Licensee takes on her second Star Pub

Licensee takes on her second Star Pub

We have begun work on a major £158K refurbishment of the Chichester Arms (The Chi), in Chester, which will see the pub turned into a community local and cultural hub. This is the second Star pub in the area for licensee Jackie Speed, who runs The Cherry Orchard, a community pub in Boughton. 

The pub will be closed for five weeks, opening mid-November with eight new jobs being created.

Changes to the pub will include the introduction of all-day food, incorporating an eclectic mix of street food and traditional pub dishes, and barista style coffee. Music and arts will feature heavily at the pub, ensuring it has a broad appeal among local residents as well as students and workers at the University.

Funds are being spent on a complete overhaul of the Chichester Arms, including opening up the interior to create a large airy room with a stage and PA system for session music, open mike nights and pop-up theatre sessions as well as a bar and dining area with seating for 44. The look and feel of the pub will reflect its eclectic persona with a mix of timber and tile flooring, wooden panelling, and upcycled and new furniture. A new kitchen is being installed to enable the pub to offer food for the first time, which will include lazy brunches on Saturday and Sunday with seasonal cocktails. Outside the pub will feature festoon garland lights and four large all-weather cabanas each seating eight people, which customers can book for private entertaining.

Jackie said of the changes: “I’m really excited at the prospect of The Chi becoming a cultural hub in the area, showcasing local talent, and adding to the investment in culture in the area. As well as live bands and theatre, I hope book clubs will use The Chi and that local artists will exhibit their art in the pub. I want the pub to have a relaxed, welcoming feel but also remain true to the community including showing live sport.”

Lawson Mountstevens, Managing Director of Star Pubs & Bars, added: “Jackie is an experienced publican. She’s done a great job creating a great local at The Cherry Orchard and I am sure make a success of turning the Chichester Arms into a creative hotspot.”