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A popular Blackheath pub has enjoyed a prestigious re-opening following a major refurbishment by brewers Shepherd Neame.
Chief executive Jonathan Neame welcomed a host of eager guests, including journalists and devoted regulars, all keen to see how The Crown, a prominent pub with 16th century origins, had been brought up-to-date while retaining its traditional warm welcome.
Mr Neame also marked the re-opening with a cheque presentation to Maggie Stephenson from the local branch of the charity, Childline.
Manager Keith Hedley (pictured with Jonathan Neame) said: “The bar has been moved back about six feet leading to much more floor space and it has been altered from square to horseshoe-shaped. We have a new lobby and the whole place has a nice, homely atmosphere. It is a contemporary feel, but still very much a traditional pub.”
An exciting new addition is the Kings Room on the first floor, a multi-function space boasting its own bar and far-reaching views over Blackheath. This is used as a dining area but is also available to hire.
A state-of-the-art kitchen has been installed on the first floor to provide The Crown with an exciting new menu.
The pub’s décor is a refreshing mix of traditional and modern: exposed brickwork, open fires, Victorian wall tiles, hand-painted mirrors and vintage wall fittings. There is also an attractive snug area. The original pub sign has been restored.
Toilet facilities for people with disabilities and baby change facilities have also been added and air-conditioning has been installed.
The outside seating area has been refurbished, freshly painted and new lighting installed. Doors open onto the forecourt, which has also been resurfaced.
With the Kings Room opening up The Crown’s potential for enhanced dining and functions and the choice of Shepherd Neame cask ales increased from three to five, the pub is all set to take on a new lease of life.
“It has always been a thriving pub and particularly busy at weekends,” said Keith. “But now it definitely has the wow factor. People’s jaws’ drop when they see it.”
Shepherd Neame retail director Nigel Bunting said: “We are delighted to see the finished result at The Crown. It now has so much more to offer a wider selection of customers and we urge locals to take a look for themselves.”