After a three week refurbishment, the pub that was ‘The Bayberry’ has reopened as ‘The Wichel Inn’. The pub was opened shortly after 11am by Swindon mayor, Councillor Garry Perkins. Whilst it remains a Marston’s pub, it is no longer part of their ‘Two for One’ chain. Apart from the change of name, inside the pub has been refitted and divided into two bars: a saloon primarily laid out for diners, and a bar laid out more for drinkers, and with a pool table and darts board. Despite that rather traditional layout, the overall impression of the interior is a more modern look, with the fussily patterned carpet and upholstery replaced with simpler designs.
The menu, although no longer two-for-one, includes many familiar options, as well as the addition of a lunchtime menu with smaller portions, and a ‘pub desk menu’ aimed at those choosing to use the pub as their ‘home’ office.
The Wichel Inn seemed to be doing a steady trade on its first afternoon fully open, with several customers expressing their satisfaction to the bar staff as they left. Your reporter also left well-filled and satisfied after a late lunch.
The Bayberry suffered from a high turnover of managers, a few of whom were exceptionally poor and lost it many customers. We hope the refit gives The Wichel Inn fresh life and considerably more custom.