Disused Walsall sports bar set to become Indian gastropub

A prominent Walsall venue will have a brand new identity for the first time in decades if plans to convert it into an Indian Gastropub are given the go-ahead.

The Fullbrook Inn on West Bromwich Road/Broadway in Walsall
The Fullbrook Inn on West Bromwich Road/Broadway in Walsall

Plans have been put forward to transform the New Fullbrook on West Bromwich Road and the Broadway into the Soho Tavern, creating more than 30 jobs in the process.

Mikey Singh, director of the Soho Tavern Group, said the first phase of investment in refurbishing the bar will be in the region of £200,000 and they hope to be open within weeks of getting planning permission.

The pub, which is currently shut and closed off by hoardings, will be extended on the ground floor while five apartments will be created on the first floor, should the proposal get the go-ahead.

The Fullbrook had been a favourite for football fans for years and is located on one of the main routes to Walsall FC’s Banks’s Stadium.

One of its darkest days came back in April 1995, when Crystal Palace fan Paul Nixon was killed outside the pub during a violent clash with rival supporters.

The 35-year-old was one of many who travelled from London to Walsall ahead of his team’s FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester United at Villa Park. A floral and football shirt tribute at the rear of the Fullbrook is maintained to this day.

Artist impression of what the inside of the Soho Tavern in Walsall will look like. Photo: Soho Tavern Group

But the pub is now set for a major overhaul complete with a name change and new look bar and dining area with Mr Singh keen to point out it will be much more than a “desi pub”.

He said: “Customers can expect to see a Indian Gastropub which is family friendly. Our look will be one of that a pub in Walsall is yet to deliver.

“We will have an open state-of-the-art open kitchen which will cook vegan/ vegetarian food separate to meat, with a 150 seater dining area. In addition to this we are set to have a private dining area which will be available to book for up to 40 people.

“In doing all of this we will also be keeping a small modern pub area separate to our dining side.

“Although our branches have won awards for best desi pubs in the Midlands we would not describe ourselves as ‘desi pubs’. We are more of a Indian Gastropub group.

Artist impression of what the inside of the Soho Tavern in Walsall will look like. Photo: Soho Tavern Group

“By this we mean we specialise in more than just food. We have used locally sourced ingredients in all our food and we sell locally sourced ales – a part of our group is a multi award winning local ale pub, ‘The Black Eagle’.

“We have a sports bar aspect were we will have all live events showing. Furthermore our ranges of beer range from places all over the continent.

“In terms of this side of Walsall, we believe it has been crying out for a family friendly place and we can see this in all the positive feedback we have been getting from the local and wider communities.

Artist impression of what the inside of the Soho Tavern in Walsall will look like. Photo: Soho Tavern Group

“Subject to planning we look create up 25 part time jobs along with around 10 full-time jobs. We will be employing locally with an opportunity for young people to get their first insights into the world of work.

“Within six weeks of obtaining planning we should be open. The level of investment for phase one the refurbishment and extension of the ground floor will be approximately £200,000.”

Planning officers at Walsall Council are anticipated to make a decision on the proposal towards the end of November.

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