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New year, new start for The Swan, Whitacre Heath

17 January 2020

The festive season may be over but residents of Whitacre Heath and the surrounding area, still have reason to celebrate.  Building work starts on 8th January on a major £500,000 refurbishment of The Swan, Whitacre Heath by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Barsand new licensees, Midlands pub operators, Andrew Twigg and Mark Hynett  with the intention of creating the best pub in the area.

The Swan will close at end of service on 2nd January reopening early March in time for Mother’s Day. Over 20 new jobs are being created on the back of the changes.

Already renowned for its large pub garden, funds are being spent upgrading the outdoor space with seating for an additional 120.  In addition to the pub’s picnic tables and garden benches, there will be a new stone terrace with tables and chairs, and a pergola lit with festoon lighting to add to the ambience.  A new oak-framed entrance canopy will lead into the pub.  The pub is also being given a face lift – repainted in pale and dark grey with new signage and external lighting.

Inside, The Swan is being upgraded and brought into the 21st century whilst retaining its traditional country pub feel and original features like its beams, flagstones, exposed brick and stone walls and fireplaces.  The bar is being repositioned and the interior opened up to create extra room with an additional 35 covers created.  Small rooms are being replaced by a more flexible open space with distinct areas for dining and drinking.  There will be booth style seating and an eclectic mix of wooden, leather and upholstered stools and chairs as well as tiled, wallpaper and timber panelling on the walls and wall mounted greenery.   A big woodburning pizza oven is being installed in the centre of the dining area, where fresh pizzas will be prepared and cooked.

Other changes inside will include a new commercial kitchen to allow The Swan to cater for more diners, and an upgrade of the ladies’ and gentlemen’s toilets, which will have new vanity units, mirrors, lighting and floor finishes.

The menu at The Swan will feature traditional pub favourites with a modern day twist, great steaks, pasta, burgers and salads. Additionally, there will be the pub’s freshly prepared pizzas baked in the wood fired pizza oven and a great Sunday lunch.   And at weekends, The Swan will open for breakfasts.

Drinkswise, there will be two rotational craft beers to add to the pub’s four cask ales and an extensive range of wines, gins and cocktails.

The latest beer dispense technology, a HEINEKEN Smart Dispense system, is also being installed to produce consistent superior quality draught beer and cider.  

Plans for The Swan include a monthly pub quiz, acoustic music on a Thursday night in the bar, and monthly live music in the summer.  

Andrew Twigg said: “The Swan is a wonderful characterful pub in a fantastic village location. When we visited it we immediately saw its potential.  The changes will improve the look of the pub which together with the menu and the new range of drinks, will give people more reasons to visit.  We’re really looking forward to creating a fantastic local that villagers can be proud of, offering great quality food and drinks at a good price.”

Star Pubs & Bars regional operations director Alun Johnson said: “We’re delighted to be working with Andrew and Mark to broaden The Swan’s appeal and give it the upgrade it needs.

“Heineken is a firm believer in the future of the Great British local and invested £50 million in 2019 in pubs like The Swan to help them keep pace with peoples’ changing needs and expectations so that they can thrive for the long term.”