MP raises toast to refurbished Chelmsford pub
Local MP, Sir Simon Burns, joined customers and staff at The Blue Lion pub in Chelmsford to celebrate its £275,000 refurbishment by national pub operator, Punch.
Located on Tabors Hill in Great Baddow, The Blue Lion reopened on Thursday 16 March with a new look, new publican and new menu.
The significant investment includes altering the pub’s layout from a two-room venue into one open-plan area creating more space for customers to relax, dine and socialise. In addition, the Blue Lion has been redecorated throughout, furniture, fixtures and fittings changed and the ladies and gents’ facilities refreshed. The kitchen equipment has been replaced and upgraded to serve a great new menu.
Outside, the pub has been given modern signage and lighting and the beer garden has been transformed into an attractive alfresco space to enjoy food, drinks and watch TV. Improvements include outdoor heaters, a smoking shelter, planters and comfortable furniture.
One person who is very excited about the new-look Blue Lion is experienced publican, Sally Smith, who has moved from Southend to take over the helm. She said: “This is an exciting time for the Blue Lion and I’m thrilled to be taking over and looking forward to getting to know the regulars and becoming part of the local community. The pub is already a popular community pub and I want to build on that by making it the most vibrant and welcoming venue locally for all the family to enjoy a coffee, a drink or meal. I plan to host lots of events during the year and make the most of the outdoor space, especially during the warmer months.”
Commenting on his visit, Sir Simon Burns MP, said: “It’s great to see Punch investing in community pubs and enhancing the facilities for the local neighbourhood. The warm welcome I received and the enthusiasm of the new team alongside the improvements made at the Blue Lion, can only boost the pub’s business. I wish everyone involved all the best for the future.”
Customers can now look forward to a regular programme of entertainment including Bar Billiards and darts, bingo and quiz nights, comedy acts, live music and karaoke. The extended food menu offers all the favourite pub classics and tasty Sunday roast with plenty of food and drink offers throughout the week including; a Cask Ale Club (Monday-Thursday), Burger and free pint on Mondays, Wednesday curry night, Fish Fryday and Friday night Fizz offers.
Commenting on the investment, Punch senior openings manager, Craig Taylor, said: “The Blue Lion is located in a busy location and is popular with visitors to the town and locals alike. The refurbishment and the introduction of a great new menu will give Sally the opportunity to broaden the pub’s appeal to families and locals looking for a relaxed place to enjoy a meal and socialise without breaking the bank. Sally is full of enthusiasm and I’m confident that she will be welcomed by the regulars and make the Blue Lion a ‘roaring’ success.”