There might be a few nostalgic cheers going up at The Courthouse Hotel this festival, as the iconic Tamworth pub hosts its final hurrah before undergoing a huge renovation that will double its capacity.
The Courthouse is now part of the Harvest Entertainment stable, under owners Chris Cornforth and Fraser Haughton, who also control The Albert, The Pig and Tinder, and Sonny’s Bakery.
The Harvest team have been preparing for festival for over three months, but admit it is a relatively simple equation in the grand scheme of things, although Mr Haughton is looking forward to hearing the tills tick over after a slightly slower few months.
“It is essentially more staff, more stock, more music,” he said.
“There is no need to overthink it, but it does take about three months of work to put things in place.”
While it will be the first year the group have run a festival at The Albert, it will be the third year at The Courthouse, and Mr Haughton hopes that regular visitors will trust their vision.
Hopefully festival can go off with a bang this year, and then next year we can go twice as big with the new pub.Fraser Haughton
“People do find it quite nostalgic and want to return every year for 20 years to the same pub,” he said.
“We are looking to do it cleverly and I think we will pull it off by mixing the old heritage with the new bigger and better facilities inside and out the back.
“We want to keep our regular blue collar patrons and punters, but also have a more broad appeal to families, and even suits coming in for a steak at lunch.”
While the publicans did play with the idea of keeping part open during the renovations, they decided the easiest and quickest way was to close down for five months following festival.
“The front is going to stay heritage, but we are going to put big extensions out the side and back, and really open the pub up,” Mr Haughton said.
“Bigger bar, bigger kitchen and bigger facilities – it should go close to doubling our usable space.
“Hopefully festival can go off with a bang this year, and then next year we can go twice as big with the new pub.”
While the Courthouse hopes to be throw the doors open by August, there are also big plans afoot across the road at The Albert with plans to install a brewery and live entertainment area out the back.