New micro pub in old Wolverhampton bank will create five jobs

A new micro pub will create five jobs when it opens in a disused Wolverhampton bank this summer.

Ed Jenkinson of Bulleys with Mark Wright of The Starting Gate
Ed Jenkinson of Bulleys with Mark Wright of The Starting Gate

Black Country property agents at Bulleys have sealed a deal with brewing brothers Mark and Stephen Wright to launch what will be called The Starting Gate in the former HSBC bank branch at 134 Birches Barn Road in Penn Fields.

Mark Wright, co-owner of MSA Leisure, will be the landlord of the real ale house and is recruiting four staff to work alongside him when it opens at the end of July.

Edward Jenkinson, an agency surveyor for Bulleys, said: “This is quite a different business and it was exciting to help MSA Leisure find the right property.

“The Starting Gate will make clever use of the old bank fittings, for instance using the former bank counter as the new bar, and it will be an interesting new place for the local community.”

The 1,268 sq ft property is near a busy shopping terrace on the corner of Birches Barn Road and Lea Road, with local businesses including a supermarket, a Post Office, a hair and beauty salon, and a fish and chip shop.

Mr Wright, who co-owns MSA Leisure with his brother Stephen, has previously operated a micro ale business at Penn Bowling Club and before that ran the Round Oak in Woburn for a private lease company.

He said: “The Starting Gate will be a real community micro pub, serving around 108 gallons of real ale a week.

“The premises are loosely based on a racing theme, with the décor including saddles and jockey silks, and if it’s a success we plan more openings in Staffordshire and the West Midlands – with possible new names including The Final Furlong and The Open Ditch.”

Mr Wright said he was grateful to the Coors and Wye Valley breweries which were both providing technical assistance to The Starting Gate.

The micro pub will have five hand pumps circulating 30 to 40 local and sought-after real ales, also supplying quality ciders, continental lagers, rare gins, rum, vodka and prosecco.

Mr Wright added: “What Bulleys has found for us is absolutely ideal, as if you wanted to create what I wanted you couldn’t do much better.

“As an old bank the property is secure, and features like the old bank counter and a spiral staircase leading to the first floor will work superbly for the atmosphere we want to develop.”

The Starting Gate’s launch is planned for July 26 and the micro pub will then open on weekday evenings, Saturday afternoons and evenings, and Sunday afternoons.

Bulleys agreed the property deal between MSA Leisure and a private landlord off an asking rent of £18,500 per annum.

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