BUILDING work is underway as the £400,000 transformation of a Hereford city pub starts in earnest.

The works at the Plough Inn in Whitecross Road, which is owned by Heineken's Star Pubs, are promising to turn the pub into a "top-quality family-friendly local with a cider theme that caters for the whole community".

The pub will reopen on May 30 under new management as The Plough, and will serve food all day, seven days a week, a Star Pubs spokesperson said.

The works include a reconfiguration and complete interior revamp to create a cider tap room look and feel, while 14 further covers and seven new jobs will be created. The area will be divided into a staged drinking and seated bar area with machinist metal and wood stools, a lounge with wooden tables and leather-covered seats in a nod to Hereford’s history of tanning, a second bar area with sharing tables and benches, and a sports area with TV pool and electronic darts. Three additional new TVs will be installed in other areas of the pub.

Barrels will hang above the bar, while the bar walls will feature digital wallpaper and artwork displaying Hereford’s history and cider-making links.

A large new kitchen is also being added, while outside, the pub is being redecorated in shades of grey and white with new lighting, signage and planting.

The large rear garden will also be kitted out with new furniture, and the skittles alley is staying. 

Originally from Shropshire, new publican Dean Tortolino has a longstanding career in hospitality including most recently running a pub outside Worcester and in Hereford.

In addition to a new pool table and darts, his plans include showing live Sky and TNT sports, hosting live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings and a Sunday evening quiz. He wants to host functions and intends to put on a small ale festival in the summer and a family day with a bouncy castle, and plans on setting up pool, darts, and skittles teams.

Star Pubs regional operations director Bruce Wellman said Heineken wanted to "invest significantly" in creating a tribute to the town, its heritage, and cider-making.  

“The look and the food and drink offer will be something completely different for Hereford," he said. 

"With Dean at the helm I am confident that it will be a great success. I wish him well and look forward to raising a glass of cider when it reopens.”