A Brighton pub is set to close for four weeks as its undergoes a £225,000 revamp.
The Bear on Lewes Road is closing from Sunday, January 20 and will reopen on Friday, February 22.
Paula Boxall took over the running of the pub 18 months ago, which is owned by Heineken subsidiary Star Pubs and Bars.
Paula has been running the pub following the death of the previous licensee Peter Piggott, a well-known publican in the Brighton area, for whom she worked for five years both at The Bear and Jolly Brewer.
The 49-year-old carer turned landlady said: “My former boss, Pete, said I should run my own pub. I never thought I’d do it. But having had the last year or so to see if I like it, I thought I’d give it a go. I’m excited by the investment as it will make the pub much nicer for customers and busier, which I am delighted about as I love the social side of my job.
“It’s really good to be taking the pub forward and to be starting my own business at this stage in my life. I never thought this would be the pub I’d take on, but I love that I am carrying it on for Pete. I think he’s looking down on me and saying ‘good for you’.”
Funds are being spent on a complete overhaul of the interior and exterior of the pub.
Outside, the pub is being given a facelift with new signage and lighting and the large beer garden is to have four new beach huts providing covered areas.
Inside, the bar is being reconfigured to create more room in the main bar and games area. There will be a dedicated zone for dart and improvements to the pool area as well as new furniture, new loos and a complete redecoration.
A further two TV screens are being added for sports enthusiasts and the latest beer dispense technology, a Heineken Smart Dispense system, is being installed.
When The Bear reopens it will start serving food from midday to 3pm Monday to Friday, as well as from 6pm to 9pm Thursday and Friday and midday to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Burgers, fish finger sandwiches, hot dogs and cheesy chips will also be available to takeaway on match days.
Dugald Macer, regional operations director of Star Pubs & Bars said: “The Bear is already a popular pub and the changes being made will help Paula build on its success. With Student flats being built opposite and a planned new campus less than a mile away, it’s good news for The Bear.
“The refurbishment will improve the look and comfort of the pub for existing customers and broaden its appeal, whilst the introduction of food will give people more reasons to visit. Like Paula’s many regulars, we’re delighted that she has decided to take on The Bear as her own business and wish her the very best in this new role.”
The pub’s karaoke, pool, darts, DJ and quiz nights will all continue as before.