The partners, who run the Mount Tavern in Penn, Wolverhampton, have taken on the Wall Heath Tavern, in Wall Heath, as their first site with Star Pubs & Bars. Their plan is to build an estate of six community pubs in the West Midlands over the next two years.
Nicholls said: “The West Midlands is buoyant. There’s a lot of money still around in the area. Our strategy is to create multifaceted pubs that attract an eclectic mix of customers as we believe this is the most resilient style of operation.
“We have run the Wall Heath Tavern on a temporary basis for over a year and seen how much of a community-based environment it is locally and the support that goes with that.”
She continued: “The pub had lost its way recently. We refocused it at the heart of the community and increased trade as a result. It now has a good reputation. We’re looking forward to growing business further on the back of the upgrade.”
The partners together with Star Pubs & Bars are undertaking a joint £300,000 investment of the Wall Heath Tavern which starts on Monday 22 May. It will reopen at the end of June as a family-friendly local with five new jobs created.
Funds are being spent on a full internal and external redecoration that will include a refurbished bar and new furniture. Outside there will be new signage, lighting and outdoor seating and tables, as well as timber planters and a paved patio.
Moreton and Nicholls plan to add quiz nights, live sports and fortnightly entertainment at the Star site.
Nicholls said: “Running the Wall Heath Tavern for the past year has enabled us to find out what residents want. We can’t wait to open the doors and show them we’ve listened and created a great place for the community to meet up, whether that’s for a drink, meal or entertainment.”
Star Pubs & Bars business development manager Sandi Tipton added: “Russell and Melissa are perfect for the Wall Heath Tavern. They know the local area well, having run the pub on a temporary basis for the past 14 months.
“Having run the Mount Tavern in Penn for more than 10 years, they also have a real understanding of pubgoers’ increased expectations and of what local customers want – which the investment will help them deliver.”
The investment is part of £40m being made by Heineken in its circa 2,500 Star Pubs & Bars estate in 2023.