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Whelan’s opens 9th pub this week after £1.35m revamp with Star

Whelan’s Pub Company is opening The Fox at Palmers Green this week, following a joint £1.35m refurbishment with Star Pubs & Bars. The Fox is Whelan’s sixth pub with Star and the ninth site in its portfolio.

The revamp of The Fox is the largest joint investment Star Pubs & Bars has ever made outside central London and will create 20 new jobs. The landmark pub – which is an Asset of Community Value and featured in the film Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban – has been closed since 2018.

The project has transformed The Fox into a premium local, offering quality food and drinks and live sports. The revamped pub features a traditional bar for drinks and socialising, a spacious dining area and a large lounge that converts into a private function room – complete with its own bar – accommodating up to 120 people.

The extensive works have fully renovated the striking pub, which dates back to 1904 and has a distinctive turret and exterior plaster relief decorations. The stylish interior redesign brings out all the character and beauty of the building. It retains The Fox’s high ceilings and wood floors, and incorporates Edwardian-style tiling, heritage colours, feature lighting and leather-covered banquette seating.

A new kitchen is enabling the introduction of freshly prepared home-cooked food. The menu focuses on top-quality pub classics, such as fish & chips, sausages & mash, and Sunday roasts. A premium drinks selection, ranging from craft and cask beers to barista-quality coffee, complements the food.

To generate a further income stream, The Fox is kitted out with a high-spec AV system showing BT and Sky Sports. Major matches and tournaments will be shown on a wall of nine screens in the function room, creating a fantastic atmosphere.

Said Director Austin Whelan (pictured), “We always like to invest in new sites. Pubs have to move with the times to succeed. Despite the tough economic climate, we remain positive about the future.

'Our experience is that people still want a more premium offer and are prepared to pay for it. Palmers Green has excellent demographics and is crying out for a quality local. We’re happy to be expanding with Star; they’re fair and deliver the support we want. We always opt for tied leases as we see the benefits.”

Added Tim Galligan, Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director, “This is a massive investment, and the results are clearly visible. The Fox looks breathtaking and offers lots of reasons for people to visit.

'Whelan’s has a strong track record of running superb locals. It is the ideal partner for such a major development. Palmers Green is densely populated and has a shortage of premium pubs. The Fox will be an exceptional local that fills a gap in the market.”

Whelan’s is looking for further sites in prominent town centre locations with high footfall across the South East.