The Bell Inn in Broyle Road has been open for as long as many Cicestrians can remember, but its landlord and lady have now breathed new life into the popular watering hole after ending their tie to Enterprise Inns to go fully independent.
This means that publicans Michelle and Beanie Clathworthy have total control over what beers and spirits they sell.
As part of the pub’s new freedom, the pair have had the pub redecorated to make it a ‘brand-new pub with the same heart it’s had for more than two decades’.
Speaking to the Chichester Observer, Michelle said: “Our agreement was that we had to buy all our beers from them, but now it means we can buy our beers from whoever we like.
"It was something we were looking at pre-pandemic before everything got put on hold.”
During that tumultuous time, the pub was paying full rent and rates, only to be asked to pay nearly £7,000 more a year before Beanie and Michelle made the leap to becoming a free house.
"We are really pleased that we aren’t in that position anymore and we aren’t beholden to them – It feels like it’s fully our business now which is great.
"We can put on what we want and we aren’t tied to a certain brewery. This means we can go with what our customers like and support more local breweries and more craft beers.
"We are just very happy and excited and it is the way forward for us. Especially being able to listen to customers and put on anything they are really excited about.
"If you have a really good pint somewhere – let us know!”
As for the revamp, by Friday (June 24) the pub will be ‘all glossy and lovely’.
A celebration is set to be held at the pub on July 8 and 9 which will feature live music and a ‘big thank you to all our loyal customers’.
You can find out more about The Bell Inn by visiting: www.thebellinnchichester.com