef, Ocean Chapman.

It’s going to be transformed into a brand-new restaurant and venue called Ocean’s Braintree.

The Swan landlord is extremely excited for the pair and has congratulated them for the venture, and is certain they will “bring the building back to life”.

Braintree and Witham Times: Closing - The SwanClosing - The Swan (Image: N/A)

Ken, who also owns Posh Nails in Rayne Road, has vowed he will return as a publican in the future as he loved it.

He said: “For me, it is not the end, I will have my next adventure again eventually.

"I loved it, changing its reputation, helping it become a well-known name again, we put on a lot of entertainment, and created fun moments for people in Braintree.

“I will look for another pub for this adventure.

“The last day, June 22, I will have a big closing party.

“I run a nail bar and have a lot of customers who said they met their husbands in The Swan years ago, so I feel sad it is closing.

“But everyone should come and enjoy the last era of The Swan.”