Two former pubco employees have joined forces and opened a new gastropub in Staffordshire after a £1m refurbishment, writes Lesley Foottit. Local business partners Tony Walsh and Kevin Brook have teamed up to take on the lease of the Lion Hotel in Brewood. It is owned by fellow local Kevin Twigger, who has also invested in the business. Walsh has a background of developing and selling pubs with a number of pubcos and was previously acquisitions director for Marston’s. He has taken the director’s role, while Brook, who has worked for a number of companies in the sector including Vintage Inns and Tom Cobleigh, will be general manager. Twigger owns the architectural company that was in charge of the refurbishment, which included partial demolition, rebuilding and redesigning. Formerly known as the Giffard Arms and the Red Lion, the 150-cover Lion Hotel has 11 boutique-style en-suite bedrooms and a meeting room. “The site is full of character, located in easy access of beautiful countryside and convenient in terms of transport links,” said Brook. “With many tourist attractions on the doorstep, this site will offer something for locals, tourists and businesses alike.”