CHELSEA’S OLDEST PUB IS SET TO REOPEN ITS DOORS

The Cross Keys pub undergoes a major refurbishment with fuse design+build project managing the fit out programme to unveil a new look for Chelsea’s oldest pub 

Nestled in London’s fashionable Chelsea, The Cross Keys, a 300 year-old pub that has served patrons from Dylan Thomas and Agatha Christie to Bob Marley and the Rolling Stones, is set to reopen early next year after a campaign by residents to keep their local pub out of the hands of developers and remain an integral part of their community.

Local publicans, Mark Dyer and Eamonn Manson, the team behind Fulham’s renowned pubs, The Sands End and The Brown Cow, have now added the historical Cross Keys to their award-winning portfolio of gastropubs. The new owners have appointed fuse design+build to project manage the complete refurbishment and ensure the build project meets their design and performance specification using their signature style. They aim to restore the historic pub by the river to its former glory and combine a contemporary, chic antique look and rustic charm that is synonymous with their other highly successful pubs.

“We want to maintain the magic of The Cross Keys,” says Manson, Co-founder of DM Group and head of design, “from the cozy old fireplace to the natural light of the back atrium, but recharge it with a contemporary look.” The new Cross Keys will feature an extensive range of real ales along with British fare- a top to tail menu that will include enticing pub classics as well as delicious signature dishes from executive chef, Oliver Marlowe, of Chez Bruce and The Sands End fame.

“Our pubs’ success lies in our attention to detail.” Manson says, “It starts with a truly personal welcome as soon as you walk through the door, the room itself will bring a visual warmth and when the food arrives, it will rival the best in the area. Essentially, we want to provide our clientele with the best service, outstanding food and a relaxing, comfortable environment full of character and interest to look at and enjoy.”

“Pubs are an essential part of British culture,” says Dyer, “and we felt that in resurrecting such an iconic pub that we are able to contribute to our British heritage in some way, while keeping the community happy with a truly good local.” The surrounding community agrees, having appealed through Twitter and securing thousands of signatures on a petition to prevent developers from turning the property into a single multi- million pound home. The developer finally sold the property back to benefit local residents.

Dyer and Manson of DM Group are working closely with fuse design+build to fulfil a fit out programme ready to relaunch the pub late January 2015 that will welcome back the pub’s loyal following and maintain its historical place in British pub culture.

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