Lawyers from Challinors have helped a team of Midland businessmen turn a problem pub into what they hope will be the top hotel and restaurant in West Bromwich.

The Hare & Five Hounds Hotel and Bellagio Italian restaurant was previously a pub with a bad reputation, that was eventually closed down by the police.

It is being refurbished and reopened after a £1 million investment by three local businessmen – Fred Bartram, Craig Hodson and Stewart Bowen – and will open its doors at the end of March.

Fred Bartram and his partners are each directors of a Tipton based engineering and construction group which specialises in developing and refurbishing properties. They have spent their working lives in and around Sandwell and all are based locally to the former Five Ways site in West Bromwich. The new hotel and restaurant will be managed by Paolo Recina and has created 25 jobs in the area for waiters, chamber maids, receptionists and bar staff.

After a hearing in front of the Licensing Committee at Sandwell Council, the licence was granted.

Challinors’ Andrew Lee, a solicitor in the firm’s licensing team and dispute resolution group, said: “Fred Bartram and his colleagues recognised the importance of reassuring the licensing committee that the new Five Ways venue is an entirely different concept to what existed before, and that it is fundamentally different in terms of the services it will provide and its place within the local community.”

“The self imposed conditions on our licence allow us to manage the venue effectively,” added Mr Bartram. “It will ensure it remains as a high quality venue and in no way runs the risk of returning to its past.

“We took the decision to apply for a totally new licence for the venue, rather than opt to apply to have the old premises licence transferred,” he adds. “This is a tangible demonstration of the new venue having a totally fresh, clean start. The team at Challinors applied extreme care and thought to the conditions of the licence to achieve this objective, taking into account the commerciality and public interest issues at stake.”

The former Five Ways public house has been renamed and renovated, incorporating a good quality hotel and Italian restaurant.

The hotel will provide 12 bedrooms, all of which are en-suite, including one suite for disabled occupants. All follow the venue’s contemporary ‘with a twist’ interior design.

The Bellagio Restaurant will cater for 100 plus diners, serving both lunch and dinner.