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The Thompsons Bell, Walmer to benefit from a major refurbishment

4 March 2020

Building work starts this week on a major £275,000 upgrade of Thompsons Bell in Walmer by Star Pubs & Bars and new licensee Artur Matyjaszczyk, who also runs The Crown Inn, Eythorne.  The investment will see the village’s only pub transformed into a top-quality family and dog-friendly local.

11 new jobs are being created at the pub, which will reopen early May.

Funds are being spent bringing on a complete internal and external refurbishment, bringing the pub into the 21st century whilst retaining a traditional look and feel.

Inside the bar, the counter is being moved to create a more spacious bar and lounge with defined areas for pool and darts.  An outside extension that has been used for pool is to be incorporated into the pub increasing its capacity.

The dated interior is to receive a complete makeover, redecorated with a mix of panelled, wallpapered and exposed brick wall with painted signage. New furniture and fittings will include leather armchairs and deep button back fixed seating, and a more contemporary retro style lighting.  There will also be an area that can be used for private functions.

Outside, the Thompsons Bell is being smartened up with new signage and lighting, redecorated in a smart taupe colour with the windows, door surround and signage painted in a contrasting cream.

A kitchen refit will enable Artur to introduce all-day fresh food with a seasonally changing menu focused on traditional pub favourites plus a couple of popular Polish dishes.  There will also be sharing platters, brunches, light lunches, a mini menu for children, steak nights, Sunday roasts and a Monday to Thursday lunch club with great offers.

The drinks selection will be increased to feature premium spirits, cocktails, wines and craft ales, as well as barista-quality coffee.  The introduction of state-of-the-art dispense equipment will ensure consistently excellent beer and cider.

Artur’s plans for Thompsons Bell are to host events such as monthly live music on weekends, monthly quiz nights and live Sky sports on TV.  The pub will also have pool and darts with a view to participating in local leagues. In the summer he wants to make the most of the pub’s large garden, putting on barbecues and all-day hog roasts.

Artur has over 21 years of hospitality experience including eight seasons overseeing hospitality for the Ducati Moto GP Team working with French and Italian chefs to provide top quality food for VIPs, journalists and the Ducati team.

Artur said: “My family and I and our great team at Thompsons Bell are proud to serve home-cooked meals using locally sourced ingredients and look forward to welcoming you to the pub to join us on a culinary journey.

“We very much want to create a pub for the whole community and to offer great food at affordable prices. The pub is large enough to cater for everyone, from villagers to walkers, parents with their children and businesspeople looking for somewhere to meet locally which has good wi-fi. We’ll have highchairs and space for buggies too.  Dogs will be more than welcome with treats behind the bar and even their own Sunday lunch.”

Dugald Macer, Star Pubs & Bars Regional Operations Director said: “The investment in the Thompsons Bell and Artur’s new vision for the pub will give the local community the quality and facilities on their doorstep that previously necessitated travel to enjoy.  We’re delighted that Artur is taking on the Thompsons Bell as he’s a popular and experienced local licensee who understands the local market and the role a village pub needs to play.  He knows what people want, and more importantly can deliver it.  We wish him well with his latest venture.”