The Portcullis on Fishponds high street closes for major £450k transformation
3 June 2021
The Portcullis on Fishponds high street is to close end of Sunday 6th June for a major £450,000 joint refurbishment by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Bars1 and new licensee Abhimanyu Paudel (Abhi). The investment will see the former wet-led pub transformed into a family friendly premium neighbourhood pub offering food and fresh coffee for the first time.
The pub will reopen as The Fishponds Tap in late July with 20 new jobs created.
The top to toe refurbishment will see a new state-of-art commercial kitchen installed to enable the pub to serve food. Inside, the ground floor of the pub is being reconfigured to create three different zones – a bar lounge, dining area and high seated bar area seating 75. It will have a new more contemporary back bar and will be redecorated in a mix of feature floral and geometric wallpaper creating a brighter interior. The look and feel will be of a traditional pub with a modern twist.
Upstairs the function room with its dedicated bar is being overhauled with AV facilities installed enabling it to be used for private parties of 70 or laid out theatre or meeting room style for meetings of up to 50 people or as a sports lounge. It will be ready for Christmas bookings.
The outside of The Portcullis is being completely overhauled, with new signage, festoon lighting and seating for 34 at the front. The pub’s massive garden will see a new paved terrace with planting, festoon lighting and new tables and seating for 100 added.
Food at The Fishponds Tap will include sandwiches, wraps, snacks and light lunches during the day and pub classics such as fish and chips and burgers in the evenings, as well as Indian fusion dishes like Rock Salt Kalamari and Himalayan Lamb Chops with flavours of herbs and spices and cooked in a Clay Oven.
Drinks will include craft ales and ciders like Beavertown Neck Oil, Gamma Ray American Pale Ale and Orchard Thieves and Inch’s ciders. There will also be a gin station, a selection of wines ranging from quality house wines to fine wines, and freshly made cocktails.
Abhi’s plans for the pub include screening all the major fixtures on BT and Sky sports on three 75-inch high definition TVs on the ground floor. There will also be live bands playing on the last Friday of the month.
Once the summer is over, Abhi intends to install a new garden room with its own bar with room for 120 people in the garden and a wood burning pizza oven ready for summer 2022.
Abhi has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, mainly in London, including running his own quality neighbourhood pubs. He says: “I could immediately see the potential of The Portcullis. It is in a great location and has plenty of space and an enormous, underutilised beer garden. I’d like to put on a carnival for all the family in the garden towards the end of August, if possible.
“There are plenty of mainstream pubs in Fishponds but nothing of this calibre. It will fill a gap in the market for people wanting a more premium experience. I’m looking forward to meeting residents and creating the sort of pub Fishponds has been crying out for.”
Tim Galligan, Operations Director says: “The refurbishment of The Portcullis is great news for Fishponds residents as it’s a major upgrade and a change in direction for the pub with a very experienced operator at the helm. We’re delighted to be joining forces with Abhi to take The Portcullis to a new level, improving the appearance, comfort and facilities and creating a standout pub in Fishponds.
“Heineken is a firm believer in the future of the Great British local and is investing in pubs like The Portcullis to help them keep pace with peoples’ changing needs and expectations so that they can thrive for the long term.”
To follow the progress of the refurbishment at The Portcullis see Facebook @Fishponds Tap, Instagram @fishpondstap, or Twitter @FishpondsTap.