Chelmsley Wood pub re-opens after a £400k re-vamp as local residents take the helm

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One of Chelmsley Wood’s last remaining pubs – The Centurion on Forth Drive – has re-opened, following a £400,000 refurbishment by Star Pubs & Bars. The expenditure is part of a £900,000 investment that Star Pubs & Bars made in its West Midland pubs in 2018.

The investment has transformed the rundown pub into a great quality local and life-long Chelmsley Wood residents and former Centurion employees  – Helen Brown and Kevin Bird – have taken the helm as the pub’s new licensees.

Helen and Kevin have been customers of The Centurion since they were teenagers and had been saddened to see the pub lose its way in recent years. “I can remember it in its glory days when it was a real centre of neighbourhood life. We’d always wanted to run a local pub and we’ve struck lucky to get one on our doorstep. There used to be eight or nine pubs in Chelmsley Wood, now there are only three” says Helen.

With no other pubs offering food and no coffee shops in the area, the couple are introducing a menu of popular pub dishes and serving coffee all day.

The outside of the pub has been transformed using cladding and planting to make it an attractive feature of Chelmsley Wood and the outdoor seating area upgraded with lighting and heating for year-round use. Ten new jobs have been created.

The inside of The Centurion has been stripped out, knocked through and completely revamped to make it more comfortable, welcoming and contemporary. There is a sports area complete with new screens, BT and Sky Sports, pool and darts, as well as a dining area served by a newly installed kitchen. The menu includes traditional pub favourites such as pies, fish and chips and burgers.

Events and activities to bring the community together - ranging from quiz nights and bingo to charity fundraisers and fun days - are another big part of Helen and Kevin’s plans. The couple will also make part of the pub available for private functions such as family occasions and celebrations. “We can’t wait to show people their new pub,” says Kevin.