The popular Dudley pub run by a couple who got married at the venue 34 years ago

As pubs continue to battle the cost of living crisis, the Express & Star continues its new series, Love Your Local, which celebrates our local inns.

Love your Local: The Fellows
Love your Local: The Fellows

Not many people can say they own the venue they once got married in.

But for Mick and Vicky Wolohan, that's the scenario they find themselves in after buying The Fellows in Dudley earlier this year., owners of several businesses in the town, including K2 Security.

After taking over the establishment in March, they carried out a complete renovation of the premises and reopened in May. Since then it has been a hit with locals as the couple strive to boost the economy in the Dudley area.

Mick, 55, and Vicky, 54, several businesses in the town, including K2 Security which next door to The Fellows. They say that when the opportunity to purchase the pub came up, they did not want to let it go.

Love your Local: The Fellows

Both are from Dudley, and Vicky says they are doing all that they can to keep businesses going in the area, and continue to boost the local economy and help everyone all round.

Since taking over the pub on The Broadway and completing the refurbishment, the business has proved a hit, especially the function room which has been used for birthdays, weddings and parties.

Speaking about what it has been like since taking over the Fellows, Vicky says: "We actually got married here 34 years ago, and so we have literally come round full circle to now own the place where we got married.

"It wasn't on the plans to own a pub but it just happened and it has been successful since.

"The community have been happy that the pub is back open as it was closed for a while before we took over, and it had a bit of an eerie, dark look, but we have given it a complete makeover with a specific theme.

"So the theme of the inside is based on the surrounding area - we are right next to Dudley Castle and Zoo, and so we kept that theme within the place.

"There is a regal theme which is to go with the castle, and we have knights in armour around the place - then we have pictures of animals all around too which fits in with the theme of the Zoo nearby.

Love your Local: The Fellows

"Customers that come in have been loving the theme and paying compliment to who designed it, and it was myself.

"We have done our best to boost the economy around the area as we feel it then helps everyone all around, especially by using local ingredients."

The owners plan to launch a restaurant in the new year, with a target set for February, where they will begin serving good quality pub grub, with all the classics on a traditional pub menu.

Since taking over, The Fellows has been popular with members of the surrounding community and Vicky feels that is because both she and husband Mick were both and raised in the town.

She adds: "Because we are Dudley born and bred, people know us and the two managers - one that worked here for nine and a half years before, and came back to join us.

"So everybody loves the management and the staff and we make it a welcoming place for everyone.

"We came in and refurbished the lot, everything is brand new and so the success has been hard work to get to but it has paid off.

"Both me and my husband do our best to help the community with our businesses, we currently employ over 600 people in total across our businesses, and so we feel that we are able to help young people, and get them on the right path.

Love your Local: The Fellows. Customer Nigel Hodgetts and barmaid Tina Marson

"My husband has done this as he owns the Black Country Combat Gym for 25 years and he tries to get youngsters involved and give correct training in order to help them.

"He has taught a lot of children over the years who has since grown up and he now teaches their children - so we do a lot of work within the community."

The couple own K2 Security which is based next door to the Fellows Pub, and it was one of the reasons why they wanted to purchase the business, and by being based so close-by, it allows them to focus on the security business but also be very hands-on with the pub as well with it being in such close proximity.

The function room has been a hit with the business, which can hold around 120 to 130 people, and it has a bar 88 Bar, due to the couple getting married at the same place back in 1988 - which Vicky said means they came round full-circle to come back to the place they tied the knot.

As well as the function room, the pub has regular events going on such a Monday Club where draught beer is sold for just £2.50 a pint, something that Vicky feels is a nice thing to do as you cannot get a pint for that price anymore.

Along with the Monday Club, there is regular live entertainment on Fridays and sometimes on Saturday evenings too.

The couple have proved to be a major success in business and The Fellows Pub is just one of many successes, but despite that they remain grounded.

Vicky said: "We have always kept our feet on the ground. It has taken a lot of hard work to get here - over 30 years of hard work but it is totally worth it"

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