Neil Morrissey, star of Men Behaving Badly, has relaunched his newly refurbished pub, The Plume of Feathers in Barlaston, on March 6th. The canal-side pub in Staffordshire which is being leased from Punch Taverns was shut for two months while £400,000 worth of refurbishments were undertaken.
Real ale fans will be able to choose from 10 hand-pumped cask beers, including a house bitter and Neil’s own blonde beer.
Neil said he was delighted to open the pub – which will also feature local oatcakes on its extensive menu – and was encouraged by the warm response from Barlaston residents.
He said: “It’s exciting to get the work over and done with. We’re doing the final push on staff training, but we’re looking forward to getting it open. We’ve had a lot of interest locally – people have come and had a look around, and we’re definitely looking to include people and groups from the village, because they’re the lifeblood of the pub.
“It’s like the opening night of a play, we’re going to get immediate feedback.”
The Plume of Feathers is the first establishment to be managed by Morrissey’s MSW Pub Company, and despite a previous venture into the pub trade hitting financial difficulties, Neil said he has high hopes of turning the village local into a great success.
He said: “I never wanted to stop working in the pub trade, and I worked my nose to the grindstone to pay off the previous company’s debts.
“I’ve now got a really strong team behind me, and we’re going to do the best we can. We’ve got a large amount of autonomy from Punch, especially with the beer – it’s a pretty unique deal for them, and we will put everything we’ve got into it.”
Business partner Richard Slingsby said the company was hoping to bring back the glory days to the pub.
He said: “We’re going to make sure we get this place absolutely right. We may look at another in the future, but it takes a while to find the right locations, and our main focus is going to be here. The response locally has been tremendous – I think this has been a pub that has probably been under-invested in recently, so we’re very positive about it.”
Neil Morrissey Real Ale Company which was set up last year supplies Crystal Palace Football Club among others, producing three ales under licence – a fourth ale is to be produced to mark the re-opening of the Plume of Feathers.
Corin Brown, chairman of the Potteries branch of Camra (Campaign for Real Ale), said the collaboration between Punch and MSW was an intriguing development in the local pub scene adding: “It’s nice to see some collaboration going on, it’s a good thing for both pubs and breweries.