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£158k revamp of Garden Quarter pub to turn it into community hub

Music and arts venue vision for The Chichester Arms

The Chichester Arms on Garden Lane

A Garden Quarter watering hole is undergoing a £158k investment to transform it into a community hub.

The Chichester Arms on Garden Lane will close for five weeks of renovation work this week before reopening in mid November.

Licensee Jackie Speed, who runs the popular Star Pubs and Bars pub, has revealed her vision for the 'complete overhaul', which will create eight new jobs.

The revamp has been designed with music and arts in mind, so the interior will house a large, airy room with stage and PA system for session music, open mic nights and pop-up theatre sessions, as well as a bar and dining area to seat 44.

A mix of timber, tiling, wooden panelling and upcycled and new furniture will kit the place out.

For the first time ever the Chichester Arms will offer food thanks to the installation of a new kitchen, so punters will be able to take advantage of lazy weekend brunches and traditional pub dishes.

But the changes aren’t confined to the inside, with the addition of four large all-weather cabanas each seating eight people which customers can book for private functions.

Jackie – who also runs The Cherry Orchard in Boughton – said: “I’m really excited at the prospect of The Chi becoming a cultural hub in the area, showcasing local talent and adding to the investment in culture in the area.

“As well as live bands and theatre, I hope book clubs will use The Chi and that local artists will exhibit their art in the pub.

“I want it to have a relaxed, welcoming feel but to also remain true to the community including showing live sport.”

The makeover is thanks to a joint investment by Jackie and Star Pubs and Bars.



David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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