Open for business: Popular Bexhill pub is reborn

It’s an exciting day for Bexhill. The former Royal Sovereign pub in Sea Road is finally reopening after a major refurbishment – and name change.

The Sovereign on Sea, which is directly opposite Bexhill railway station, will be welcoming customers with a socially distanced launch!

And its landlord, Wayne Shires, hopes the stunning new venue will prove as popular as its sister pub, The Fountain on Queens, in Hastings.

“We are an inclusive pub and will be offering a nice, friendly atmosphere – as well as a full range of beers,” he said.

Wayne, who has a background running pubs in London, came to Hastings about 18 months ago and revamped the historic Fountain.

The Fountain on Queens in Hastings

Its owners, The Shepherd Neame brewery, then suggested he’d be a great fit for The Royal Sovereign.

“We came to see it and thought the building was amazing,” he said. “I fell in love with it immediately.”

The outgoing landlords celebrated New Year’s Eve with their regulars, before Wayne and his team were handed the keys.

The pub in its previous ‘Royal Sovereign’ guise

“We took it over in January and had planned to be open for Easter – but the coronavirus was a curved ball for us,” said Wayne.

Undeterred, an incredible amount of work has gone on behind the scenes, with a total ground floor refurbishment – and a fresh coat of paint outside.

However, this is only phase one. Wayne believes the first floor would make a perfect dining room and give the pub an extra dimension.

“The plan is to have a full commercial kitchen in place within eight weeks and start serving a wide range of food, including Sunday roasts,” he said.

Although the Covid-19 restrictions remain in place, Wayne hopes to introduce events such as a cabaret and quizzes in the future.

For the time being, however, why not pop down this weekend and see what has been achieved so far?

  • Tables can be booked for the bank holiday weekend, with food being provided by Joan – a mobile unit from The BBQ Project. Email:
Joan – the beautiful van from The BBQ Project will be providing the food this weekend

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