A PUB hopes to bring a touch of Michelin Star class when it reopens later this month, following a £250,000 refurbishment.
Martin Russell took over the tenancy at The Tollgate, in Bury St Edmunds, at the end of last year.
Now Mr Russell and the pub’s owners, Greene King, have closed the pub for three weeks while it undergoes a major refurbishment.
“It is long overdue. We are just pleased that Greene King is supporting us in this investment,” said Mr Russell.
Outside, Mr Russell said the ‘potholed’ car park was being relaid while the exterior of the building was being redecorated.
Inside, the pub will see a massive facelift to convert it from what Mr Russell describes as ‘a spit and sawdust pub’ into a premium restaurant, bar and grill, specialising in steaks and burgers.
The seating capacity at the pub will increase from 60 to 90, while Mr Russell has further plans to boost that to 120 with a new conservatory, in a year’s time.
“Our head chef Ben Fry has worked in Michelin Star restaurants, including The Dorchester.
“We will have a full gallery kitchen so people can watch their food cook, and outside is being completely landscaped.
“The whole pub will have a fresh open-plan, rustique feel.
“It is going to look stunning,” said Mr Russell, who also runs The Linden Tree and who has started his own business, Pumpkin Hospitality.
The pub closed for work to start on July 22 and is scheduled to reopen on August 14.
“It used to have a fantastic reputation as a food house but lost that over the last few years and got tired, run down and in need of some investment.
“It is a difficult time for pubs and restaurants and with the opening of Wetherspoons we needed to do something different.
“We are quite excited by the plans. I don’t think there is another pub quite like it in Bury,” said Mr Russell.