The Jewellery Quarter pub which has been vacant for sixteen years is another of the Quarter’s buildings that is undergoing a wholesale renovation, to become an independent café or restaurant and flats.

The former George and Dragon pub
The former George and Dragon pub undergoing its renovation

The George and Dragon pub has been a bit of an eyesore in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter for almost two decades, but recently the decision has been made to transform the derelict building into a small, mixed-use complex with a café or restaurant, included with three flats.

A new vehicle called G&D Projects has been set up by city businessman, Gurbinder Sandhu, who is currently working with a team to breathe life into the pub and restore it to its former glory.

Mr Sandhu expressed how much of a difficult journey it had been after the previous potential investors had pulled out, and was met with a blank wall approaching the banks for funding, he explained: “The most recent investor pulled out about six months ago and this was a big blow to us.

“This left us in a bit of quandary but by hat time we had become emotionally emotionally attached to the building so we decided to support it ourselves and do what we could to make it watertight, such as re-roofing, guttering and cleaning the façade.”

He further said, “It’s very speculative, it’s something that, if you were looking at just a sheer investment, you would not consider it twice as it would not get the kind of return you would expect.

 

The entire project has an estimated cost of around £400, 000 and will eventually be home to a restaurant unit to up to 2,500 sq ft and three, one-bedroomed flats, ranging between 700 and 750 sq ft each.

The team also hopes to restore the old signs, planning to give the building a Dickensian look and feel to it.

Kathleen Dayus, a Hockley-born author, used to be a regular in the George and Dragon and featured it as a constant setting throughout her books.
A dedicated plaque was put up, commissioning the Dayus Square.

The heritage report commented: “The pub closed towards the latter part of the 20th century and has been becoming more and more derelict ever since. The fact that it still survives, despite vandalism and the theft of much of its interior fixtures and fittings is quite remarkable.”

Mr Sandhu finally added: “The area will be good when it’s finished, the public square looks very nice and there’s a new school next door so the area’s coming up.

“The Jewellery Quarter lends itself to good quality, independent traders which offer a different take on the services they provide so we could generate interest among occupiers that perhaps already have one or two outlets.

“But we haven’t approached anyone like that at this stage, our focus has been on making it look as presentable as possible.”

We can’t wait for the completion of George and Dragon’s conversion! What do you think?
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