King’s Head reopens after revamp
THE long-awaited reopening of the King’s Head on Wells High Street took place on Sunday (November 21).
The pub, which has been closed for five and a half years, was going to be reopened in May 2020 following a £560,000 revamp by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars. Covid halted the completion of the project, leaving locals to wait another 20 months before having a glimpse of the transformation.
New licensee Basia (known as Barbara) Tlustochwicz is taking on the pub, relocating from Reigate in Surrey. She has a wealth of experience in hospitality, working for Prezzo and most recently as General Manager of Brasserie Blanc signature by Raymond Blanc in Reigate. The King’s Head is the first pub business of her own.
She said: “The team and I are really excited to be opening at last and are looking forward to welcoming local Wells residents and visitors across the threshold. It’s been a long time coming, but it will be well worth the wait.
“I have always wanted to run a pub that offers food as you get to know the whole community if you’re serving food and drink. The King’s Head offers that and the opportunity to appeal to locals and tourists alike.
“At first we’ll just serve barista-style coffee and cakes throughout the day, and food and drink, getting to know regulars.
“Once we’re established we’ll look to introduce live sports and live music, games and quiz nights. My ambition is to create the best pub in Wells.”
The revamped King’s Head features two back-to-back bars with a midsection with medieval timbered vaulted ceiling where the live music will be shown and a big screen for key sporting events. Above is a raised gallery with tables and chairs and a sports area. The room will also be available for hire for private functions.
Outside a secret courtyard garden seats 12 under a partially covered pergola with festoon lighting.
The King’s Head will offer four cask ales, premium and craft beers and ciders, including Orchard Thieves, Beavertown, Amstel and Birra Moretti, alongside draught cider, wines and spirits and a cocktail menu.
It will also have Heineken 0.0 for those not wanting to drink alcohol.
Foodwise, the King’s Head will serve pub classics such as cod and chips, burgers and salads, as well as vegan and vegetarian dishes, sharing platters and a children’s menu with special kid-sized cutlery and crockery.
It will open from noon-11pm six days a week and from noon-10.30pm on Sundays.
Gavin Perkins, Star Pubs & Bars Business Development Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be joining forces with Barbara to return the King’s Head to the heart of the community and to improve the look and facilities of the high street in time for Christmas.
“It will be unique on the high street. And with Barbara’s passion for hospitality, high standards and attention to detail driving the pub forward, The King’s Head will become a great meeting place for the community as a whole. I wish her well.”
• Picture: Licensee Barbara Tlustochwicz and the King's Head team