Beer flows again at Dylan's pub
6:20pm Saturday 21st July 2012 in News
The pub where legendary Welsh poet Dylan Thomas soaked up literary inspiration along with the alcohol has reopened its doors after more than five years.
Brown’s Hotel in the centre of Laugharne has been the subject of a major renovation and on Friday unveiled itself as a 1950sthemed boutique hotel and bar.
The Grade II listed building, which dates back to 1752, was previously co-owned by Men Behaving Badly actor Neil Morrissey before being sold in 2006.
Owner, Nigel Short, of Whitland, who is also chairman of Penderyn Whisky, gained a £300,000 funding package from the Welsh Government and monuments body Cadw towards the refurbishment.
“It has cost an awful lot of money – the wrong side of £1m – and has taken 16 months,” he told the Western Telegraph. “It has been vital that we got the delicate balance right of so many factors – the sensitive restoration of a listed building and the recreation of the atmosphere that inspired Dylan Thomas, alongside the compliance with building and planning regulations. But we’ve got there in the end.”
Added manager Charlie Dyer: “The reaction from people in Laugharne has been fantastic. They are so pleased to see Brown’s has reopened after so long. And the interest coming from outside Laugharne is absolutely immense.”
The project has seen all the original woodwork retained in the bar where Dylan and his wife Caitlin were regular customers and created a reading room-style lounge with 1950s artefacts – including copies of Thomas’ works – and bedrooms capturing the spirit of the era, alongside modern-day technology and luxurious comfort.
By the time the official opening of the building takes place at the end of September, Brown’s will boast a total of 14 bedrooms and a ground-floor apartment.
Dylan Thomas’s granddaughter, Hannah Ellis, of Oxford, was welcomed to Friday’s opening. She last visited Laugharne in 2009 when she scattered the ashes of her mother, Aeronwy.
“Brown’s was shut then, but I’ve been keeping my eye on it since, and it’s lovely to see it open for business again,” she said.
And lifelong Laugharne residents Betty Ellis, aged 76, and Kitty John, aged 74, were delighted to see Dylan’s old watering-hole back in business again.
Said Kitty. “Dylan and Caitlin used to sit over there, and he’d be writing things down on Woodbine packets.
“He was a chubby little fellow, but she was a gorgeouslooking woman.”
Added Betty: “I think it’s wonderful what they’ve done with Brown’s. They’ve kept it in character, and I think it’s going to do really well.”