A derelict pub in Tilehurst, which has been boarded up for three years, is to get a sizzling new lease of life with a £500,000 facelift.
The transformation of The Bear in Park Lane will see the pub fitted with a bar, plasma television screens, a pool table, a darts board and a new food menu specialising in grilled steaks served on hot skillets.
The 80-year-old pub, built in the 1930s as the Bear Inn, was refurbished in April 2008 and began selling Thai cuisine under the name of The Bear and Dragon. Just eight months later its owner, The Orchid Group, went into administration and failed to find a buyer for the pub.
But now Spirit Pub Company – which manage 800 pubs nationwide – has taken over the boarded-up eyesore and hopes that converting it into part of its Flaming Grill brand will pull the punters back in.
Leigh Davies, the company’s business development manager, said: “The pub will stay at the heart of the community and will be a great local pub, with a fantastic menu.
“There will be a bar with traditional entertainment, alongside comfortable seating and an outside dining area. It will cater for everyone.”
The re-opening will also bring 30 new jobs to the area, and Mr Davies added: “We will begin our recruitment process in the new year and we are very much going to be prioritising local people when we look to fill the vacancies, which will include bar staff, kitchen staff and even managers.
“We will also be renaming the pub and are going to run a competition to let the local people name it. We want to emphasise the community feel of the pub.”
Building work to begin extending the kitchen and trading area begins on Monday, with the restored pub expected to be open for business by February.
Source: Laura Routledge