Shepherd Neame reveals new £750k look for London pub

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Property refurbs: This week's round up features Shepherd Neame, Admiral, Punch and more
Property refurbs: This week's round up features Shepherd Neame, Admiral, Punch and more

Related tags Shepherd neame Property Multi-site pub operators

This week's property round-up includes refurbishments from Shepherd Neame, Punch Pubs, Slug & Lettuce, Admiral and more.

Shepherd Neame welcomes customers back to the Crown

The Crown, Blackheath has undergone a £750,000 transformation

Shepherd Neame has revealed a new £750,000 look for one its pubs in south-east London, with renovations nodding to the venues sporting links.

The Crown in Blackheath village, a 16th century former coaching inn, underwent a five-week long refurbishment which celebrates the pub’s traditional heritage and retained its original features alongside a fresh, modern take on Edwardian décor.

Situated a short distance from the oldest open rugby club in the world, Blackheath Rugby Club, former England full-back Tim Stimpson fittingly pulled the first pint after welcoming customers back on Wednesday 28 February.

The venues first floor dining room, titled the King Charles III Dining Room, has been given a new lease of life while there is now a piano in the side bar area for weekly sing-a-longs.

Outside, the building has had a refresh, with standout gold lettering, plus a mural of an off-duty royal sentry by James Titcher of Aero Arts Graffiti.

A new menu of homemade traditional bar snacks and pub classics with a contemporary twist has also been introduced, using locally sourced produce.

Speaking on opening night, Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “There’s so much rich history here at The Crown, and in Blackheath itself.

“We are delighted to have been able to contribute to this vibrant community by investing in the transformation of this unique pub in the very heart of Blackheath Village – one of the few real villages left in London.

“Despite being so close to the capital, it still retains that community feel and we hope this stunning renovation we have carried out will prove popular with locals and visitors.”

This comes as analysis of data by The Morning Advertiser revealed the Faversham-based firm, which is Britain's oldest brewer, had invested more than £6m into its pub estate ​in the 12-months to March this year.

Work begins at Inn Collection's Swallows Fall Hotel 


Renovations have started at the Inn Collection's Swallows Fall Hotel in Betws-y-Coed, Wales.

The multi-million-pound refurbishment is set to "transform" the 19th century site, which was acquired by the group in November 2021, with a completely new pub and restaurant being created.

As well as boasting 38 bedrooms, the pub, which is a former youth hostel association building situated near Eryri National Park, will also retain its 38 camping pitches.

To support this development, the former on-site 'tavern' will be converted into a facility offering showers and drying rooms for wet gear, with the new-look pub taking over the provision of food and drink.

Although closed to the public since being purchased by the award-winning hospitality operator, enabling works have been taking place behind the scenes such as the strip out of the old bar and rooms.

Work has also been carried out around water and electrical supplies and water treatment solutions as part of the Swallow Falls Inn’s refurbishment, which is anticipated to be completed in late 2024 and create 38 full-time jobs.

Project manager Dan Wallace said: “It's very exciting to get this project started to bring The Swallow Falls Inn back to life.

“It is a very interesting project which is going to look stunning once complete.  It is a significant investment for the company with some substantial works such as the boreholes and other utility works already carried out.

“We’re now into the main programme of works which will create brand new bedroom spaces, a traditional cosy pub and a campsite with excellent amenities and we are looking forward to re-opening in late 2024."

In addition, Inn Collection welcomed customer back to the Ullswater Inn​ on Valentines Day (14 February) following a multi-million-pound refurb that took 13-months to complete.

The Lake District pub with rooms has benefitted from the installation of a new main staircase and bar areas alongside log-burning stoves and feature windows added throughout to make the most of the "stunning views".


Each of the venues bedrooms have also received a makeover and additional bedrooms created, taking the total number of rooms from 36 to 57.

General manager Diane Lee-Lyons said: “Having been shut since January last year, there was a definite air of anticipation as we got closer to the reopening, and it was lovely to hear people chatting warmly about the new look and what changes have been made.

“It really is a beautiful inn and I am just delighted that the doors are now open and we can get back to being somewhere that everyone in Glenridding can come in and enjoy.”

Admiral Taverns injects £340k into Glasgow pub


Admiral Taverns​ has welcomed customers back to the Brockburn pub, formerly known as the Pollock, in Glasgow, following a £340,000 refurbishment. 

The Brockburn Road pub, which is part of Admiral's Proper Pubs division, re-opened on Friday 23 February having undergone a complete internal and external transformation.

Inside, the site has been redecorated throughout with an updated bar and lounge area to create a warm and inviting atmosphere while outside, the pub has been given a vibrant and modern look, including new lighting and signage.

In addition, new bi-fold doors have been installed to allow for easy access to the outdoor space.

The Brockburn boasts a wide range of drinks offers as well as TNT, Sky Sports and horse racing channels while operator Margaret Drennan added she planned to introduce a regular schedule of entertainment at the pub, including quiz nights, DJ sets and live music and would work hard to support community initiatives.

Punch Pubs reopens the Castle Inn

Punch Pubs

Punch Pubs has re-opened the Castle Inn pub in Congleton, Cheshire, following a joint £160k investment to refresh the venue.

The 200-year-old venue has undergone a small transformation including new ceilings and flooring, as well as a revamp throughout.

In addition, the pub's outdoor space, which overlooks Congleton Golf Club, has also been refreshed.

Moreover, the investment will create 10 new roles at the pub.

As well as a new look, the pub will also operate under new management, with husband-and-wife team Paul and Karen brown taking the reigns.

No strangers to the industry, Paul and Karen were at the helm of a nearby pub for more than a decade but are now keen to put the Castle Inn firmly back on the map and at the heart of its community.

Paul said: “We were very much looking forward to re-opening the Castle Inn, and after a busy Christmas in our last pub, we are excited to begin our new venture.

“We’ve had some excellent feedback so far and the response we’ve had online has been overwhelming. Everyone has been so supportive.”

The Castle will off a home-cooked menu made from locally sourced produce including traditional pub classics, lunch specials and bar nibbles, in addition to Sunday Roasts.

Guests can also look forward to the introduction of regular entertainment, with the ingoing operators set to introduce live acoustic sessions later this year.

Punch Pubs & Co operations manager Harry Bourne said: “I’m really excited to be working with Paul and Karen and getting the Castle back open and thriving at the heart of the community.

"Paul and Karen are fantastic operators with a breadth of experience in the industry. I’m looking forwards to working closely with them to see how far we can really take this fantastic pub.”

Slug & Lettuce reveals new £650k look in Birmingham 

Pictured: Slug & Lettuce's flagship site in Deansgate

Stonegate has unveiled a new look for its Slug & Lettuce site in Birmingham's Brindley Place following a £650,000 renovation project.

The venue has benefitted from a new bar backdrop as well as new booth seating and marble and terrazzo table tops.

Moreover, the revamp has also seen the addition of "Instagrammable" features such as mirror balls and bespoke murals alongside neon lighting and theatrical cocktail glasses.

The site, which re-opened on Friday 1 March, will provide Slug & Lettuce's core offers, including small plates, bottomless brunches and 2-4-1 cocktails between 4pm and 10pm daily as well as a new range of cocktails.

Marking the second new look site for Slug & Lettuce, the refurbishment of the Birmingham bar follows the redesign of Slug & Lettuce’s flagship venue in Deansgate, Manchester in September 2023.

Slug & Lettuce head of marketing Becky Southern said: “We have always listened to our customers to ensure the brand maintains that togetherness vibe, be it to celebrate special occasions with groups of friends or to spend time with your bestie. The latest development brings the Birmingham Slug & Lettuce into the fold of our next generation sites as we continue to monitor and tweak the concept as we roll out.”

Read more here​.

Authentic Dutch pub re-opens 


De Hems Café Bar, an authentic Dutch pub in London's West End  has re-opened following an "extensive" refurbishment. 

The Soho pub, which is part of Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) Castle brand, has benefitted from upgraded facilities and decoration in keeping with the venues traditional look and feel.

Dating back to 1890, the building offers more than 100 unique beers from the Netherlands and Belgium as well pub classics such as fish and chips alongside a range of Dutch and Belgian dishes.

The pub, which has strong historical connections with the local Dutch community, will also show a variety of sporting events.

Regarding the refurbishment, general manger Ben Jones said: “I cannot wait for everyone to come and visit De Hems again, I’m extremely pleased with the refurbishment.

"Feedback has been amazing since we reopened. We are all looking forward to more memorable days and nights in London’s best pub.”

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