Four hundred year old pub given £750,000 revamp

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Charm and character: the refurbishment of the Smoker inn sought to maintain the venue's heritage
Charm and character: the refurbishment of the Smoker inn sought to maintain the venue's heritage
Grade II listed thatched coaching inn, the Smoker in Plumley, Cheshire, has reopened following a six-month, six-figure, refurbishment.

Robinsons Brewery and licensee Darren Crawford have jointly invested £750,000 to transform the pub, which was purchased by the brewery in 1948.

First opened in 1597, the Elizabethan inn brims with history. The 400-year-old site first opened its doors in the same year that William Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ was first performed and the King James Bible was published for the first time in London. It’s also rumoured that Queen Elizabeth I once stayed at the inn.

Alongside extensive building work to revamp the historic venue’s restaurant room and extending the bar area, the Smoker’s menu has been overhauled to include a range of quality cask ales, an extensive wine list, and new draught lagers, ciders, soft drinks, as well as a retro food offering.

1Q8A0780Smoker (1)

Crawford, who has been in the pub trade for 25 years and currently runs four Robinsons pubs, said:  “The Smoker has received some excellent customer feedback since the refurbishment and I am very proud to have been a part of this project.

“We’ve had an extremely busy period since reopening, with nothing but positive comments. The Smoker for years now has offered a warm and welcoming environment for all types of people, and this has not changed.

“It is definitely the place to go in Cheshire whether you’re out with friends, colleagues or family.”


Robinsons Brewery business development manager Wayne Roach added: “The pub was tired and in need of a substantial refurbishment.

“The vision was to retain the charm and character of the premises while increasing the number of covers, extending the bar area and kitchen facilities and creating spaces that were appealing, cosy and which reflected the true heritage of the pub.

“We have refurbished the toilets and made some structural changes throughout the premises to improve customer flow.

“The pubs gardens have also been redesigned, with an enhanced outdoor drinking area for those warm summer evenings alongside a new attractive signage scheme. Historical features have been retained, including the pub’s beautiful thatched roof.”


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