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Aston Tavern owners want new-look pub to be Michelin-star quality

Punters will get a look at the Aston Hall Road pub when it opens for business on Saturday to coincide with Aston Villa's first home match of the football season

 

The owners of a newly restored historic pub in inner-city Birmingham say they want to turn it into a Michelin-star quality restaurant.

The 1904 Aston Tavern, in the shadow of Villa Park, lay derelict for two decades before being restored under a joint venture between the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the pub's new owner and operator Chelle Property, run by entrepreneurs Michelle and Paul Monaghan.

Punters will get a first look at the Aston Hall Road pub when it opens its doors on Saturday to coincide with Aston Villa's first home match of the football season.

The company gave up the nearby King Edward pub, in Lichfield Road, which is being demolished to make way for a new industrial site, in exchange for the Grade II-listed pub.

But they want the Aston Tavern to be much more than a match day pub for Villa fans, with a restaurant, and bed and breakfast targeting business customers from a proposed industrial estate and visitors to Aston Hall.

Mr Monaghan said: "Some people have said we are taking a gamble opening a pub in this area but we don't see it this way.

"It can only be a supporters' bar every two weeks. This is so much more than a pub.

"There are 13 bed and breakfast rooms, self-contained flats, a one-acre beer garden, outside bar, a bandstand, a restaurant, Victorian tea rooms during the day.

"We want this restaurant to be Michelin-star quality, the kind of place where you need to book a table."

Mr Monaghan said the pub would open on match days only for next few weeks as some of the work would continue ahead of a full opening in October.

The business has already taken bookings for wedding receptions later this year.

Owner Michelle Monaghan outside the refurbished Aston Tavern pub
Owner Michelle Monaghan outside the refurbished Aston Tavern pub
 

Mrs Monaghan added: "This has been a demanding project, with emphasis on restoring this historic asset, which has been in a state of decline for some time.

"We have been able to rescue features of architectural interest from the nearby King Edward, a building locally listed, soon to be demolished, keeping some local history alive.

"We have extended the pub, allowing us to cater for today's changing markets, the local community and visitors to local attractions such as Aston Hall, The Villa Ground and Aston Hall Church next door."

The next few years will see the development of the Aston Advanced Manufacturing Hub, an official regional investment site, which will create an additional 3,000 jobs in the process.

The Homes and Communities Agency inherited the site from the now defunct development agency Advantage West Midlands.

Stuart Buckley, development manager for HCA, Midlands added: "The transformation of the Tavern site has given us a great opportunity to provide a social venue, which we hope will be a meeting hub for surrounding businesses."

There was wide opposition when the demolition of the 1902 landmark King Edward Pub was approved last year.

The council claimed the pub had go to allow the junction on Lichfield Road to be widened to take the articulated lorries.

 

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