BUILDING work has begun this week on a major £270,000 refurbishment of the Hare and Hounds pub in Halesowen.

Following a five week closure, the work will see the Hagley Road pub transformed into a family-friendly community local.

The Hasbury pub will reopen in time for the bank holiday weekend at the end of August, with the refurbishment expecting to create about 10 new jobs.

Funds are being spent on a complete overhaul of the Hare and Hounds to create a brighter, more stylish and contemporary interior with colourful leather banquette seating, panelling, feature wallpaper and a feature fireplace.

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The redesign of the pub – which is owned by Star Pubs & Bars and operated by Bolton Inns – will also create seating for 91 people inside and 88 outside.

The exterior is being updated with a new entrance lobby, as well as fresh signage and lighting, with the front of the pub also being landscaped to enhance ‘overall appearance’.

A new commercial kitchen is being installed as part of the refurbishment, enabling the watering hole to serve traditional pub food, and the drinks range is being increased, with cask ales becoming a key feature of manager Dean Price’s establishment.

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Ollie Pearce, Bolton Inns regional manager, said: “We recognised the potential of The Hare and Hounds immediately.

“It’s in a great location overlooking Hagley Road and with investment we knew it would give locals what they’ve been crying out for… a great looking family-friendly community pub on their doorstep, offering all day coffee and the type of food, drinks and entertainment that previously they have had to travel for.

“The manager Dean is staying on, which is good news for everyone as he’s much loved in the community and an excellent manager.

“He and we are looking forward to opening the doors and welcoming the community – young, old and everything in between – to come and enjoy what we believe will become the best family-friendly pub in the area.”

The refurbishment is part of the £44 million Heineken UK – owner of Star Pubs & Bars – is investing in its pubs this year, bringing its total expenditure on its pubs to almost £140m during the past five years.

Star Pubs & Bars’ regional operations director Caren Geering added: “We’re delighted that experienced local operator, Bolton Inns, has taken on the Hare and Hounds as the team knows the area well and has made it a mission to find out exactly what residents want from their local.

“Food and coffee are an increasingly important to a pub, so their introduction will broaden the Hare and Hounds’ appeal and give people more reasons to visit.

“Investments like this allow pubs to evolve and stay relevant to customers, ensuring they continue to be sustainable at the heart of their communities for years to come.”