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Posted: 11th June 2024

If the General Manager of the recently refurbished Crown in Blackheath, Jan Mullerson, seems at home, it’s not surprising, as the pub is a home from home and where he cut his teeth as a barman.

Jan, who took over running the Shepherd Neame pub in the heart of one of London’s last remaining villages following a £750,000 transformation in February, moved to the Blackheath area with his family when he was 12.

He went to school in the area and so he knows just who he is catering for when it comes to running the historic pub which has been completely renovated, redecorated and has a revamped menu.

“It is one of the best decisions I have made in my life, coming back here,” he said.

Jan was enticed into the Shepherd Neame fold, after working at pubs owned by Young’s and Stonegate, by a former colleague.

Starting out in hospitality in Blackheath at the age of 19, Jan admits The Crown was very different when he first worked there and is overjoyed with its new look.

“It’s great that Shepherd Neame have put the investment in here,” he said, adding: “It is beautiful following the renovation.”

The team of 20 he now leads is an even mix of staff who were there before the renovation, and ones who have joined since.

“We have had amazing feedback from everyone who has come in,” he said. “I think we provide the best pub food in the area by far. Our forte is that we make homemade pies in-house – they’ve been very popular.”

GM Jan Mullerson

Head Chef Chris Duffy

And creating that new food offer is New Zealander Chris Duffy, 37, who is Head Chef. Chris began working in a pub when he came to the UK 15 years ago, before moving into the kitchen. Then came an apprenticeship before he worked his way up the ranks to become a Head Chef.

After 15 years with Fuller’s pub company, he made the switch to Shepherd Neame after being attracted by the newly-reopened Crown and a chance to make a fresh impact, and put his own stamp on the menu.

“It must have been the right time for me to make the move - now I’m here, I realise just how ready I was,” he said. “I have been reinvigorated and inspired to get more creative. It is great to be involved and to be able to help make decisions. I’m really enjoying it.

“I love a good pub. Pubs in New Zealand are completely different to English ones. “

The homemade pies he makes have received excellent feedback from customers, and he is enjoying getting a say in creating dishes. 

His own favourite dish to cook at home may not be on the menu any time soon though - beer braised octopus with stout, inspired by his Spanish wife’s cooking.

The five-week refurbishment of The Crown has seen the pub’s traditional heritage celebrated throughout, alongside a fresh, modern take on Edwardian décor, using a rich palette of dark blues, browns mixed with vintage-inspired floral wallpapers. 

It serves homemade bar snacks, lunch plates and pub classics, as well as a wide selection of award-winning craft available on draught, along with lagers, ciders, premium wines and seasonal cocktails.

You can find the Crown at 47-49 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, London, SE3 0BS, call 020 8852 0326 or visit