Iconic former Black Country pub and Chinese restaurant to be demolished

A much loved former pub and Chinese restaurant in Great Barr which has fallen into poor condition is to be torn down.

The former Buffet Island on Queslett Road in Great Barr. PIC: Ashley Preece
The former Buffet Island on Queslett Road in Great Barr. PIC: Ashley Preece

Walsall Council planners have given the green light for Buffet Island, which sits on Queslett Road, to be demolished and the area cordoned off.

The ‘all you can eat’ Chinese restaurant has sat empty for more than two years and applicants Avison Young said the building is now in a poor state of repair.

Now permission has been granted, work to take down Buffet Island is expected to start this month and, according to the site notice, could even be as early as Saturday .

When news of the plan emerged, locals spoke of their sadness of the plight of the building which previously was home first to The Trees and then later Schofield’s pubs before being converted into a restaurant.

It was also said to be a popular place for US servicemen when they were based in a camp nearby during the Second World War.

Many on social media said they were sorry to see the venue disappear while others shared memories of great nights in years gone by, family occasions celebrated there or meeting current spouses.

Chrissie Bayliss said: “Yet another part of my childhood going. Remember going to my nans on Queslett Road on the 90 bus & my nan telling me, ‘ask the conductor to put you off at the Trees.

“I would then walk up Queslett Road to her house. The Trees was a familiar landmark for me.”

Marilyn Jean Haywood said: “That is so sad! Buffet Island in Great Barr was a favourite venue for Walsall U3a’s “Meet’n’Eat” monthly lunch group.

“We have really missed it and not really found anywhere as convenient with such a vast array of lovely food to suit every one.”

Eddie Harris said: “Been there since Pheasey was built. I’ve seen pictures of American soldiers drinking in there when it was a pub in 1944 before they went across to France.

“Be a shame to lose some history. Plus my dad played darts there in the 80’s when it was The Trees.”

Stevie Smith added: “Before it became Buffet Island and was Schofield’s we would put bands on from around Sutton and Great Barr there.

“Used to have some great nights there. Will be sad to see it go.”

Sue Ford said: “My mom said the Americans used it as a Naaffi during the war. They had socials there with locals think.

“I went on my first date with my husband 54 years ago when at the side of the pub there was a disco. Mom and dad celebrated their Golden Wedding there in 1999 .

“So many happy memories , even going to Buffet Island with family. Shame it has to go but life moves on.”

Once the building is taken down, the site would be cleared, levelled and fenced off to keep it safe.

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