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Newport pub to benefit from £400,000 investment

Building work starts on 23rd June on a major £400,000 refurbishment of The Gaer Inn, on Gaer Rd, Newport by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Bars and new licensees, local residents, Eve Church and Martin Mushen.

The pub closes at end of service on the 23rd June and will reopen early August with 10 new jobs created.

Funds are being spent transforming the tired estate pub into a 21st century community hub with the intention of creating the best value family and dog friendly local in the area offering food and fresh coffee for the first time, as well as live sports and music.

Outside, The Gaer Inn is being given a complete facelift, repainted in a more contemporary soft grey and air force blue with new lighting and signage. The large beer garden is being overhauled with a ramp installed to provide easier access for wheelchairs and prams.  The decking is being extended and the pergola renovated.  New play equipment to entertain children is being added together with perimeter fencing and an entrance.  There will also be new tables and benches providing seating for 120 to enjoy alfresco eating and drinking. 

The inside is being reconfigured to create more light and space.  An airy lounge where people can eat and drink will be separated from the bar area by glazed screens.  There will also be a games area for darts, pool and watching live sports on TV.

The overall look and feel of the pub is being brought into the 21st century with painted panelling on the walls and leather and fabric upholstered booth seating and rustic tables, benches and stools. 

Stylish new toilets with decorative tiled floors and painted vanity units and basins with white metro style tiles on the wall are being fitted and as well as a new commercial kitchen to enable the pub to serve food.

Eve who has lived in the estate since 2006, took over the management of the pub with Martin in September while plans for the refurbishment were being finalised.  During this time, they have turned it around, smartening it up and improved the service, increasing trade in the pub.  Martin, who ran a pub many years ago and is a keen motorcyclist, has introduced biker evenings which have proved popular with clubs, individual male and female bikers and parents with their children, in support of Blood Bikers Wales.

Eve said: “I first came into pub 14 years ago.  I loved the building – which was once an old farmhouse – and liked the regulars. Sadly, it went downhill in recent years and people stopped using it; so, when the opportunity came up to take it on I leapt at it as I’d always wanted to run a pub. It’s been hard work, but it is so fulfilling to see local residents coming back and using it again.  Top of customers wish list is food, so it will be fantastic in a couple of months to be able to offer this and a lovely environment for them to enjoy it in.” 

The couple’s plans for the pub include introducing wi-fi, serving barista style coffee and a selection of light lunches and pub classics like burgers, pies and fish & chips in the evening. 

There will be an extensive drink selection of craft, cask and local ales, wines for different budgets, ciders and a wide choice of gins and whiskeys.  The latest beer dispense technology, a HEINEKEN Smart Dispense system, is being installed to produce consistent superior quality draught beer and cider.

Caren Geering, regional operations director for Star Pubs & Bars said: “It’s great to have Eve and Martin on board.  As local residents and former customers at the pub, they know the area well and what people want.  With no other pub within a mile, Gaer estate residents will now be able to enjoy great food, coffee and entertainment on their doorsteps without the need to travel.

“The refurbishment of The Gaer Inn brings to £750k, Star Pubs & Bars’ investment in Newport this year, which has included new letting rooms at The Maindee Hotel on Chepstow Road and bringing the Cross Key in Market Street into the 21st century.  They are part of a £50 million investment that Heineken is making in pubs around the country this year – a sign of our confidence in the future of the Great British pub.”

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