The Yew Tree pub in Witton has celebrated Aston Villa’s return to the Premier League with a re-vamp. The pub, a 10-minute walk from Villa Park has reopened as a sports bar and hopes to offer fans the ‘ultimate sports viewing experience’.
The Yew Tree has received significant investment and aims to become the go-to sports bar for local supporters to watch sport.
Just like Aston Villa, the pub received new investment and has a new look. Ei Publican Partnerships and Molson Coors have helped transform the Yew Tree.
With Villa’s return to the Premiership also being followed by a record 30,000 season tickets being sold the Yew Tree is expecting a rise in footfall. Clubs like Manchester City, Liverpool and local Midland rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers will all come to Villa Park in the coming season.
The Yew Tree becomes the second pub in the UK to receive investment from the partnership which aims to build bespoke sports experiences for pub-goers. Fans will benefit from over £100,000 worth of investment including seven brand new 58-inch television screens. Other new features include a video wall, state of the art speaker system, LED lighting, moving beams and a fully refurbished bar area.
The refurbished pub will re-open in time for Villa’s home fixture against West Ham on Monday night.
What they had to say
Having reopened its doors in time for Aston Villa’s home game against West Ham, publicans Wilburn Taylor and Fitzroy Simpson have been pleased with the reaction from locals and fans.
Wilburn said: “A huge amount of work has gone into transforming the pub and it’s been fantastic to see such as positive reaction. We have a dedicated group of locals who are keen Aston Villa fans and their support has been superb. We want to appeal to all football fans and on match days we welcome both home and away supporters. I’d encourage anyone who is going to the game or visiting the area on the day of a match to come in and join us for a pint and to experience the new facilities.”
Nick Light, Managing Director at Ei Publican Partnerships, said: “Having somewhere to enjoy the pre-match build-up or to watch the game is a priority for any football fan and attracting local supporters is vital to any community pub. This is why it made perfect sense to invest in The Yew Tree.
The pub is located just a short walk from Villa Park, and this promises to be a special season for the Villa following their return to the Premier League. Our aim is to make The Yew Tree the go-to sports bar for local fans and for it to become one of the premier locations to watch sport in Birmingham.”
In recent seasons Aston Villa fans have watched on as popular pubs including The Adventurers and the Aston Hotel have closed due to different reasons. Although we have seen a refurbished Aston Tavern re-open many supporters have opted to drink in and around Birmingham City centre instead of drinking around the ground.
During my time as a Season ticket holder, the Yew Tree has always been known as a mix of home and away supporters. This puts some supporters off. However, with fresh investment and a new lease of life, I am sure home supporters will give it a go.
Ultimately the proof will be in the pudding. How well will they handle a busy bar and a mixture of home and away supporters? Either way, the Yew Tree has a massive opportunity here to stand up and be counted. A new pub around Villa Park is needed and could be just what some supporters are looking for.