New lease of life for Village Inn in Moseley
A historic pub in Moseley, which was almost turned into apartments, is to be given a new lease of life after a newly-launched pub company invested £800,000 to transform it.
Entrepreneurs Adrian and Sharon Harvey are the husband and wife team behind The Village in Birmingham’s bustling bohemian quarter, the first venture to be launched under the Suburban Inns brand.
The Victorian building known formerly as The Village Inn on Alcester Road has been renovated and restored and will open its doors to the public on Friday November 15.
Just two-and-a-half years ago the pub’s owners Marstons called time and submitted a planning application to turn the building into 11 apartments.
The plan was approved but never came to fruition, though uncertainty over its future continued.
Mrs Harvey said: “To be honest there was all sorts of gossip and it was tough to establish what was true and what was not true.
”We heard about it being apartments or a hotel and that a number of people looked at it to change it into a winebar and things.
“We used to go there and have loved the site for years. We’re huge fans of Moseley, so when this opportunity came up it was almost a no-brainer.”
She said she and her husband, who also own the Royal Hotel in Sutton Coldfield, had the concept for the pub before they had bought the site. She added: “We had to adapt it to the site, as it is such a historic building, but it lent itself to the type of pub and eatery we wanted to establish. It is such a fantastic building to work with.”
In the process of transforming the building, which was built in 1894 and was once a Victorian gentlemen’s club, the couple also liaised closely with the Moseley community and local organisations.
Mr Harvey said he had spent much time socialising in Moseley and was looking forward to doing business in the area.
“Marstons were keen to move on but we felt they had under-utilised the site and there was a lot more that could be done with it.
“We have spent a lot of time in Moseley and used the premises in our youthful days.
“It is a great building in a great location and is probably the only premises in Moseley with its own car park.
“It has been transformed from a tired old sports-oriented bar with a bit of live music to a bar-restaurant that will be child-friendly that would; be of better use to the Moseley community and the surrounding area.”
“We are trying to create an environment where you can eat and drink in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Mrs Harvey said one of the challenges was combining the old and the new in the pub’s transformation.
“The combination of introducing an exciting new interior scheme with restoring the building’s original features, such as the vaulted ceiling, has been a real labour of love,” she said.
Former executive chef of gastro pub specialist the Lovely Pubs group, Tom Ebbon, has been appointed as executive chef of the new venture, which will create 30 jobs.
As well as a selection of cask ales and craft beers the pub will feature a menu promising “a relaxed modern take on British classics”.
The branding, interior and exterior of the pub have been designed by Birmingham-based agency Spencer Swinden.
Its creative director Melony Spencer said: “Once a Victorian members’ club, the building dates from 1894. We wanted to honour its history whilst bringing a new quirky dimension that would appeal to the artisan community in Moseley.”