A special opening ceremony event was held at The Runner pub in Swindon, to celebrate its new ownership, and its fusion of British and Nepalese culture.
Bisnukumar Gurung and his business partner Abhi are the new owners of the popular Swindon pub, The Runner, previously known as The Running Horse.
Both businessmen men from ABIS Catering Ltd have years of experience within the restaurant industry.
The business partners both already own a restaurant in Bristol, with another pub due to open in around two to three weeks’ time.
The Swindon pub’s previous regulars, and other members of the Swindon community were welcomed to a special grand opening event this week to celebrate The Runner changing into Bisnukumar and Abhi's hands.
Special guests at the event included the Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Abdul Amin, and the President of the Nepalese Association of Wiltshire, Mr Gyan Prasad Gurung.
The aforementioned special guests were welcomed by Abhi and Bisnukumar on a red carpet, laid out in the restaurant’s entrance hall. A traditional Nepalese bagpipe player entered first, filling the eatery with music.
Mr Amin and Mr Gyan Prasad Gurung then proceeded to officially cut the ribbon and declare the pub open. The pair were then presented with khata – traditional ceremonial scarves.
The Runner will now offer a traditional pub menu with British classics, and a Himalayan cuisine menu for diners to choose from. This fusion and togetherness of the two cultures is very important to Bisnukumar and Abhi.
Complimentary prosecco and orange juice was offered to those attending, and a complimentary buffet of Himalayan dishes was available later on during the evening.
Following the ribbon cutting, Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Amin, and Abhi, both took the opportunity to say a few words.
Cllr Amin started the speeches off, saying: “It’s always been a pleasure to support my Nepalese friends. I’ve been Mayor now for almost a year, and I have attended a number of events – I must say the reception from my Nepalese friends has always been the best. Thank you very much for your wonderful reception this evening.
“I also want to say congratulations in your new venture here with the Running Horse or The Runner. This pub has been in existence for such a long time and I know it has had its ups and downs and a number of landlords in the past, but it is one of the most established businesses in Swindon. Once a business is established, you can never go wrong.
“What Mr Bisnukumar Gurung has here is something very unique. It will now become a place for more than just getting a drink with its new menus – including the Himalayan menu. I wish Bisnukumar and Abhi all the best in their venture and for the future.”
Abhi followed Cllr Amin, to say a few words on behalf of himself and Bisnukumar: “We have tried to change the concept of a pub being a place just for drinks and a few nibbles by offering both a classic and Himalayan menu.
“Food, drinks, and service – that’s what we do and we do what we do best. We have the perfect place here to have a drink and we’re not changing or taking away anything the Runner offered previously. We believe we are adding value, by offering the extra menu to our valued customers.
“The Himalayan menu in a pub setting is our USP – we wanted to offer something different and bring some life into the industry. We also want our pubs to be places for everyone – for the whole family.
“This is somewhat of a family affair for me too – I think of my wife as the backbone of the company. Also, my daughters love coming to these business events and helping out – especially our youngest! When my wife and I become a lot older, our business will all go to them.
“We really hope you will enjoy this pub – it will still remain traditional, but just with extra options! Thank you very much to everyone here for coming, we very much look forward to serving all of you.”
Bringing different cultures together in Swindon, and celebrating them is also something said to be of great importance for the Nepalese Association of Wiltshire (NAW).
Gyan Prasad Gurung (President of NAW) said: "The Nepalese Association of Wiltshire, and the Gurkhas, always try to help people within the community as much as we can. This is why it has been great to come along to this event tonight, and show our support.
“This new ownership is going to bring Himalayan and British culture together which is something that the Association believes in and supports strongly. We hope that by trying Himalayan food, visitors of this pub will learn more about the Nepalese culture, and will be interested in the country.”
More information about The Runner, its menus, and table bookings can be found on its website at https://runninghorsepub.co.uk/
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